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Taxpayers established outside the European Union - Belgian VAT refund

Applying for the Belgian VAT refund as taxpayer established outside the European Union

  • Can I apply for Belgian VAT refund?

    Yes, provided that:

    • your enterprise (established outside the EU) carries out an activity that would be subject to VAT if it were carried out in the EU.
    • The expenses incurred were incurred solely for business purposes. VAT on private expenses is not refunded.
  • How to apply for Belgian VAT refund?

    Please fill in the online 803 form.

    The form is available in French, Dutch, German and English. It can be filled in by you or your representative.

    Till December 31st 2021, you can use the form to be sent back:

    • Preferably by e-mail: foreigners.team2@minfin.fed.be
    • Or by mail:
      SPF Finances
      Centre PME Matières Spécifiques - Team 2
      Bd du Jardin Botanique 50, boîte 3410 - 18P
      B-1000 Bruxelles

    Applying for the first time? First send an application for a VAT Refund ID number to foreigners.team2@minfin.fed.be. Indeed, we first need to grant you an ID number before you can apply.

    If you are a representative, you may need to apply for several VAT Refund identification numbers:

    • in your own company's name, if it is your first application
    • and in the applicant's name, if it is their first application.
  • I am applying (online) on behalf of my own company. Which information do I need to include?

    Section “Representative”

    You do not need to fill in this section.

    Section “Applicant”

    Mention your contact details.

    The e-mail address is particularly important since it is our only means of communication (sending requests for information and decisions).

    The pro rata field should only be filled in if you carry out both deductible and non-deductible transactions.

    In this case, the refund of the input tax paid is only allowed for the part of the value added tax that is proportional to the amount relating to the deductible transactions. The total amount of VAT refund applied for will be limited to the percentage mentioned in this box. This percentage is between 0 and 100%.

    Amount

    Mention the amount in Euro, with two decimal figures after the decimal point.

    This amount represents the total amount of deductible VAT of “transactions file” (see “Which documents to enclose with my application?”)

    Bank account

    Depending on the type of account, only the data related to the “SEPA bank account” or the “NON-SEPA bank account” needs to be filled in.

    SEPA countries are the following: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland.

  • I apply online as representative. Which information do I need to include?

    Section “Representative”

    Mention your contact details.

    Your e-mail address is particularly important since it is our only means of communication (sending requests for information and decisions).

    You must attach a mandate (in PDF format, maximum 15MB). It does not have to be legalised. If the refund is to be made to the bank account of the authorised representative, the mandate must expressly authorise this.

    Section “Applicant”

    Mention the contact details of the applicant.

    In the “e-mail address” field, mention:

    • either the applicant's e-mail address. In this case, they will also receive communications related to the application.
    • or your own e-mail address, if you do not want the applicant to receive communications related to the application.

    The pro rata field should only be filled in if the applicant carries out both deductible and non-deductible transactions.

    In this case, the refund of the input tax paid is only allowed for the part of the value added tax that is proportional to the amount relating to the deductible transactions. The total amount of VAT refund applied for will be limited to the percentage mentioned in this box. This percentage is between 0 and 100%.

    Amount

    Mention the amount in Euro, with two decimal figures after the decimal point.

    This amount represents the total amount of deductible VAT of “transactions file” (see “Which documents to enclose with my application?”) .

    Bank account

    Depending on the type of account, only the data related to the “SEPA bank account” or the “NON-SEPA bank account” needs to be filled in.

    SEPA countries are the following: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland.

  • Which documents to enclose with my application?

    How to add files?

    • Transaction file: you must use  this template (XLSX, 144.5 KB).
      The format must remain .xlsx (or .xls) (maximum 15 MB)
    • Supporting file(s): in PDF format (maximum 15 MB per file).
      Upload these files according to the order mentioned below. Keep the number of files to a minimum. If you can, preferably combine all documents into one file (according to the order mentioned below).

    List of supporting file(s)

    1. Taxpayer status certificate or IRS certificate (for the USA)
      • The document must be less than one year old.
      • The document must be translated into Dutch, French, English or German.
      • If you submit several applications in one year, you should only include this document in the first application for that year.
      + for legal entities: a legal copy of the latest balance sheet and articles of association of the company, including amendments which have been brought to it.
    2. Copies of invoices
      • Invoices must be listed according to their order in the “transaction file”.
      • These invoices must be detailed (e.g. no summary invoice per month). If that is not the case, they will be rejected.
    3. In the case of imports, add a copy of the invoice and the relevant import document.
    4. Copies of credit notes received.
    5. If the invoice refers to a contract, add a copy of the contract.

