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Specific regime “events, fairs and merchandising”

  • Who can benefit from the specific regime “events, fairs and merchandising”?

    As a foreign person liable to tax (not established in Belgium) you can benefit from the specific regime if you:

    • organise events, fairs or merchandising events in Belgium and provide access to these events on payment of an admission fee.
    • take part in events, fairs or merchandising events in Belgium and sell goods or provide services during these events. For instance: stallholders, merchants, fairground vendors, music groups.
    • take part in events, fairs or merchandising events in Belgium as intermediaries specialising in merchandising.
  • Which requirements are necessary to benefit from the specific regime “events, fairs and merchandising”?

    The specific regime is optional.

    The annual turnover (from January 1st to December 31st) cannot exceed 200,000 euros.

    If the threshold of 200,000 euros is exceeded, you must immediately notify your tax office by e-mail in order to switch to the normal system for filing periodic VAT returns.

  • How to obtain a Belgian VAT number?

    In order to obtain a Belgian VAT number, you have to fill in  form 604A (PDF, 158.92 KB) and send it back:

    • preferably by e-mail, to: foreigners.team2@minfin.fed.be
    • or by mail, to:
      SPF Finances
      AGFisc - PME - Centre Matières Spécifiques - Gestion - Team 2
      Avenue Prince de Liège 133 bte 735
      5100 Jambes

    It can also be filled in by your authorised representative. 

    The average time taken to issue a Belgian VAT number is 10 working days. So be sure to submit your application at least two weeks before the event you wish to attend.

  • Which documents should I have during an event, a fair or a merchandising event?

    During an event, a fair or a merchandising event, you should have the following documents:

    • a receipts journal for sales to individuals who purchase goods for their own private use, and for which an invoice is not required.
      This receipts journal may be kept electronically or on paper (not on loose sheets) and must contain:
      • an entry per sale or an overall daily entry, broken down by VAT rate,
      • the supporting documents used to justify the entries (detailed or global) must be kept and numbered. They must detail the revenue and the nature of the goods sold.
      If the initial stock (prepared for the first day of the fair) contains a description, a number and the selling price of the goods, it is not compulsory to keep a receipts journal.
    • an initial and final stock
    • duplicate invoices (numbered consecutively) if invoiced to a person liable to tax.
      For purchases of goods or services for private use by individuals, whether or not they are subject to VAT, there is no obligation to issue an invoice.
    • invoices issued for sales at the event must include:
      • Belgian VAT identification number
      • Belgian VAT rate (6, 12 or 21%)
      • amount of VAT due
      • description of the goods sold
  • How to declare the VAT of an event, a fair or a merchandising event?

    In order to declare the VAT of an event, a fair or a merchandising event, you must fill in  form 631 (PDF, 269.62 KB) and send it back:

    • preferably by e-mail, to: foreigners.team2@minfin.fed.be
    • or by mail, to:
      SPF Finances
      AGFisc - PME - Centre Matières Spécifiques - Gestion - Team 2
      Avenue Prince de Liège 133 bte 735
      5100 Jambes

    It can also be filled in by your authorised representative. 

    If the VAT return shows a balance in your favour, the balance in question will be transferred, after verification, to the account number shown on the return in the box 3.

    If the VAT return shows an amount in favour of the Belgian state, you shall pay the amount concerned on the bank account of the Belgian state.  You will receive a payment notice by mail.

  • Which documents should I attach to my VAT return for an event, a fair or a merchandising event?

    You must attach to your VAT return:

    • details of invoices received and issued: invoice number, invoice date, name of customer or supplier
    • details of credit notes received
    • copies of sales and expense invoices
  • How many VAT returns for events, fairs or merchandising events should I submit per year and when?

    You must submit at least one VAT return per year:

    • immediately after the event, fair or merchandising event
    • or annually:
      • when the turnover (excluding VAT) of the economic activities carried out in Belgium does not exceed 100,000 euros.
      • or when there has been no activity in Belgium. In the latter case, the return mentions a turnover equal to zero.
    • or biannually, when the turnover (excluding VAT) exceeds 100,000 euros but amounts to less than 200,000 euros.
  • In which cases is the VAT on expenses related to an event a fair or a merchandising event reduced?

    You can deduct the VAT that you have paid on purchases and expenses that are directly related to your activities liable to tax in Belgium. You must have an invoice to exercise your right to deduct. Cash receipts are not accepted.

    Please note that the VAT related to the following expenses is not or only partially deductible:

    • car expenses (parking, fuel, repairs...): the VAT can be deducted up to 50 % (article 45, § 2 of the VAT Code)
    • hotel and restaurant costs (accommodation, food and drink): VAT is not deductible (article 45, § 3, 3° of the VAT Code) except if the members of staff have incurred the restaurant and hotel costs as part of a supply of goods or provision of services (article 45, § 3, 3°, a of the VAT Code). In this case, you must add proof of this supply of goods or provision of services (sales invoice or contract) and the identity of the person who made the expense, as well as their function within the enterprise.
    • reception expenses: VAT is not deductible (Article 45, § 3, 4° of the VAT Code)
  • I no longer take part in events, fairs or merchandising events in Belgium. What do I need to do?

    If you stop taking part in events, fairs or merchandising events in Belgium, you must notify us:

    • preferably by e-mail, to: foreigners.team2@minfin.fed.be
    • or by mail, to:
      SPF Finances
      AGFisc - PME - Centre Matières Spécifiques - Gestion - Team 2
      Avenue Prince de Liège 133 bte 735
      5100 Jambes

    Your VAT number will be deleted and the specific VAT return will no longer need to be submitted.

    As long as your VAT number has not been cancelled, you will have to submit a "nil" VAT return each year if you have not carried out any transactions in Belgium.