Periodic return

Periodic VAT Return

  • What is a periodic VAT return?

    One of the purposes of the periodic VAT return is to inform the Federal Public Service (FOD), Finance Department of:

    • the value of transactions carried out with customers (outgoing transactions) and the VAT due on those transactions;
    • the value of transactions with suppliers and service providers (incoming transactions) and the deductible VAT.

    This return clearly shows the difference between the VAT due and the deductible VAT.

  • Am I required to submit periodic VAT returns?

    Yes, as soon as your company is subject to VAT and you have a right to deduct VAT. You can submit periodic VAT returns on a monthly or quarterly basis.

    On the other hand, you are exempt from the obligation to submit periodic VAT returns in the following cases:

    • your business is subject to the exemption scheme;
    • your business is subject to the special agricultural scheme;
    • your business only supplies goods or services which are exempt under Article 44 of the Belgian VAT Code (Btw-Wetboek) and for which you are not entitled to deduct VAT;
    • your business carries out certain activities and does not exercise the right to deduct VAT; these include the activities of laundries, dyers, dry cleaners, businesses in inland navigation, sale of waste materials, and horse racing betting agencies.
  • Do I have to submit monthly or quarterly VAT returns?

    The submission of monthly VAT returns is the general rule.

    By derogation from this rule, you can opt for quarterly VAT returns under certain conditions. The conditions are:

    • your business’s turnover does not exceed EUR 2 500 000 (excluding VAT);
    • your business’s turnover does not exceed EUR 250 000 (excluding VAT) for all supplies of:
      • energy products (mineral oils or other products intended for use as fuel);
      • mobile telephony devices, computers and their peripheral devices, accessories and components;
      • land vehicles fitted with an engine subject to regulations concerning registration.

    Please note! You cannot opt for quarterly VAT returns if you are obliged to submit monthly intra-Community statements. This is the case if the total amount of exempted intra-Community supplies and sales in the context of triangular traffic exceeded EUR 50 000 in the quarter in question or in one of the previous four quarters.

  • When am I required to submit periodic VAT returns?

    You are required to submit your VAT return no later than on the 20th of the month following the month or quarter in which the transactions took place.

    For example:

    • the VAT return for January must be submitted by 20 February at the latest
    • the VAT return for the first quarter must be submitted by 20 April at the latest

    During the summer holidays, you are allowed to defer submission of your VAT return:

    • for businesses that submit monthly returns:
      • the VAT return for June must be submitted by 10 August at the latest (instead of 20 July)
      • the VAT return for July must be submitted by 10 September at the latest (instead of 20 August)
    • for businesses that submit quarterly returns:
      • the VAT return for the second quarter must be submitted by 10 August at the latest (instead of 20 July)
  • How do I have to submit VAT returns?

    In principle, you should always submit your periodic VAT return electronically via the Intervat application.

    Only if you or your agent is unable to submit the returns electronically may you be exempted from the obligation to submit them electronically. For example:

    • you do not have the necessary IT resources;
    • a foreign authorised representative is responsible for submitting the VAT return;
    • in the event of technical problems.

    In such cases, you must submit a signed, written statement setting out the reasons to your competent tax office. You must also request blank return forms (No 625) from the office, fill them in and send them to the scanning centre within the prescribed period.

  • When am I required to pay the VAT due?

    You are required to pay the VAT due no later than on the 20th of the month following the month or quarter in which the transactions took place.

    Please note! The holiday scheme does not apply to payments. Although you are allowed to defer the submission of your VAT return, you are still required to pay the VAT due no later than on the 20th of the month following the month or quarter in which the transactions took place.

  • Am I required to pay an advance?

    Yes, you are required to pay an advance once a year.

    Businesses that submit monthly returns

    You are required to pay an advance on the tax for the transactions for the month of December of the same year.

    You have to pay this advance on 24 December at the latest.

    There are two ways to determine the amount of the advance that you are required to pay.

    • You pay the tax that your company actually owes for the transactions it carried out from 1 December to 20 December. You enter that amount in box 91 of the December VAT return.
    • You pay a flat-rate advance equal to the tax due for the transactions for the month of November. You do not enter anything in box 91.

    Businesses that submit quarterly returns

    You are required to pay an advance on the tax for the transactions of the fourth quarter of the same year.

    You have to pay this advance on 24 December at the latest.

    There are two ways to determine the amount of the advance that you are required to pay.

    • You pay the tax that your company actually owes in respect of the transactions it carried out from 1 October to 20 December. You enter that amount in box 91 of the VAT return for the fourth quarter.
    • You pay a flat-rate advance equal to the tax due for the transactions for the fourth quarter. You do not enter anything in box 91.