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Belgium enforces UK Brexit VAT fiscal representative

  • Apr 26, 2020 | Richard Asquith

Belgium is informing UK traders with a Belgian VAT number that they must plan to appoint fiscal representatives ahead of the December 2020 end of the Brexit transition period. At this point, the UK leaves the EU VAT regime. Belgium is requiring businesses from 1 October to start registering with a fiscal representative. Although traders may go ahead now with a special discount on bank guarantees (see below).

From 1 October 2020, all UK business VAT registration applications in Belgium must have a fiscal representative included. By 1 January 2021, all existing UK business Belgian VAT registrations must have swtiched to a fiscal representative.  It is possible to ask for an extension for this by 31 March 2021, and any extensions will only be granted until 30 June 2021.

Contact Avalara is you would like to learn more about the new Belgian obligations for UK companies. We provide an in-house full European and global fiscal rep service with registrations and returns.

Fiscal representatives are special types of tax agents for non-EU businesses with a non-resident VAT registration in the EU. EU companies may register directly with the tax authorities of their country where they are selling. However, in 19 of the EU 27 states, the tax authorities require non-EU sellers to appoint a fiscal representative.

Fiscal reps are responsible for the accurate VAT submissions of their non-EU clients. In most cases, they are held jointly and severally liable for their client’s VAT. In the case of negligent supervision or collusion on misreporting of VAT, the fiscal rep will be held liable for any missing VAT. As a result, fiscal rep fees are relatively steep, and may come with a requirement for a cash deposit or bank guarantee with the fiscal rep.

Belgium has differing requirements. The tax authorities require a bank guarantee made directly in favour of the government. This is generally equal to one quarter of the annual VAT paid over by the business.

UK traders offered Belgian fiscal rep discount

The Belgium tax office is offering a special bank guarantee discount for UK businesses which register now. They are limiting the bank guarantee to €7,500. 

If you would like to understand more about this offer, and if you require a fiscal representative, please contact Avalara. Avalara offers an in-house fiscal rep services for Belgium and all other EU states.

Explore more content like this in our Brexit hub

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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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is the former VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara
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