Country Guide: Belgium
Looking to expand your e-commerce business to Belgium, then look no further, here is AVASK's guide to VAT in Belgium:
Country profile: Belgium
Belgian E-commerce Market Facts
|Population||11.5 million (January 2020)|
|Number of e-commerce users:||9.2 million (January 2020)|
|Revenue in e-commerce market:||£4.5 billion|
|Estimated market growth:||5.2% to £5.52 billion by 2024|
Belgian thresholds and additional summary
|Distance Selling Threshold (DST)||€35,000|
|VAT number format:||BE 1234567890|
|VAT return period:|
(dependant on annual turnover)
optional below €2,500,000.
|VAT return deadline||By the 20th of the month following period end|
|Annual VAT filing:||Not required|
|EC sales lists reporting||Monthly or quarterly (if intra-community supply of goods from last 4 quarters is less than €50,000)|
VAT in Belgium
Belgium is a member of the European Union (EU) and draws up its tax rules according to the laws or directives issued by the EU. The current VAT directive applies to all 27 member states of the European Union, and it governs the rules on VAT compliance, and in some part, covers the setting of VAT rates.
As an EU member state, Belgium is obliged to implement the VAT directives, which provides guidance on VAT. Where there is a conflict, the European Union’s directive takes precedence. Belgium is also a member of the European single market economy and uses the Euro as its currency. Locally, VAT is known as either: Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA), Belasting over de Toegevoegde Waarde (BTW) or Mehrwertsteuer (MwSt).
VAT registration in Belgium
Both EU and non-EU businesses may trade in Belgium without establishing a local presence. This is known as non-resident VAT trading. There is no VAT threshold in Belgium for the registration of non-resident traders, but you will need one to record transactions and your Belgian customers will want proof that you have obtained one.
There are strict rules on the situations where VAT registration is permitted. Common scenarios that require Belgian VAT registration include:
- Importing goods into Belgium;
- Organising live events, conferences, etc. in Belgium;
- Holding goods in a warehouse in Belgium as stock for resale;
- Buying goods within Belgium that are subsequently re-sold in-country;
- Selling goods from Belgium to other EU member states;
- Distance-selling to private individuals in Belgium, e.g. internet retailing or trading through an e-commerce platform.
Registering for Belgian VAT can take up to one month, but this varies from seller to seller and will depend on the specifics of an individual company.
Belgian VAT compliance
There are detailed rules controlling the recording and processing of Belgian transactions for VAT purposes. This includes guidelines on:
- Belgium invoice requirements;
- When to issue an Belgian tax invoice;
- Foreign currency reporting;
- Credit notes and corrections;
- Correcting entries from prior returns;
- Which accounting records must be maintained.
Belgian VAT Rates:
|VAT Rate||% Rate|