    How to speed up the processing of my application?

    If we do not receive all the information we need to process your application, we may ask you for additional information. This will delay the procedure and therefore your refund (2 to 4 months of delay).

    Be as precise as possible: describe your company’s activity as well as the reason for purchasing the goods and/or services in Belgium. Also indicate whether these goods have been resold.

    We ask you therefore to enclose the following documents with your application:

    Type of expense Document to be provided
    Truck expenses (transport companies)

    In your first application and when changing vehicles:

    • The number of trucks you own (e.g. by enclosing a copy of your balance sheet, in which the trucks are listed).
    • copies of the registration certificates of the trucks
    Van expenses
    • Copy of the registration certificate
    • Or, for more than 10 vehicles: a list of the company's vehicles (make, model, type [N1, N2 etc.], registration plate number)
    Car expenses
    • Copy of the registration certificate
    Restaurant and hotel expenses
    • Proof that the expense was incurred in connection with the supply of goods or services, i.e. the outgoing invoice or contract
    • The identity of the person who made the expenses and their function within the company
    Training in Belgium followed by a member of your staff
    • The document proving that this person is employed in the company
    Purchase of goods in Belgium and resale of these goods
    • A copy of the invoice for the sale of these goods.
    Expenses related to the construction of a building in Belgium for a client
    • Copy of the outgoing invoice for works carried out in Belgium

  • I have submitted my refund application via the online form, but I have not received any acknowledgement of receipt. What must I do?

    If you do not receive an acknowledgement of receipt within 24 hours after submitting your application, please contact us directly: foreigners.team2@minfin.fed.be. We will check the data you have entered and change the e-mail address if necessary.

  • When to apply for Belgian VAT refund?

    You can apply for a refund of VAT for a calendar year no later than 30 September of the following year.

    For example: for invoices from 2021, you can apply for a refund till September 30th 2022.

  • How many applications can I submit per year? Which is the minimum amount?

    At most 5 applications.

    You can submit a maximum of 5 applications related to expenses in one calendar year.

    The period covered by this application can be:

    Either several months: minimum 3 months and maximum 11 months
    Or a calendar year

    Applications covering several months

    Refund periods may not overlap. For example, you cannot submit one application covering the period from 1st January to 31 March and another for the period from 1 March to 31 May.

    The application for VAT refund can cover a period of less than three months when that period is the balance of a calendar year (i.e. November and December or December). For example, if you have already made two applications for a period of 5 months each, you can make an application for two months.

    Application covering a calendar year

    You can submit an application covering the whole refund year after the end of the year. This application can only include VAT amounts that are not included in previously submitted refund applications.

    Minimum amount (s) per application:

    If your application is for a period between 3 and 11 months: the minimum amount is EUR 200.

    If your application is for a period of one calendar year or the balance of one calendar year: the minimum amount is EUR 25.

    If the refundable balance is less than EUR 25 after processing the application, there will be no refund.

  • Which deadline for the refund?

    The Belgian authorities have 4 months (as from receipt of the application) to make a decision. This decision period may be extended to 6 or 8 months if additional information is requested.

    We will inform you of this decision by e-mail.

    Once a decision has been taken (and if positive), the amount will be reimbursed within 10 working days.

    Do you have a question about your refund? Please contact us, quoting the reference number you received by e-mail after submitting your refund request.

  • In which cases is the refund limited or refused?

    Due to regulatory limitations

    • VAT on car expenses is limited to 35% (fuel etc.).
    • VAT on van expenses is limited to 85% (fuel etc.).
    • VAT on restaurant and hotel expenses is not refundable (Art. 45 §3, 3° of the VAT Code).
      Unless the restaurant and hotel costs have been incurred by the staff members in the context of a supply of goods or services (art 45 §3, 3°, a of the VAT Code). In this case, you are required to enclose proof of this supply of goods or services (outgoing invoice or contract) and the identity of the person who made the expenses, as well as their function within the company.
    • If Belgian VAT is not due, we will not refund it. In this case, you must apply for the refund from your supplier (credit note and new invoice).
    • A cash receipt is not sufficient to obtain a refund.

    If your company has a limited right of deduction

    If your company has a limited right of deduction in the country where it is established, this limitation also applies to the refund of Belgian VAT.

    This is the case, for example, for financial institutions, insurance companies and the real estate sector.

    If your company is concerned, mention the deductible proportion in your refund application.