Belgium warns UK businesses to appoint Brexit Fiscal Representative
- Feb 27, 2019 | Richard Asquith
The Belgian tax authorities are contacting all UK businesses with a Belgian VAT registration and informing them that they must appoint a local Fiscal Representative as a result of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2019.
EU businesses selling good cross-border in the EU may direct register with other member states for VAT reporting. However, 19 of the existing 28 EU states oblige non-EU companies with non-resident VAT registrations to appoint a Fiscal Representative. These are special resident tax agents which are responsible for the correct VAT filings, bookkeeping, VAT payments and correspondence with the local tax authorities. They are held jointly and severally liable for any unpaid VAT of their foreign clients. As a result, they have high fees and typically insist on a bank guarantee to cover their potential losses.
Since the UK will become a third country after Brexit, its businesses will be required to appoint Fiscal Representatives in the relevant countries.
Apply by 29 March to gain 6-month grace period
The Belgian authorities are now warning UK businesses that such Fiscal Representative application process must be underway by 29 March 2019 in the case of a non-transition deal Brexit or delay to other exit process. They are giving a six-month grace period until 30 August for this to be processed and completed. They warn that the application and approval process of a switch from a direct registration to a Fiscal Representative can take over one month. For Belgium, there is no requirement to change VAT number.
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.