VAT Manuals
VAT Belgium Guide

VAT Belgium Guide

Read our guide and find out everything you need to know about VAT in Belgium, from registration to filing, and more.

If you’re planning to extend your ecommerce business into Belgium, there’s a good chance you’ll be required to register for VAT. In this guide, we'll explain in a little bit more detail how VAT works in Belgium, making your entry into this market smoother and more informed.

What is the Belgian VAT rate?

In Belgium, VAT is known as BTW (Belasting over de Toegevoegde Waarde) in Dutch and TVA (Taxe sur la Valeur Ajoutée) in French. The Belgian VAT system includes several rates designed to encompass various goods and services:

Type of VAT VAT Rate Applicable Goods/Services
Standard VAT 21% All other taxable goods and services.
Reduced VAT rate (1) 12% Сertain products and services including some foodstuffs, agricultural supplies, certain energy products, construction work, and some social housing.
Reduced VAT (2) 6% Includes some foodstuffs and drinks, water supplies, pharmaceutical products and medical equipment, books (including e-books), newspapers, hotel accommodation, clothing and household linen, and entrance to amusement parks and cultural events.
Zero rate VAT 0% Includes some daily and weekly newspapers, passenger transport, and certain recycled materials and by-products.

Registering for VAT in Belgium

The VAT registration threshold in Belgium for resident businesses is €25,000 in annual turnover (nil for non-resident). This means that if your business’s taxable turnover is below this amount, you are not required to register for VAT, but you can choose to do so voluntarily.

The EU has now removed country-specific thresholds, which means that since July 1, 2021, Belgium, as with every other EU country, has a distance-selling threshold of €10,000. So, if your company’s annual turnover for cross-border sales with Belgium exceeds €10,000, you’ll need to register for VAT. If you store products in Belgium or are part of an FBA (Fulfilled-by-Amazon) program that includes Belgium, you’re also liable for VAT.

To obtain a Belgian VAT number, businesses established in the country should apply through the local tax office. Non-resident companies must apply through the Central VAT Office for Foreign Taxpayers (BCAE) in Brussels. The application must be submitted in the official languages of Belgium (Dutch, French, or German). The process usually takes about three to four weeks.

Fiscal representative in Belgium

Non-EU businesses that sell to customers in Belgium are required to have fiscal representation. The appointed fiscal representative will be responsible for the submission of VAT returns on behalf of the client and jointly liable for the Belgian VAT due.

Belgian VAT return filing and penalties

Businesses with an annual turnover exceeding €2,500,000 should file monthly VAT returns, whereas those with a turnover below this threshold may opt for quarterly or even yearly filings (although under certain circumstances a monthly filing is still required). VAT returns should be filed electronically through the INTERVAT portal.

The filing due date is the 20th day of the month following the end of the reporting period (whether quarterly or monthly). VAT payments must be made at the time of submission for monthly filings (with the exception of December when payments must be made before the 24th). Payments for quarterly filings must be prepaid every month.

Late filing can result in fines ranging from €100 to €1,000, depending on how late the return is. The penalty for late payment is 15% of the amount due (for every month it goes unpaid), with interest of 0.8% for each month the payment is overdue.

Belgian Intrastat declarations

Both resident and non-resident businesses in Belgium are required to submit Intrastat returns. All Intrastat returns need to be filed by the 20th of the month, with electronic filings preferred by the Belgian authorities. The annual threshold for filing an Intrastat return is €1,500,000 for arrivals and €1,000,000 for dispatches. 

Reverse charge in Belgium

The reverse charge mechanism in Belgium is relevant for certain domestic transactions and EU cross-border supplies and involves the recipient rather than the supplier calculating and reporting VAT. This mechanism helps streamline transactions and reduces the need for foreign suppliers to register for VAT in the country. 

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when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries
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