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VAT in Belgium guide
Standard VAT/GST rate
Reporting currency
Administered by
General Administration of Taxation

EU VAT GUIDE – Belgium

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How much is VAT in Belgium? 

The Standard VAT Rate (Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA)) in Belgium is 21%.

Some supplies are exempt from VAT. This applies to business activities like education, health care, postal and financial services.

Belgium VAT RateRate TypeCoverage and imposition
21%StandardTo all taxable supplies of goods and services with some exceptions
12% Reduced Raterestaurant and catering services; photo pharmacy products; 
6%Reduced Ratedifferent kinds of food products; agricultural services; transportation services; granting of the right to access cultural, sporting, and entertainment facilities
0%Zero rateintra-community supplies; newspapers and periodical publications that appear at least 48 times per year, with the exception of articles published on the internet;recycled products;

The exact list of taxable transactions and allocated Belgium VAT rate can be found in Belgium VAT regulations. 

VAT thresholds in Belgium

Belgium VAT legislation contains valuable information about VAT threshold. Tax Authority officials’ interpretations of the applicable provisions are also useful information regarding establishing mechanisms to remain VAT compliant in the country. 

VAT registration threshold for resident businesses: Small-sized businesses can leverage under certain preconditions the VAT exemption.

Economic operators can benefit from the VAT exemption scheme only if the turnover made in the preceding year is below the threshold of EUR 25,000. It does not matter what legal form the business has. However, there are limitations regarding the type of taxable activities a business provides or receives. 

VAT registration threshold for non-resident businesses: No registration threshold.

VAT registration threshold for intra-EU distance sales of goods and B2C supplies of services: EU-wide harmonized threshold of EUR 10,000.

VAT registration threshold for non-EU established suppliers of Electronically Supplied Services: No registration threshold.

VAT Taxable Activities in Belgium

Domestic or non-resident businesses are liable for VAT if they supply goods or perform services classified as taxable activities. Liability for Belgian VAT exists if the supply is made on a regular, independent, for-profit basis, regardless of where economic activity is carried out.

From a VAT perspective, these operators are taxable and should register for tax. Here, we can find natural persons conducting professional activities, legal persons, and entities without legal status.

Types of taxable activities that trigger the imposition of VAT: 

  • The supply of goods and rendering of services in Belgium for consideration;
  • Import of goods;
  • Intra-community acquisition of goods for consideration;
  • Export to non-EU countries.

Other case scenarios exist where domestic or foreign businesses should impose Belgium VAT on their transactions. 

Tax Representative in Belgium

In most cases, having a fiscal representative established in Belgium for the VAT compliance duties of non-EU-established businesses is mandatory. 

As regards non-resident businesses, which have residency or place of establishment in the Community, there is no obligation to acquire the services of a fiscal representative. 

Still, the economic operator could acquire the professional to ease up and streamline compliance challenges for its operations in the country. 

VAT on Electronically Supplied Services in Belgium

Electronically Supplied Services 

Under the framework of EU VAT Directive 2006/112/EC, services rendered electronically, encompassing activities conducted via the Internet or through other digital networks, are classified as Electronically Supplied Services. These services are mainly automated, with minimal or no additional human intervention.

The fruitfulness of these services is closely linked to technology, which plays a crucial role in their uninterrupted and efficient execution.

In conformity with the provisions set out by the EU, Belgium has incorporated this harmonized definition of Electronically Supplied Services into its national legislation.

Within various legal jurisdictions, the use of terms such as “digital services,” “digital products,” and “electronic services” often initiates detailed discussions. These terms set forth the scope of what constitutes Electronically Supplied Services as defined by the EU VAT Directive.

Taxability Rules for ESS

B2B supply of electronically supplied services – For this purpose the general rules defining the place of supply should be used

B2C supply of electronically supplied services – Non-local companies should follow specifically designed rules for these services. The place of taxability for these services is always connected to the place of the recipient’s residence. 

