European Jewish Congress
Belgium exempts Dutch Holocaust survivors it fined for tax evasion
Belgium
Belgium exempts Dutch Holocaust survivors it fined for tax evasion

Belgium’s Finance Ministry has exempted dozens of Dutch Holocaust survivors from penalties for not reporting special pensions they received from the Netherlands.

The New Flemish Alliance, the ruling party of the Belgian state of the Flemish Region, led a reform in federal tax regulations implemented this month that exempts the survivors living in Belgium from the heavy penalties imposed on them.

The penalties were imposed last year on recipients of a payment from the Netherlands known as WUV, which is given to some Holocaust survivors by the Dutch government’s Pensions and Benefits Council. In letters sent to WUV recipients living in Belgium, the Belgian tax authority demanded they pay back the WUV payments paid to them since 2013.

Hans Knoop, a veteran Dutch Jewish journalist living in Belgium, has lobbied the government with the survivors. Johan Klaps, a lawmaker for the New Flemish Alliance, helped push the exemption reform, Knoop said, with the cooperation of Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt.

“The New Flemish Alliance deserves every credit for their role in solving the plight of Holocaust survivors who, out of the blue, were suddenly squeezed to pay thousands of dollars they did not have — with devastating effects to their mental well-being,” Knoop said on Tuesday.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Thursday, August 31, 2017
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