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VAT in Belgium

VAT Guide for EU countries within Europe

VAT in Belgium

Whether you’re a European or non-European company, establishing certain activities in Belgium may mean you need to register for VAT. You can use a fiscal representative or tax advisor to draw up your VAT, Intrastat and ESL returns with total peace of mind in Belgium.

If you deal with companies in Belgium, you may be able to claim a Belgian VAT refund.

Here you can find the specifics of VAT regulations in Belgium, which work alongside the harmonised framework of the EU as explained in our guide to intra-Community VAT obligations.

Basic information

EU membership 1957
ISO code BE
VAT introduced in Belgium 1971
VAT name in Belgium “Belasting over de toegevoegde waarde (BTW) Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA)”
VAT ID format in Belgium BE0999999999 / BE1999999999
Territories with special status in Belgium n/a

VAT rates in Belgium

Standard VAT rate 21 %
Reduced VAT rate (1) 12 %
Reduced VAT rate (2) 6 %
Super reduced VAT rate 12 %
VAT parking rate 12 %
Zero VAT rate yes

Thresholds triggering VAT reporting obligations in Belgium

Intrastat threshold at introduction 1 500 000 EUR
Intrastat threshold on dispatch 1 000 000 EUR
Distance selling threshold As of 1st July 2021, the threshold is EUR 10,000 for all intra-Community distance sales.

Reporting frequency in Belgium

Intrastat declaration Monthly depending on threshold
EC Sales List (ESL) declaration monthly, quarterly depending on threshold/conditions
VAT returns monthly, quarterly depending on threshold/for certain services
Reporting currency EUR

VAT-related penalties in Belgium

Failure to file a VAT return Penalty of EUR 100 per declaration and per month overdue, with a maximum of EUR 1,000.
Late payment of VAT Penalty of 15% of the amount of VAT due per month of delay, and interest of 0.8% per month overdue.
Failure to report ESL/DEB Penalty of EUR 25 to 3,000 per return.

Useful links on VAT in Belgium

Tax Authorities in Belgium Tax authorities
Ministry of Finance in Belgium Ministry of Finance
Check a VAT number in Belgium Check a VAT number
EU VAT Guide EU VAT Guide
Belgium, a founding member of the European Union and a member of Benelux, is the “headquarters” of the European Union. Belgium is home to the headquarters of the European Commission.

Belgium, the 9th largest economy in the European Union, is strategically located in the heart of Europe, between Germany, France and the United Kingdom, making it a true international trading platform. This is reinforced by the importance of the port of Antwerp, the second largest in Europe, which allows Belgium to be one of the main entry points for many imports.
These are all reasons for operators to develop activities whichmay require VAT registration and various obligations in terms of returnd. It is in the interest of companies to appoint a fiscal representative in Belgium.

The Belgian regulations, codified in the Belgian VAT Code, were legislated in the Law of 3rd July 1969.
Any foreign operator must, in principle, be registered for VAT in Belgium if they carry out transactions in Belgium that are subject to the Belgian VAT Code and liable for tax in Belgium. This also gives them the right to deduct. However, in the context of certain non-Intra-Community transactions, there are a number of exceptions to this obligation.

The current VAT rates in Belgium are as follows:

  • Standard VAT rate: 21 %
  • Reduced VAT rate (1): 12 %
  • Reduced VAT rate (2): 6 %
  • Super reduced VAT rate: 12 %
  • VAT parking rate: 12 %
  • Zero VAT rate yes

Certain transactions in Europe may require registering for VAT and filingVAT returns in Belgium:

To check if your activities involve VAT obligations in Belgium, use our VAT simulator or contact us.

When do e-traders need to register for VAT in Belgium?

In Belgium just like in other European Union countries, e-traders must register for VAT:

  • when the overall threshold of EUR 10,000 for Intra-Community distance selling is exceeded and they have not opted to pay the VAT in Belgium via the One Stop Shop,
  • or when they hold a stock of goods in Belgium and must report the stock supply transactions.

What are the VAT obligations for e-traders in Belgium ?

In addition to VAT registration, e-traders must:

  • Apply the defined VAT ratesin Belgium: standard rate (21 %), reduced rates 1 and 2 (12 % and 6 %).
  • Declare stock transfers between marketplaces‘ storage platforms, as well as the supply translactions for these stocks.
  • File periodic returns (VAT returns, intrastat, ESL), to ensure their VAT compliance in Belgium.

> Learn more about the VAT & e-commerce regulations and the VAT regime for logistics platforms in Europe.

Why identify yourself to VAT in Belgium?

You may need a VAT number in Belgium to fulfil your tax obligations in this country. Indeed, certain activities such as sales, purchases and subcontracting operations may require VAT identification. To check if your activities require VAT identification in Belgium, use our VAT simulator or contact us.

VAT Belgian is named “Belasting over de toegevoegde waarde (BTW) Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA)”and the VAT numbers in Belgium have the following structure: BE0999999999 / BE1999999999.

How do I get a VAT number in Belgium?

The administrations in charge of in Belgium VAT are the following: Tax authorities, Ministry of Finance.

Registering for VATis a relatively simple formality compared to setting up a company, but in addition to obtaining a VAT number in Belgiumyou’ll need to file periodic VAT returns to ensure your VAT compliance. Which is why we recommend foreign companies use a fiscal representative or tax advisor.

Companies with a VAT number in Belgium must complete and submit VAT returns in Belgium detailing all taxable income (sales) and expenses (costs), with the following periodicity: monthly, quarterly depending on threshold/for certain services.

Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Belgian authorities for the deposit and payment of VAT will result in the payment of penalties . For this reason, it is recommended that foreign companies use the services of an agent or a tax representative.

These penalties are defined as follows in Belgium:

  • Penalties for failure to file a VAT return in Belgium: Penalty of EUR 100 per declaration and per month overdue, with a maximum of EUR 1,000.
  • Penalties for late payment of VAT in Belgium: Penalty of 15% of the amount of VAT due per month of delay, and interest of 0.8% per month overdue.

In addition to VAT returns, companies may be required to provide the Belgian authorities with Intrastat & EC Sales List returns:

  • Intrastat returns enable the Belgian authorities to compile foreign trade statistics.
    Companies must file these Intrastat returns as soon their turnover reaches the threshold.
    Intrastat threshold at introductio n in Belgium (1 500 000 EUR HT/an)
    – Intrastat threshold on dispatch in Belgium (1 000 000 EUR HT/an).
    Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Belgian authorities for the filing of these Intrastat returns wil incur a penalty payment for the company.
  • The sales summary returns (EC Sales List or ESL) or purchases (EC Purchases List or EPL) in Belgium are for tax purposes.
    Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the Belgian authorities for the filing of these ESL returns wil incur a penalty payment for the company.

In principle, a non-resident company in Belgium can recover all or part of the VAT incurred on its expenses.

There are three different scenarios:

  • The company, whether it is established within the European Union or not, is already registered for VAT in Belgium, or is obliged to register for VAT in Belgium. In this case, it must apply for a VAT refund via the periodic VAT return filed in Belgium, according to a periodicity:monthly, quarterly depending on threshold/for certain services.
  • The company is established within the European Union, is not registered for VAT in Belgium and is not required to do so. In this case, a VAT refund should be requested via the tax authorities’ electronic portal in the country where the company is established.
  • The company is not established within the European Union and is not required to register for VAT in Belgium. In this case, they must use the services of a fiscal representative to carry out what is required by the Belgian authorities on their behalf.
    > Learn more about our VAT recovery services.


*This information is subject to change without notice.

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