Protocol amending the convention between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital signed at Ottawa on 23 May 2002
The Government of Canada AND The Government of the Kingdom of Belgium,
DESIRING to amend the Convention between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital, done at Ottawa on 23 May 2002 (“the Convention”),
HAVE AGREED as follows:
The text of Article 26 of the Convention is deleted and replaced by the following:
“1. The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall exchange such information as is foreseeably relevant for carrying out the provisions of this Convention or to the administration or enforcement of the domestic laws concerning taxes of every kind and description imposed by or on behalf of the Contracting States, insofar as the taxation thereunder is not contrary to the Convention. The exchange of information is not restricted by Articles 1 and 2.
2. Any information received under paragraph 1 by a Contracting State shall be treated as secret in the same manner as information obtained under the domestic laws of that State and shall be disclosed only to persons or authorities (including courts and administrative bodies) concerned with the assessment or collection of, the enforcement or prosecution in respect of, the determination of appeals in relation to taxes, or the oversight of the above. Such persons or authorities shall use the information only for such purposes. They may disclose the information in public court proceedings or in judicial decisions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, information received by a Contracting State may be used for other purposes when such information may be used for such other purposes under the laws of both States and the competent authority of the supplying State authorises such use.
3. In no case shall the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 be construed so as to impose on a Contracting State the obligation:
(a) to carry out administrative measures at variance with the laws and the administrative practice of that or of the other Contracting State;
(b) to supply information which is not obtainable under the laws or in the normal course of the administration of that or of the other Contracting State; or
(c) to supply information which would disclose any trade, business, industrial, commercial or professional secret or trade process, or information the disclosure of which would be contrary to public policy (ordre public).
4. If information is requested by a Contracting State in accordance with this Article, the other Contracting State shall use its information gathering measures to obtain the requested information, even though that other State may not need such information for its own tax purposes. The obligation contained in the preceding sentence is subject to the limitations of paragraph 3 of this Article but in no case shall such limitations be construed to permit a Contracting State to decline to supply information solely because it has no domestic interest in such information.
5. In no case shall the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article be construed to permit a Contracting State to decline to supply information solely because the information is held by a bank, other financial institution, trust, foundation, nominee or person acting in an agency or a fiduciary capacity or because the information relates to ownership interests in a person. In order to obtain such information the tax administration of Belgium shall have the power to ask for the disclosure of information and to conduct investigations and hearings notwithstanding any contrary provisions in its domestic tax laws.”
1. Each Contracting State shall notify the other Contracting State, through diplomatic channels, of the completion of the domestic procedures required to bring this Protocol into force.
2. The Protocol shall enter into force on the date of the later of these notifications and its provisions shall have effect:
(a) with respect to criminal tax matters, in respect of taxable periods beginning on or after January 1, 2006, or where there is no taxable period, all charges to tax arising on or after January 1, 2006;
(b) with respect to all other tax matters, in respect of taxable periods beginning on or after January 1, 2013, or where there is no taxable period, all charges to tax arising on or after January 1, 2013.
This Protocol, which shall form an integral part of the Convention, shall remain in force as long as the Convention remains in force and shall apply as long as the Convention itself applies.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, duly authorised thereto by their respective governments, have signed this Protocol.
DONE in duplicate at Brussels on this 1st day of April 2014, in the English, French and Dutch languages, each version being equally authentic.
For the Government of Canada
For the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium