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Belgium VAT guide 2024

VAT compliance and reporting rules in Belgium 2024

Below is summary of the major rules provided under Belgian VAT rules (Value Added Tax Code) and Royal Decrees). Plus adoption of the EU VAT Directive. Check our country VAT guides for other jurisdictions.

Our VAT Calculator & VAT Filer products on a single platform, VAT Calc, are unique in that they come with all of this included out-of-the box for Belgium and scores of other countries around the world.

Belgium VAT country guide

Highlights Local term Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA); and Belasting over de toegevoegde waarde (BTW)
VAT Rates - standard 21%
VAT Rates - reduced 12%; 6%; 0%
Rates news Temporary energy VAT cut made permanent
VAT number format BE 1012345698
Registration threshold €25,000 domestic only - must register with VAT office but not required to charge or submit VAT returns. €6,390 sharing economy earnings; Non-residents must register immediately. €10,000 for pan-EU digital services and goods OSS return. Intra-community acquisitions €11,200
VAT Group Yes
VAT recovery foreign businesses Yes
Fiscal Representative Required for most non-EU businesses with guarantee to state (UK and Norway excluded)
Currency Euro €, January 1999
Administration Introduction VAT was introduced in January 1971. It is a founding member of the European Union
VAT laws Value Added Tax Code; Royal and Ministerial Decrees; Also EU VAT Directive which takes supremacy as part of EU membership
Tax Authorities Ministry of Finance - AAFisc/AGFisc for audits; and local VAT offices for registrations and compliance
VAT Rates Standard rate 21%
Rates news Temporary energy VAT cut made permanent
Reduced rates 12%: restaurant and café non-alcoholic services; public housing; 6%: food and beverages services; basic foodstuffs; books, ebooks, journals; hotel and overnight accommodation; domestic heating; medicine; minor repair services; passenger transport; bikes
Zero-rated Intra-community passenger travel by air and sea; Exports and intra-community supplies of goods; gold to central banks; e-journals published weekly
Exempt Education; financial services; health, hospital, doctors,  and social welfare; postal; letting immovable property; betting and gambling; welfare services; sports centres; certain theatrical, music, museums, exhibitions, movies, religion; non-political or for-profit membership clubs;
Scope of VAT Scope of VAT Provision of domestic taxable goods and services; EU imports; intra-community acquisitions; Distance selling of goods B2C (OSS or IOSS); receipt of services or goods via the reverse charge
Time of supply Goods & Services (general rule) The earlier of the provision of the taxable supply or payment date for the goods or services. This is overruled by obligations to issue an invoice by the 15th of the month following the reporting period. Thus advance payments will trigger the VAT liability
Reverse Charge Early of issuance on invoice or 15th of the month following the reporting period. Payments override this rules.
Continuous  Services At time of supply or payment for services. But at least once a year if not invoice / contract provisions
Imports At the time of postponement. Deferred import VAT possible (see separate section)
Goods on approval and return
Registration VAT registration threshold €25,000 domestic only - must register with VAT office but not required to charge or submit VAT returns. €6,390 sharing economy earnings; Non-residents must register immediately. €10,000 for pan-EU digital services and goods OSS return. Intra-community acquisitions €10,000
Voluntary VAT registration For non-residents only when reverse charge on immovable property or when not immovable property, if recoverable input VAT is more than €10,000 per annum
VAT number format BE 1012345698
VAT Group Yes, optional. If shared; ownership (more that 10%); shared management or reporting; or common economic goal including serving each other for goal. Non-VAT holding co's excluded. Single VAT return with shared liability. EC Sales listing remain separated with sub-VAT number for each member. Non-residents without permanent establishment are excluded.
Non-residents Non-EU must appoint a fiscal representative. No registration threshold. No other major differences.
Fiscal Representative Required for non-EU businesses with bank guarantee to the state based on estimated liabilities. Since Oct 2021, ranges from €7.5k to €1m. The resident representative is therefore not held liable to their client's VAT. Businesses from states with Mutual Assistance agreements excluded (e.g. UK and Norway). Specialist 'global fiscal representatives' for non-resident importers with onward delivery can act for VAT obligations instead of supplier.
Digital Services Belgium participates in the EU single  One Stop Shop (OSS) VAT return for digital, telecoms and broadcast services. This was formerly the MOSS regime until 30 June 2021
Pre VAT registration costs Permitted for set-up and preparation costs
VAT Invoices Issuance By 15th day of the month following the VAT reporting period end
Content Date; unique sequential invoice number; name and address of supplier and customer; Customer VAT number for intra-communality supplies or reverse charge; date of supply or advance payment if different from invoice date; Description, quantity or units etc of supply of goods or services; taxable amount; VAT charged; rate (broken out if supplies at different rates); total; explanation if zero-rated supply; fiscal representative's details if applicable
E-invoices B2B mandatory e-invoicing Jan 2026
Simplified invoices Invoices not exceeding €100. Not permitted for intra-community supplies
