VAT Returns & Recovery in Belgium

Article 45 of the Belgian VAT Code grants the right to businesses subject to VAT to reduce the amount of VAT they owe to the VAT Administration by deducting the input VAT they have incurred on goods and services purchased, imported, or acquired from another EU country.

Input VAT can be claimed as a deduction to the extent that it relates to goods or services used in taxable transactions by the business. In cases where transactions are zero-rated for VAT purposes, input VAT may still be claimed as a deduction.

Read more about VAT returns and VAT recovery in Belgium in our comprehensive guide.

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VAT Returns in Belgium

Filing Deadline


Taxpayers are typically required to submit monthly VAT returns, but those who have an annual turnover of less than 2.5 million euros can choose to file quarterly returns instead.

However, if they deal with certain products such as mineral oils, specific energy products, mobile phones, computers, computer accessories and components, and land vehicles, they will only be eligible for quarterly returns if their annual turnover is less than €250,000.


Those required to submit monthly European supplies listings are not eligible for quarterly returns. If the intra-Community supplies of goods are valued at over 400,000 euros annually, monthly VAT returns must be filed.

Thus, VAT returns are due on the 20th of the month following the end of the relevant tax period, whether quarterly or monthly.

Electronic Filing

In Belgium, most taxpayers are required to file their VAT returns electronically for VAT purposes. The electronic filing can be done using the “Intervat” application, which is available on the website of the Belgian tax authorities under the e-services section.

On the other hand, taxable persons who are not technologically equipped to file online may opt for paper filing, but this option is only available in exceptional circumstances.

Interest and Penalties

In Belgium, if a taxpayer fails to meet their tax obligations, they may be subject to penalties. There are two types of penalties:

  • fixed penalties for each violation, such as not filing a VAT return on time, and
  • proportional fines based on the amount of unpaid VAT.

The penalty amount varies depending on factors such as the type of violation, the amount of VAT involved, and the frequency of the violation.

Furthermore, in case taxpayers do not submit Intrastat statements or submit them after the deadline, they can be penalized with fines ranging from 100 euros to 55,000 euros. However, if the taxpayer has a previous conviction for fraud within the last five years, they could face imprisonment for a period of eight days to one month.

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VAT Recovery in Belgium

Article 45 of the Belgian VAT Code allows VAT-registered businesses to lower their VAT liabilities to the VAT Administration. They can do this by offsetting the VAT paid on purchased, imported, or acquired goods and services from other EU countries, known as input VAT. This deduction is permissible as long as the input VAT is associated with goods or services that are involved in taxable sales by the business. Additionally, even if the sales are zero-rated for VAT, businesses can still claim input VAT deductions.

Additionally, input VAT can also be reclaimed if the goods or services acquired are used in transactions outside of Belgium, but for which input VAT would have been deductible if the transactions were conducted in Belgium.


Documentation Requirements

The paperwork for transactions intended for input VAT recovery must be comprehensive. For instance, invoices provided by the supplier in compliance with VAT laws should be kept.

When goods or services are utilized for both business and personal purposes, the input VAT deduction is limited to the proportion used for business operations.

Input VAT on goods or services used in the provision of tax-exempt goods or services (not to be mistaken with zero-rated supplies) is non-deductible unless the supply pertains to the exemption for financial transactions, such as granting credit, and the client is based outside the EU.



Last Updated: 20/11/2023


The information provided by Global VAT Compliance B.V. on this webpage is intended for general informational purposes only. Global VAT Compliance B.V. is not responsible for the accuracy of the information on these pages, and cannot be held liable for claims or losses deriving from the use of this information. If you wish to receive VAT related information please contact our experts at support@gvc.tax

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