Place of supply rules for distance sales of goods and B2C ESS – If the annual turnover of the EU supplier is less than EUR 10,000, the merchant can apply VAT rules of his country of residence or follow the OSS rules

Place of supply rules for distance sales of goods and B2C ESS supply of service – If the annual turnover of the supplier is above the threshold of EUR 10,000, the seller should impose the VAT rate of the country where the goods are dispatched or where the customer receiving the services is based

How much is VAT in Belgium for Electronically Supplied Services? 

VAT Rate Belgium: A standard VAT rate of 21% is applied in most cases on sales of Electronically Supplied Services 

Examples of taxable ESS in Belgium:
Supply of digital products, such as software, connected changes, and updates of the software;
Website supply, web-hosting, distance maintenance of programs and equipment 
Supply of music, films, and games, including games of chance and gambling games 
Supply of distance learning 
Access or downloading of music to a physical device
Access or downloading of the images, jingles, films, ringtones, and other audio output 

E-Commerce VAT Rules in Belgium

The E-Commerce Directive, promulgated on July 1, 2021, has been transposed into the VAT legislative frameworks of the Member States.

The idea behind the e-commerce package was to simplify the registration and reporting procedure for different types of local and cross-border transactions connected to online commerce. 

This legislative update is most vividly seen in the provisions that paved the way for expanding the scope of the transactions under the purview of EU-synchronized regulations belonging to E-commerce.

The EU’s harmonized rules cover the following domains:

  • Cross-border sales of low-valued goods, imported in shipments with an intrinsic value not exceeding EUR 150 from third countries or territories, performed by suppliers and entities considered as deemed suppliers, with an exemption for goods liable to excise taxation;
  • Transactions involving the intra-community distribution of goods by suppliers or deemed suppliers in specific circumstances. The deemed supplier provision also covers the sales of goods on a local level;
  • The delivery of B2C services by taxable entities either not domiciled within the EU or those domiciled within the Union but outside the purchaser’s domicile.

The promulgation of the E-Commerce legislative package as we can witness brought many significant changes within the EU e-commerce operative framework.

The E-Commerce VAT package made the following special schemes available:

  • Union One-Stop-Shop Scheme;
  • Non-Union One-Stop-Scheme;
  • Import One-Stop-Shop Scheme.

Overview of EU VAT Special Schemes 

The Non-Union Scheme can be used by:

Non-EU established businesses and those without fixed establishment in the EU. 

The Non-Union Scheme covers B2C supplies of services, and the law defines the place of supply as being within one of the Member States.  

The Union Scheme can be used by:

Taxable persons established in the EU for supplies of B2C services having a place of taxability other than the one where the supplier is established and for intra-community distance sales of goods. 

Taxable person not established in the EU for intra-community distance sales of goods 

Electronic Interface established or not established in the EU for intra-community distance sales of goods and for certain domestic supplies of goods.

Import Scheme can be used by:

Any taxable person who carries out distance sales of goods imported from third countries or third territories in consignments not exceeding the threshold of EUR 150 sold to customers based in one of the Member States.

Taxable persons established in the EU, taxable persons non-established in the EU, and electronic marketplaces are eligible to use this type of special scheme. 

OSS Return and Payment 

The rules of VAT Belgium do not provide a simplified procedure for the VAT registration of non-resident economic operators engaged in providing Electronically Supplied Services.

Non-resident businesses can adhere to one or more of the OSS simplified schemes, choosing Belgium as their Member State of Identification. If this isn’t the case, they can leverage the OSS(choosing another MSI) scheme and skip domestic registration obligations for this transaction. 

Should the supply of goods or services exceed these expressly indicated types of transactions, or should other operational parameters diverge from those established, non-resident entities should adhere to standard domestic registration and reporting mandates. 