Self-billing Permitted with agreement between both side. Acceptance may be recognised by mere payment of invoice. May also use a third-party
Retention of invoices Seven years (ten years for immovable property). Invoices may be converted to digital with sufficient measure to ensure integrity and easy access. Paper invoices must be retained in Belgium; electronic anywhere
FX rules Use the European Central Bank at the transaction. Use the Belgian National Bank for non-€ currencies.
Invoice corrections Via credit note or correction document. It must reference the relevant invoice number, and explain reason for credit or adjustment
Compliance Right to deduct Excluded: staff accommodation and food unless away from office for provision of services; entertainment, including alcohol; some car and fuel costs restricted;  business gifts up to €50l 
Call-off stock VAT registration requirement eased for non-residents with imports or intra-community supplies into Belgium to single customer's site under their control. In accordance with EU's 2020 Quick Fixes harmonisations. The goods must be transferred or returned within twelve months.
Reverse Charge - B2B Non-residents must use general reverse charge if customer Belgian or non-Belgian (with fiscal representative). Domestic reverse charge applies on: certain gold supplies; construction work and supply of related workers; natural gas and electricity; carbon credit trading
Cash discounts No requirement for credit note if discount taken up.
Bad debt relief Permitted if can demonstrate efforts to recover or liquidation of the customer. Can be processed through VAT return within three years of liquidation.
Import VAT deferment Yes, via VAT return with application for licence for resident or non-resident businesses.  Import with intra-community supply permitted if performed by importer, who may use global fiscal representative.
VAT warehouse Certain goods (commodities) may be traded VAT exempt in licensed VAT warehouses. Bonded warehouses for customs (exempt from duties and import VAT) also available.
Supply & install If imported goods by non-resident used for install and their make-up is substantially unchanged, treated as supplied on location. This would require a Belgian VAT registration, and not B2B supply of services with reverse charge.
Use and enjoyment services
Capital goods adjustment period Movable property: five years. Immovable property: 15 years
Non-residents VAT recovery EU non-Belgian businesses may recover any Belgian VAT through an online application to their home tax office (8th Directive reclaim) without supporting invoices. Quarterly claims of >€400 or a final annual claim >€50. invoices above €1,000 and €250 for fuel are required. Any non-EU businesses will have to apply to the Belgian tax office with paper-based claims including supporting invoices. No fiscal representative requirements but will require official proof of taxable status from home tax office. Same limits as EU claimant. Limited recoverability of entertaining costs. There is no requirement for reciprocity agreement with the country of Belgium.
VAT on Digital Services Belgium follows the EU VAT on digital services regime, introduced in 2015. This includes participation in the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) single EU VAT return (formerly MOSS until 30 June 2021)
Live events
Distance selling threshold for goods Nil. Following the EU ecommerce VAT package reforms from 1 July 2021, local Belgian VAT must be charged on all sales by non-Belgian EU e-commerce sellers shipping from within the EU. Imported distance sales not exceeding €150 liable to Belgian sales VAT with  IOSS return option
Cash accounting scheme Permitted for B2C suppliers. Flat rate scheme, including B2C-only transactions. No application required. Threshold of €750,000 per annum turnover
VAT registered cash tills Yes, for catering establishments with annual turnover about €25,000 per annum, LE SYSTÈME DE CAISSE ENREGISTREUSE for the HORECA sector
Statute of limitations Three years after the end of the accounting year of the transaction(s)
VAT Returns Frequency Monthly. Quarterly if revenues do not exceed €2.5m per annum (energy and mobile phone or computer chip companies excluded). Any business with intra-community goods supplies above €50,000 per quarter must file monthly
Filing method Electronic only via InterVAT portal
Deadlines (inc payments) Returns and any VAT due must be submitted by the 20th (or next working day) of the month following the reporting period. Monthly filers must pay in advance 1-months VAT liability (Nov of prior year) in the Dec; and quarterly filers pay 1 quarter's VAT in advance
VAT credits Refunded through VAT return on request
Corrections Either by corrective return within six months or through next return. Errors above €25,000 must use corrective return
Non-residents Same terms as resident taxpayers
Other filings European Sales Listing for goods and services filled with VAT return (monthly or quarterly); Annual Domestic Customer Listing for goods and services above €250 in the year; filed by end of March following year.  Intrastat monthly filings due by 10th of the month following if above thresholds: arrivals €1.5m per annum; dispatches €1m per annum
Penalties & interest €100 per month for a missed VAT return. Late payments charged at 8% per month with risk of additional 15% charge. Fines for incorrectly reported VAT liabilities range from 5% to 20%.Fraud will result in fines up to 200% and potential criminal proceedings
B2C Distance Selling returns Belgium participates in the One-Stop-Shop OSS pan-EU VAT return for distance selling, introduced in July 2021.


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