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Measures List
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Measure Name
Date when measure came into force
End of temporary VAT reduction buiding sector 2011/01/01
Curtailment reduced rates and exemptions 2012/01/01
Abolishment VAT-exemption for lawyers 2014/01/01
Minor reform on a VAT-exemption for education 2014/01/01
Broadening of a specific tax filing regime 2014/01/01
Results 1 - 5 of 5.

Generic Tax Name VAT
Tax name in the national language TVA grevant les produits / BTW op producten
Tax name in English VAT on products
Member State BE-Belgium
Tax in force since 1971/01/01
If abolished, date on which the tax ceases to apply
Business version date 2015/01/01
Version date 2015/02/17
This file was last updated on

Type of tax
Direct taxes Personal income tax
Corporate income tax
Other

Indirect taxes VAT
Excise duty (EU harmonised)
Alcoholic beverages
Energy products and electricity
Manufactured tobacco
Other

Social security contribution Employers
Employees
Other
 
Legal base

The Code of Value Added Tax (VAT Code) and the decrees taken for its implementation.

 
Who sets
The tax rate is set by




The tax base is set by




The reliefs are set by




Comments
 
Beneficiary





Comments

Part of the revenues goes to the European Union.

For VAT, regional authority refers to Communities.

Part of the revenues goes to the ‘Commission pour la régulation de l'électricité et du gaz' since 2005.

Part of the revenues is transferred to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) owing to a securitisation of fiscal claims in 2006.

Since 2009, part of the revenues is transferred to APETRA (Agence de pétrole).

 
Geographical Scope
Territories excluded (article 6 2006/112/EC)

None



Comments
Belgian territory.
 
Taxpayers
Included taxable persons doing occasional transactions (article 12 2006/112/EC)


Comments

Special derogations to continue to exempt (annex X)

  • The supply before first occupation of a building, or parts thereof, or of the land on which it stands and the supply of building land, as referred to in Article 12.

Belgium has continued to exempt the abovementioned supply, together with the application of an option to tax, as provided for in article 391 of directive 2006/112/EC.


Special scheme for SMEs (article 281 2006/112/EC and following) None
Exemption
Graduated relief
Turnover threshold: 15,000.00  EUR/Natcur
Comments

There are special schemes for SME's with a turnover not exceeding 750,000 euro who are active in certain sectors. It consists of a flat-rate system in which for each VAT rate turnover is set according to a fixed rate.


Common Flat-rate scheme for farmers (article 295 2006/112/EC and following) None
All categories
Some categories
Flat rate compensation percentage (general):
6.00 %
Flat rate compensation percentage for forestry:
2.00 %
Flat rate compensation percentage for fisheries:
6.00 %
Comments

For some agricultural enterprises, e.g. those in the form of a commercial company, the normal VAT system applies.


There is a special scheme on the following





Comments

Exemption for travel agents.


Special derogations to continue to tax (annex X)




Comments

Exemption for travel agents.


Special derogations to continue to exempt (annex X)













Comments

Special derogations to continue to exempt (annex X): The transport of passengers and, in so far as the transport of passengers is exempt, the transport of goods accompanying them, such as luggage or motor vehicles, or the supply of services relating to the transport of passengers.

Article 42, §1, 1° of the Belgian VAT Code (§1 The following transactions are exempt: 1° the transport by sea of passengers; the international air transport of passengers; the transport of the accompanying luggage and motor vehicles of passengers together with the under 1° mentioned transport)



Comments

VAT is a tax on goods and services which is borne 'eventually' by the final consumer and which is levied in successive stages, namely at each transaction in the process of production and distribution. In view of the fact that at each stage of this process the tax paid on the inputs can be deducted, only the added value is taxed at that stage. VAT is therefore a non‑cascading tax on consumption, which is paid off in instalments.

 

Persons liable to VAT

The persons liable to VAT - or taxable persons - are of crucial importance in the process of levying the VAT. They have to charge VAT on the sales to their customers and can, on the other hand, deduct from the VAT levied on their sales the VAT that is levied on their own purchases, including investments. They therefore only pay to the Treasury the difference (= the tax on the value which they have added themselves.). 

A taxable person is anyone who, in the performance of an economic activity, carries out, in a regular and independent manner, whether on a principal or accessory basis, with or without profit motive, the supply of goods or services referred to in the VAT Code, irrespective of the place where that activity is carried out.

Public authorities and public bodies carrying on other activities than those exempt according to Article 44 of the VAT Code, are not considered as taxable persons for the activities or transactions in respect of which they engage as public authorities (to this effect they are described as non-taxable legal persons). They are, however, liable to tax for the activities or transactions where treatment as non-taxable persons would lead to distortions of competition of a certain magnitude. 

