Refund of Belgian VAT
Any company established in the European Union which does not conduct taxable operations in Belgium can recover its Belgian VAT, deductible as business expenses. To assist our clients in handling these administrative procedures, we have prepared an article which summarises the factors to be taken into account to submit a VAT refund request in Belgium. This page is intended solely for businesses established in the European Union. If your company is established outside the European Union, it is also possible to recover your VAT; however, you must first ensure that there is a bilateral agreement between Belgium and your country. You can contact us for further information.
Rules for recovering VAT in Belgium
First of all, you must identify which expenses are deductible and which are not deductible. Below is a summary table; note, however, that this list is not exhaustive and that certain categories have specific provisos.
|Hotel and accomodation||NO|
|Conferences and seminars||YES|
Deadline for submission of the request
You must submit the VAT refund request electronically by 30th September of the year n+1. This process must be completed on the website of your country’s tax authority. You can submit a request quarterly or annually. Be aware, however, that you must respect the minimum refund amount of 400 euros for a quarterly request and 50 euros for an annual request.
When the VAT recovery request is submitted, copies of the purchase invoices and/or import documents must be attached. If the attached file exceeds 5Mb (maximum file size), you must attach only the invoices for the highest amounts. However, the Belgian tax authority may subsequently request you to send all the invoices by mail.
VAT refund request processing period in Belgium
The European directive states that the member country has 4 months with effect from the date of receipt of a request to notify the applicant of its decision to approve or refuse a request, or to seek additional information. In reality, however, it generally takes about 6 months to get a response from the Belgian authorities. Once the request is approved, payment is made within 10 days. The European Commission has made available online a document summarising the applicable rules in Belgium. This detailed document may be consulted by following this link.
To ensure that the refund request and the procedure to be followed are properly conducted, you can appoint a tax agent or representative who will handle all these formalities. This is common practice when dealing with large amounts or the expenses require in-depth analysis to understand the rules concerning deductibility.
ASD is a tax firm specialising in the recovery of VAT. For more information about our services please visit our dedicated page or contact us via our contact form. We shall be delighted to assist you in handling your procedures and to deal with your refund requests. Be aware that we can recover your VAT, not only in Belgium, but also in the 27 other member States of the European Union.