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:

Belgian VAT rates

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 (excluding 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.
0% Zero 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.


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