Furthermore, as far as some activities or transactions are concerned, and inasmuch as they are considerable, public authorities and public bodies are considered as taxable persons in any case. Those activities are for instance telecommunications services; water, gas and electricity supply; transport of goods and individuals; ports, waterways and airports exploitation; and some other activities.

 

The following persons shall also be liable to tax :

a) those who, without performing an economic activity, carry on, within a given period and under certain conditions, certain transactions in respect of buildings;

b) those who occasionally supply a new means of transport, for a consideration and under certain conditions.

 

The deduction of VAT (or deduction of the input tax) 

The taxable person may deduct from the amount of the VAT he owes, the VAT which has been levied on the goods which were delivered to him or on the services which were provided to him, or on the goods imported by him or acquired within the Union, insofar as he uses these goods and services in economic activities subject toVAT or in economic activities which are exempted from VAT on account of exportation, intra‑Community deliveries, international transportation or certain other grounds.

As regards immovable property by nature and other capital goods and services subject to revision, which are part of the taxable person’s business assets and are also used for other purposes than the economic activity carried out by the company, only the VAT relating to the economic activity can be deducted.

For the acquisition of new means of transport, an arrangement has been developed to avoid that certain purchasers (for example, private individuals) should suffer a double taxation on these vehicles. In all cases the VAT on these new means of transport must be paid at the rate applicable in Belgium.

Sometimes, however, the deduction of VAT is limited. For example, the deduction of VAT for the purchase of cars and car related supplies (for example fuel, oil,...) and services (for example maintenance, repairs,...) is limited to a maximum of 50%, in most cases. For the supply and intra-Community acquisition of manufactured tobaccos, spirits for end consumption and certain expenses relating to accommodation, food and drinks, among other things, no deduction of VAT is allowed. There is, as a rule, no deduction of VAT either for goods acquired in connection with the special system of taxation on the margin. 

For "persons partially liable to VAT", i.e. taxable persons who are liable to VAT and who are involved both in activities subject to VAT and activities not subject, the deduction of the VAT charged on inputs is also limited, namely to the ratio of the turnover of operations which give entitlement to the deduction and the total turnover (under certain conditions, on the basis of the actual use of the inputs).

Periodical VAT returns must mention the VAT which is payable and the VAT which is deductible. Only the difference is paid to the Treasury. If the VAT to be deducted is greater than the VAT due, the difference is carried over to the next return. On specific request and subject to certain conditions, the balance referred to above is effectively refunded (Refund).

In the case of a partial deduction, a provisional amount to be deducted is fixed. That amount is adjusted after the expiration of the year in which the right to deduction arose. For the tax on capital goods, the period for adjustment is spread over five years and, for certain immovable property, over fifteen years.

 
Tax object and basis of assessment
The following items are regarded as supply of goods and hence taxed under VAT (article 14 - 15 2006/112/EC)




Comments

The following items are regarded as supply of goods and hence taxed under VAT (article 18 2006/112/EC)



Comments

The following items are regarded as supply of goods and hence taxed under VAT (article 18 2006/112/EC): The provisions of article 18 of directive 2006/112/EC have at the least been incorporated in the Belgian VAT Code.


By derogation to article 26 paragraph 1, the following item(s) are not regarded as supply of services and hence not subject to VAT (article 26(2) 2006/112/EC)


Comments

By derogation to article 26 paragraph 1, the following items are not regarded as supply of services and hence not subject to VAT (article 26(2) 2006/112/EC): 

 

1. The use of goods forming part of the assets of a business for the private use of a taxable person or of his staff or, more generally, for purposes other than those of his business, where the VAT on such goods was wholly or partly deductible:

Belgium does not regard the abovementioned use of goods as a supply of service with respect to immovable goods.

2. The supply of services carried out free of charge by a taxable person for his private use or for that of his staff or, more generally, for purposes other than those of his business:

The abovementioned supply of services are in Belgium regarded as a supply of service and hence are subject to VAT, however exclusively in the case of immovable work.


By application of article 27 of 2006/112/EC, the following item is treated as supply of services The supply by a taxable person of a service for the purposes of his business, where the VAT on such a service, were it applied by another taxable person, would not be wholly deductible
Comments

By application of article 27 of 2006/112/EC, the following item is treated as supply of services:

The supply by a taxable person of a service for the purposes of his business, where the VAT on such a service, were it applied by another taxable person, would not be wholly deductible: this service is indeed treated as a supply of service in the Belgian VAT Code, however exclusively in the case of immovable work.



Comments

The three main categories of taxable transactions are the following:

  • the supply of goods and the supply of services by a person liable to VAT, when they occur within the country;
  • the importation of goods into Belgium by any person whatsoever. Importation only refers to goods coming from a country which is not a Member State of the EU;
  • the intra-Community acquisition of goods coming from any other Member State of the EU.

