New VAT tax point rules approved by Belgium government

Belgium’s tax point rules for VAT were fundamentally changed at the beginning of 2013 when issuance of an (advance) invoice was no longer considered a tax point.

But the implementation of the invoicing directive on 1 January 2013 saw the changes subject to many criticisms by businesses. Considering the impact, a transitional regime was introduced and in 2014 the Ministry of Finance published a guidance that was applicable as of 1 January 2015. 

Now the government returned to the old regulation.

In essence, this means the invoice is fully restored as a tax point, regardless of whether the invoice is issued before or even after the taxable supply. At the same time, a cash based regime will be introduced for supplies to public bodies (B2G-supplies).

Under Belgian regulation the prime tax point occurs and the VAT becomes due when the goods are supplied or services are provided. However as of 1 January 2016 the VAT will become due at the moment the invoice is issued, regardless of whether the invoice is issued before or after the moment of the supply. With this the government restores the date of invoice as a tax point. 

The VAT will in any case become due on the 15th of the month following the month of the supply if no invoice is issued on that date and also become due when a payment is received before the supply.

The VAT point rules that came into force in 2013 were subject to many objections by businesses because of their complexity. With the simplification of the system the current change is the answer and the likely solution for many businesses that never effectively implemented the 2013 rules.

Read more about how our VAT services can help you to do business in Belgium.

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Dr. Robert  Nagy
Technical update

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