OSS Return – In case Belgium is the Member State of Identification(MSI)
VAT Return NameOne Stop Shop Scheme(OSS)
Reporting PeriodQuarter
Submission DeadlineQ1-April 30; Q2-July 31:Q3-October 31; Q4-January 31
Payment DeadlineSame as for the electronic submission of declaration
Payment CurrencyEUR
Language German or English
Tax RepresentativeFor Union and Non-Union Scheme – No
IOSS – if the taxable person is established outside EU – Yes 
Input Tax CreditNot allowed in the OSS return 
Archiving10 years 

Electronic Platform and Deemed Supplier Rules 

Belgium has aligned its national laws with the European Union’s VAT regulations, particularly those outlining the concept of the “deemed supplier,” along with its scope and when it applies.

Under these rules, the digital platform operator becomes the deemed supplier when it intermediates between the underlying supplier and the final customer in the specific supply of goods. This designation kicks in under two main scenarios:

  • When goods valued at less than EUR 150 are imported from outside the EU and sold to EU consumers by the original seller;
  • When the goods are already in free circulation in the EU, without any price restrictions, and as such are sold by sellers outside the EU to EU customers.

This approach introduces new responsibilities and reshapes the transaction process between the original seller and the final consumer, especially for sales mediated by digital platforms.

The transaction is essentially split into two parts:

  1. The sale from the original seller to the digital platform;
  2. The subsequent sale from the platform to the end consumer.

Digital platforms acting as deemed suppliers should maintain detailed VAT records as any other VAT-registered business to ensure transparency and compliance, particularly during audits.

This guarantees a level playing field and streamlined VAT compliance for all parties involved in e-commerce.

Invoice Requirements in Belgium

General invoice information:

  • Date of Invoice issuance;
  • Invoice number;
  • Sequential Invoice Number;
  • The date on which the goods are delivered or services are performed is different from the invoice issuance date;
  • Advance payment information.

Seller information:

  • Business name;
  • Full address;
  • VAT number.

Buyer Information:

  • Full name;
  • Full address;
  • VAT number if the buyer is a legal person.

Fiscal Information:

  • Description and breakdown of the goods or services – quantity, discounts, unit price excl. VAT;
  • For advance payment: the date of payment if it differs from the invoice date;
  • Taxable amount;
  • The VAT rate(s) applied and the breakdown of VAT per rate;
  • Invoice Total.

Additional information is required in particular cases:

  • Exemption reference – guaranteed by precise norm;
  • Reverse charge – description;
  • Intra-community supply of goods;
  • Tax Representative information;
  • If the invoice is issued in foreign currency, the VAT amount must be converted into euros;
  • The mention of a particular tax regime.

Foreign Currency Invoice Belgium

In Belgium, it’s permissible to issue tax invoices in foreign currencies, but the requirements dictate that the total VAT amount should be indicated in EUR, as well as exchange rate and conversion details in both cases. It’s advisable to indicate the invoice total in euros as well. 

This regulation ensures that the sales tax amount paid corresponds to the deductible input tax.

VAT Returns in Belgium 

Domestic VAT returns 

Taxpayers registered for VAT Belgium are required to submit tax returns monthly or quarterly. As a general rule, the filings are done monthly. The deadline for submitting the declaration and settlement for both reporting periods is the 20th day of the month following the reporting period.

Penalties for late reporting and omitted declarations

Taxpayers should charge Belgium VAT on their transactions and submit the VAT return. If they do the return fillings after the deadline, they can expect to allocate more funds than they would if they had filled the return within the permitted time frame.  

When taxpayers don’t comply with the VAT rules in Belgium, the responsible tax authority can impose a fine for non-compliance. 

This type of additional expense, its amount, and how it is processed depends mainly on the following parameters regarding the return submission.

For VAT, fines are traditionally subdivided into proportional and non-proportional fines. These fines are further subdivided into a category of legal fines and a category of reduced administrative penalties. 

Penalties that non-compliant taxpayers can expect as regards late or erroneous periodical declarations: 

  • Missed submission of the Return – EUR 1.000 per declaration;
  • Late filing – EUR 100 per declaration and per month of delay;
  • Declaration not compiled correctly – EUR 80 for an accidental mistake or EUR 300 for a purposeful one;
  • Non-compliance with filing frequency €250 per declaration;
  • Failure to comply with filing procedure €400 per declaration.

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