 

1. Supply of goods

A supply of goods is the transfer or assignment of the power to dispose of the goods as the owner thereof. Certain other transactions are also considered as supplies (Art. 10). 

The term goods shall be understood to mean any tangible property including gas, electric current, heat, refrigeration and any rights in rem (other than the right of ownership) giving the holder thereof a right of user over immovable property, with the exception of certain long lease rights (Art. 9). 

 

Where the goods are not dispatched or transported, the place of supply shall be deemed to be the place where the goods are when the supply takes place (Art. 14, §1).

 

Where the goods are dispatched or transported by the supplier, the purchaser or a third party, the place of supply shall be deemed to be the place where the goods are at the time when dispatch or transport to the person to whom they are supplied begins. Where the place of departure of the consignment or transport of goods is in a third territory or in a third country, the place of supply shall be deemed to be, as a rule, in the Member State into which the goods were imported in the European Union (Art. 14, §2).

 

Where the goods are installed or assembled by or on behalf of the supplier, the place of supply shall be deemed to be the place of such an installation or assembly (Art. 14, §3).

Where the supply is made on board ships, aircraft or trains in the course of the part of the transport of passengers effected in the Community, the place of supply shall be deemed to be the point of departure of the transport of passengers (Art. 14, §4).

 

In the case of the supply of gas through a natural gas system, electricity or heat or refrigeration, the place of supply shall be deemed to be the place where the customer has effective use and consumption of the goods (with exceptions, such as taxpayers whose principal activity is reselling these goods; in this case, the place of supply shall be deemed to be, as a rule, the place where the purchaser has established his business or has a fixed establishment) (Art. 14bis).

 

The place of supply, however, shall always be in Belgium when the goods, which are not new means of transport or are not assembled or installed by, or on behalf of, the supplier, are dispatched or transported by the latter from another Member State of the EU to Belgium (system of remote sales ‑ Art.15,§ 1) and if the supply of the goods is carried out for :

  • an exempt taxable person or a non-taxable legal person (up to the exempt amount of € 11,200, excluding VAT, see below);
  • any other non-taxable person.

For the supply of goods other than excise goods (viz. energy products (except for gas supplied by a natural gas system), alcohol and alcoholic beverages, as well as manufactured tobacco) for a total amount per calendar year not exceeding € 35,000 (excluding VAT), the place of supply shall be in this case Belgium only if this is so chosen by the supplier (for example, a mail-order selling firm established in another Member State of the EU).

As a rule, the tax becomes due ("taxable event") at the time of delivery of the goods (Art. 17). In certain cases, however, another arrangement may apply (deferred payment till the 15th day of the following month [for intra-Community traffic] or liability arising upon invoicing or upon cashing).

 

2. Supply of services

A service is defined as any operation other than the supply of goods within the meaning of the VAT Code (Art. 18). Some examples of the services mentioned explicitly are : any physical or intellectual work, among which supplies under a contract to make up work from customer's materials, (that is to say delivery by a contractor to his customer of movable property made or assembled by the contractor from materials and objects entrusted to him by the customer for his purpose, whether or not the contractor has provided any part of the materials used), the supply of staff, the granting of the right to enjoy the possession of goods (except certain tangible property mentioned in Art. 9), the supply of parking space for vehicles or of storage room, the supply of furnished rooms or a campground, the supply of food and beverages, the granting of a right of access to cultural, sporting or entertainment activities, radioand television broadcasting services and telecommunications services, the granting of the right of access to traffic routes and to the corresponding civil engineering works, electronic supplied services, etc.. 

A service for a consideration shall be deemed to also include notably the performance by a taxable person of work on real property for the purpose of his economic activity (save a few exceptions) as also for his private needs or those of his personnel, and, more generally, free of charge or for purposes unrelated to his economic activity (Art. 19).

As regards the place where a service is supplied (Art. 21 to 21ter), recipients of the service must be distinguished. If the recipient is a taxable person, a hybrid taxable person or a non-taxable legal person identified for VAT purposes, the place where the service is supplied is the place where the recipient has established his business or the place where he has a fixed establishment. If the place of this fixed establishment is not the same as the place where the business has been established, the place of the fixed establishment prevails.

There are several exceptions to this (Art. 21), for instance the place where the immovable property, to which the service relates, is situated; for passenger transport, the place where the transport takes place, according to the distance covered; the place where the event or the activity actually takes place (giving access to some events and activities and services linked to those events or activities); the place where the service is physically carried out (restaurant and catering services, with some exceptions); the place where the means of transport is actually put at the disposal of the recipient (short term hiring); the place of departure of the passenger transport (restaurant and catering services on board ships, aircraft or trains during the part of the transport taking place in the European Union).

