Freight forwarder (air – sea- road), logistics service provider (7000 sq meters free and bounded warehouses) and customs broker since 1988, we offer our clients solutions according to their requirements.
The VAT system in Belgium has been implemented in 1971 and evaluated till now to be the system he currently is. General rules and regulations applicable only in certain circumstances or in specific situation are developed in the Belgian VAT Code, the Royal Decree, the administrative circulars and all other kind of official documents being the base of the Belgian VAT legislation
Any taxable person performing taxable transactions (as listed above) or falling under the scope of the distance sales legislation, is liable for a VAT Registration in Belgium. Referring to the Administrative Circular 4/2003, special registration rules apply to foreign or “non-established businesses.” A non-established business performing supplies of goods or services in Belgium must register for VAT purposes in one or more of the following situations:
The way how this VAT Registration need to applies (directly, via mandate or via appointment of a fiscal representative) is described in the above Administrative Circular
There are detailed rules controlling the recording and processing of Belgian transactions. These rules are mainly summarized in several Royal Decree’s covering issues like Belgian invoicing requirements, bookkeeping obligations, etc.
The standard VAT rate in Belgium is 21%. There are reduced rates of 12%, 6% and 0%.
Belgian VAT returns are usually submitted for monthly periods, and for taxable persons with more than EUR50,000 of intra-Community supplies of goods per quarter, a monthly filing is required.
Taxable persons with a turnover of less than EUR2,500,000 may opt to submit returns quarterly (for some supplies of goods, the threshold is EUR250,000). A taxable person who has chosen to file quarterly VAT returns can, during the calendar year, be obliged to start filing monthly VAT returns from the time the threshold of EUR2,500,000 of annual turnover or EUR50,000 of intra-Community supplies of goods per quarter has been exceeded.
Taxable persons that file quarterly returns must prepay the VAT monthly based on the amount of VAT payable in the previous quarter. Return liabilities must be paid in euros.
Monthly VAT returns and payment are due the 20th day of the month following the return period. However, if that date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the due date will be postponed to the next working day. The payment of the VAT due needs to be made by the same date.
Quarterly VAT returns must be filed by the 20th day following the relevant calendar quarter. However, if that date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the due date will be postponed to the next working day. The payment of the VAT due needs to be made by the same date.
Monthly payments for the quarter must be made on the 20th day of the second and third months of the VAT quarter. The amount due is a prepayment that must equal 1/3 of the balance of VAT due for the previous quarter. The balancing payment is due with the VAT return.
Annually, the Annual Sales Listing registering all sales performed to Belgian Taxable persons need to be filed by the 30st of March of the year following the year during which the operations have taken place.
Intrastat. A Belgian taxable person that trades with other EU countries must complete statistical reports, known as Intrastat if the value of either its sales or purchases of goods exceeds certain thresholds. Separate reports are required for intra-Community acquisitions (Intrastat Arrivals) and for intra-Community supplies (Intrastat Dispatches).
The threshold for Intrastat Arrivals for the 2015 calendar year is EUR700,000.
The threshold for Intrastat Dispatches for the 2015 calendar year is EUR1 million.
Belgian taxable persons must complete Intrastat declarations in euros, rounded up to the nearest whole number.
The Intrastat return period is monthly. The submission deadline is the same as for the VAT return, which is the 20th day of the month following the return period.
A penalty, varying from EUR100 to EUR10,000, can be imposed if a person does not comply with the imposed obligations. No distinction is made according to the nature of the offense (e.g., late submission, missing or inaccurate declarations).
EU Sales Lists. If a Belgian taxable person makes intra-Community supplies in a return period, it must submit an EU Sales List (ESL) to the Belgian VAT authorities. An ESL is not required for a period in which the taxable person has not made any intra-Community supplies.
Supplies of goods are marked by the letter “L” and supplies of services by the letter “S.” Intra-Community sales performed by party B in simplified triangulation schemes must continue to be marked by the letter “T.”
Effective from 1 January 2010, ESLs are filed monthly by monthly VAT filers and quarterly by quarterly VAT filers.
Belgium refunds VAT incurred by businesses that are neither established in Belgium nor required to be registered for VAT there. A non-established business is allowed to claim Belgian VAT to the same extent as a VAT-registered business.
For businesses established in the EU, refund is made under the terms of the EU 8th Directive. For businesses established outside the EU, refund is made under the terms of the EU 13th Directive. Belgium does not exclude any non-EU country from the refund scheme.
©TRA – Tax Representative Alliance