Belgian VAT returns
Monthly or quarterly Belgian VAT returns must be completed by non-resident companies who are trading with a valid Belgian VAT registration. These provide details of their taxable supplies, and indicate the amount of VAT due to the Belgian tax office.
How often are Belgian VAT returns required?
The frequency of VAT reporting in Belgium depends on the level of trading. The default reporting period is monthly, however companies may apply to submit quarterly returns if their turnover is below EUR2.5m per annum. There are exceptions to this and monthly returns will required in the following circumstances:
- turnover from supplies of computers, mobile phones, mineral oils, or motor vehicles exceeds EUR250,000 per annum and/or
- turnover from intra-Community supplies exceeds EUR50,000 in the current, or any of the four preceding, quarters.
Businesses are also required to submit an annual sales list outlining domestic B2B supplies where the annual supply exceeds EUR250.
What Belgian VAT can be deducted?
As well as declaring the Belgian VAT on any sales (output VAT), the VAT return also lists VAT on purchases (input VAT) that can be offset against the sales VAT due. This includes import VAT. Non-resident companies are allowed to reclaim VAT on taxable supplies on the same basis as any resident company. The following items may not be deducted:
- Spirits (unless destined for resale or provision of a service)
- Tobacco products
- Financial and insurance services
- Costs associated with entertaining business partners and customers
- Food, drink and accommodation for employees
What are the reporting deadlines for Belgian VAT returns?
Belgian VAT filings, whether quarterly or monthly, are due on the 20th of the month following the period end. If VAT is VAT filings are being submitted monthly the company must pay the VAT at the same time as the submission with the exception of the December payment must be paid in advance by 24th December. For quarterly payers the VAT must be prepaid on a monthly basis. Annual sales lists for Belgian B2B supplies are required by the 31st March each year.
Where are Belgian VAT returns filed?
The Belgian Ministry of Finance requires VAT returns to be filed electronically using the INTERVAT application. This can be found on the Ministry’s website at www.minfin.fgov.be.
Belgian VAT penalties
Fines for non-compliance in Belgium range from EUR250 and 10% of any late VAT payment for failure to register to EUR5000 (per invoice) for repeated failure to provide a VAT invoice. Interest is charged if VAT is unpaid or paid late. The current rate of interest is set at 0.8% per month.
How are Belgian VAT credits recovered?
If the purchase (input) VAT exceeds the sales (output) VAT, then there is a surplus – known as a VAT credit. In principle, this is due back to the VAT registered company. VAT credits are usually carried over to the following VAT period. In certain circumstances, however, a company may make a request for the credit to be refunded. VAT credit refunds are generally paid quarterly.
Need a fiscal representative in Belgium?
Non-EU businesses selling in Belgium will need to appoint a fiscal representative alongside completing VAT registration and returns.
Fiscal representatives are responsible for the accurate VAT submissions of their non-EU clients.
Avalara offers a Fiscal Representative Service as part of its international VAT and GST Registration and Returns Service.
Need help with your Belgian VAT compliance?
Researching Belgian VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade.
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