Belgian VAT rates and VAT compliance
Belgian VAT rates
Belgium, like all EU member countries, follows the EU VAT Directive on VAT compliance. However, it is still free to set its own standard (upper) VAT rate. The only proviso is that it is above 15%. Suppliers of goods or services VAT registered in Belgium must charge the appropriate VAT rate, and collect the tax for onward payment to the Belgian tax authorities through a VAT filling: see Belgian VAT returns briefing.
The current rates are:
|Rate||Type||Which goods or services|
|21%||Standard||All other taxable goods and services|
|12%||Reduced||Some foodstuffs; certain agricultural supplies; some social housing; some construction work on new buildings; restaurants (all beverages excluded); certain energy products e.g. coal, lignite, coke; some pesticides and fertilizers; certain tyres and inner tubes for agricultural use|
|6%||Reduced||Some foodstuffs (including takeaway food); soft drinks; water supplies; some pharmaceutical products; some medical equipment for disabled persons; domestic transport of passengers; some books (including e-books); newspapers and periodicals (with certain exceptions); entrance to cultural events and amusement parks; some social housing; certain repair and renovation of private dwellings; some agricultural supplies; hotel accommodation; admission to sporting events; use of sports facilities; intra-community and international road, rail and inland waterways transport; some motor vehicles (cars for the disabled); some social services; certain undertaker and cremation services; minor repairs (including bicycles, shoes and leather goods, clothing and household linen); firewood; cut flowers and plants for decorative use and food production; writers and composers; firewood|
|0%||Zero||Some daily and weekly newspapers; certain recycled materials and by-products; intra-community and international transport (excluding road, rail and inland waterways)|
Belgian VAT compliance
When a non-resident company receives its Belgian VAT number, it must start to follow the local rules on compliance. This includes:
- Issuing invoices with the disclosure details outlined in the Belgian VAT Code.
- Electronic invoices with proper signature, authenticity and agreement by the recipient.
- Maintenance of accounts and records, which must be held for at least 7 years.
- Correct invoicing of customers for goods or services in accordance with the Belgian time of supply VAT rules.
- Processing of credit notes and other corrections.
- Use of approved foreign currency rates.
What is the tax point for Belgian VAT?
The tax point (time of supply) rules in Belgium determine when the VAT is due. It is then payable to the tax authorities 10 days after the VAT reporting period end (monthly or quarterly).
For most goods, it is the time of delivery or passage of title. For services, it is the completion of the service.
Latest Belgian news
January 25, 2019
The European Commission (EC) has proposed switching from unanimous to majority voting on EU VAT and other tax policies. The aim is to progress fiscal reforms which face immovable opposition from just a limited number of member states.
January 09, 2019
The EU VAT Directive has been updated from 1 January 2019 to introduce a voluntary generalised reverse charge measure on domestic transactions in member states.
December 28, 2018
Following agreement by EU member states to permit cutting the VAT rate on e-books and online journals to match the reduced/zero rating permitted on their paper-based equivalents, the following countries have already announced reductions...
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom