Under normal circumstances, in the event of death in Belgium, the inheritance tax return has to be submitted within a period of four months. In the event of a death abroad, this period is five1 or six2 months. The date of death is the starting date for the calculation of the term, and the date of receipt of the declaration by the Flemish Tax Administration is the end date. A late tax return leads to tax increases and penalties.
If the declaration period expires during the corona measures which are currently in force, the declaration period shall be extended to two months after the end of these measures. This happens automatically, no postponement has to be requested and this does not lead to a tax increase nor penalties.
The more stringent corona-measures have already been extended until 3 May 2020, but it is not excluded that they will be extended again in the future. This means that the declaration period will automatically be extended again.
As an example: when filing an inheritance tax return for a resident of Antwerp who died on 25 November 2019, the initial declaration period of four months would expire on 25 March 2020. Based on the aforementioned Flemish tolerance, the declaration period will be extended automatically and without any tax increase until 3 July 2020, with a possible further automatic extension if the corona measures are extended again.
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1 When the death occurred in another country within the European Economic Area (EEA)
2 When the death occurred outside the European Economic Area (EEA).