6 November 2014
In Belgium it is the habit to close the financial year on a fixed date. Since there is no explicit legislation, the Commission for Accounting Standards allows that the start and the closing of the financial year is set on a fixed day of a given month. Since the use of a variable date differs from the most important habit is Belgium, a number of conditions have to be met.
In Belgium a lot of companies choose to close their financial year on a fixed date, e.g. 31 December so that their financial year is the same as the calendar year. This is easy to comply with a number of annual obligations, such as the VAT listing or drafting tax slips which should be made on a calendar year basis.
Companies can foresee in their articles of association that their financial year does not end on a fixed date (e.g. 5 February), but on a given day of a given week in a given month (e.g. the first Saturday of February).
A split financial year can be useful for companies with a seasonal turnover (e.g. agriculture) and for Belgian companies which are a daughter company of a foreign company. The daughter company within the international group then follows the closing date of the mother company.
Since the method to use a variable closing date differs from the most important habit in Belgium and to avoid abuse, the Commission for Accounting Standards states that the following conditions should be fulfilled:
Watch up, when using such methods technical problems may occur when complying with administrative formalities. On the application form for the Banque-Carrefour des Entreprises (the business database) a fixed closing date is mentioned …