Foreign VAT refunds

Foreign VAT refunds

  • What is it exactly?

    Businesses operating in another Member State of the European Union, where they are not established or registered for VAT purposes, are charged VAT on their expenditure in that Member State (e.g. hotel bills, restaurant meals, fairs and exhibitions, etc.). They are entitled to reclaim VAT incurred in that EU Member State as well as in their State of residence.

    Please note :

    If your business buys goods in another Member State for resale, you are generally required to register for VAT in that country. In that case, you must claim your VAT refund through the VAT return used in that Member State.

  • How to reclaim foreign VAT?

    Belgian taxable persons

    If you wish to recover VAT paid in another EU Member State, you must submit an application via the Intervat – VatRefund system. Paper applications are no longer accepted.

    Belgian VAT refunds for foreign taxable persons – Taxable persons established in the European Union

    Foreign taxable persons who wish to recover VAT paid in Belgium, must submit an application in the Member State where they are established, via the application form used in that country.

    More information (European Commission)

    Taxable persons established outside the European Union

    More information

  • When should the application be submitted?

    The refund application must be submitted at the latest by 30 September of the calendar year following the year in which the purchase was made. It covers the period from January to December, to which a minimum term of three months applies, with the exception of the period just before the end of the year (i.e. the period from 1 November to 31 December).

  • When should applicants receive their refund?

    The Member State receiving the application will forward it to the Member State of refund. The Member State of refund has four months from the date of receipt of an application to notify the applicant of its decision. If additional information is requested by the Member State of Refund, the final deadline for making a decision can be extended. If the refund application is approved, payment should be made within ten working days.

    For the refund of Belgian VAT to non-EU businesses, the time limit for investigation is six months. Any payment should be made within the same period.