United States and Belgium Sign Agreement to Improve International Tax Compliance and to Implement FATCA

Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Mark Storella of the U.S. Embassy to the Kingdom of Belgium and Belgian Finance Minister Koen Geens signed a tax information exchange agreement that will improve international tax compliance and implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).  The agreement reflects the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium and the Government of the United States of America’s desire to improve international tax compliance through mutual assistance in tax matters. Under the agreement, Belgium and the United States shall exchange, on an annual and automatic basis, information with respect to reportable accounts. The agreement underscores growing international cooperation to end tax evasion everywhere.

Chargé d’Affaires Mark Storella, who signed on behalf of the United States, pointed out that “this signing marks a significant step forward in our countries’ efforts to work collaboratively to combat offshore tax evasion – an objective that mutually benefits us all. By working together to detect, deter and discourage offshore tax abuses through increased transparency and enhanced reporting, we can help to build a stronger, more stable, and more accountable global financial system.”

FATCA is rapidly becoming the global standard in the effort to curtail offshore tax evasion. To date, the United States has signed 27 Intergovernmental Agreements, and another 23 jurisdictions have been publicly identified as having reached agreements in substance, bringing the total number of agreements considered in effect to 50. In addition, the United States is engaged in related discussions with many other jurisdictions. The United States enacted FATCA in 2010 to combat offshore tax evasion by encouraging transparency and obtaining information on accounts held by U.S. taxpayers in other countries.