The diamond industry in Antwerp, Belgium, is willing to pay higher taxes than it does currently, in exchange for greater legal certainty, said a statement from the local industry group.
Antwerp World Diamond Centre said it’s willing to agree to a new tax system where local diamantaires will be taxed according to a fixed percentage of the turnover, rather than on a percentage of profits. This will mean diamond traders will pay higher taxes than they do currently, the group admitted, but it will also ensure stability and legal certainty.
“Because the new system is a tax on turnover instead of profits, diamond traders know precisely what to expect when they close their financial year,” said CEO Ari Epstein in a statement. “Given the difficult budgetary situation [in Belgium], we understand that the government requires additional efforts from every industry.”
An AWDC statement added that the uncertain environment has made some dealers turn away from the Belgian port city, threatening its long-term viability as a diamond center. But a more certain environment could lure dealers back, and give them greater access to financing, it said.