If the recipient is a non-taxable person, the place where the service is supplied is the place where the service provider has established his business or the place where he has a fixed establishment. Here too, the place of the fixed establishment prevails where the place of this fixed establishment is not the same as the place where the business has been established.

There is also a whole series of exceptions to this (Art. 21bis), for instance the place where the immovable property, to which the service relates, is situated; for passenger transport, the place where the transport takes place, according to the distance covered; the place where the transport takes place, according to the distance covered (transport of goods except for intra-Community transport of goods: the place of departure prevails for this kind of transport); the place where the event or the activity actually takes place (giving access to some events and activities and services linked to those events or activities); the place where the service is physically carried out (restaurant and catering services, with some exceptions; services ancillary to transport activities; valuations and work on movable property); the place where the means of transport is actually put at the disposal of the recipient (short term hiring); the place of departure of the passenger transport (restaurant and catering services on board ships, aircraft or trains during the part of the transport taking place in the European Union); the place where the recipient of the service is established (for telecommunications services, radio and television broadcasting services and electronically supplied services), and for services supplied to a recipient established outside the European Union and relating to advertising, services of consultants, lawyers, accountants, etc., banking, financial and insurance transactions, supply of staff, hiring out of movable property (except for means of transport), provision of access to natural gas systems located on the territory of the European Union or to networks connected thereto, to electricity systems or to heating or cooling networks, or to transport or distribution by means of those systems or networks, and the supply of other services directly linked thereto.

The taxable event occurs, as a rule, at the time the service is supplied(Art. 22). The tax is then also due. In certain cases (partial billing or services of a continuous nature), another arrangement may apply (for example invoicing or cashing).

 

3. Importation

The term importation is used for goods that are introduced into a Member State of the EU from outside the EU. The importation takes place in the Member State of the EU within the territory of which the goods are located at the time of entry into the Community (Art. 23). There are a number of exceptions to this rule, especially in relation with special customs procedures pursuant to Customs legislation.

The taxable event takes place, as a rule, in Belgium and the tax is due in this country upon importation of the goods into Belgium (Art. 24).

 

4. Intra-Community acquisition of goods

An intra-Community acquisition of goods is the acquisition of the right to enjoy the power of ownership with respect to tangible movable property which is dispatched or transported, by or on account of the seller or the purchaser, to the purchaser in a Member State of the EU other than the one from which the goods are dispatched or transported (Art. 25bis).

The tax shall be levied on intra-Community acquisitions of goods in Belgium for a consideration, which are made by :

  • a taxable person acting in that capacity;
  • a non-taxable person who is not entitled to exemption (see below), where the seller is a taxable person acting in that capacity (Art. 25ter).

Intra-Community acquisitions of goods are not, however, subject to the VAT in the following cases (Art.25ter): 

1. if the acquisition is made (Art. 25ter, § 1, 2°) :

  • by a taxable person to whom the exemption arrangements are applicable (certain small enterprises);
  • by certain agricultural enterprises which are subject to a flat-rate system;
  • by a taxable person who effects exclusively the delivery of goods and the provision of services for which he is not entitled to deduction of the VAT (i.e. the taxable persons exempted, for example physicians, schools, hospitals, etc.);
  • by a non-taxable legal person;

within the limits of a total amount per calendar year of 11,200 (excluding VAT). This arrangement is not applicable to new means of transport, nor to excise goods (which are anyway, under these circumstances, subject to VAT in Belgium). The above-mentioned taxable and non-taxable legal persons can choose, however, to have all their intra-Community acquisitions of goods subjected to the tax in Belgium; this choice applies for a period of two calendar years at least;

 

2. if the acquisition is made by a taxable person not established in Belgium, but identified in another Member State of the EU for VAT purposes, with a view to subsequent delivery in Belgium by the latter taxable person to a taxable or non-taxable legal person identified in this country for VAT purposes and if, in addition, these goods, coming from another Member State of the EU than the one in which the purchaser is identified for VAT purposes, are dispatched or transported directly to the customer identified in Belgium for VAT purposes and if, in addition the latter is designated as the one who has to pay the VAT of the delivery made in Belgium (the so-called simplified system for triangular transactions) (Art. 25ter, § 1, 3°);  

3. if we are concerned with used goods, works of art, collectors' pieces or antiques, which are sold by a taxable person who resells and is acting as such, and if, in addition, the goods have been subjected, in the EU Member State of departure, to the special system of taxation on the margin (see Art. 58, § 4), as well as in a number of other cases (Art. 25ter, § 1, 4°).

Intra-Community acquisitions, made in Belgium, of new means of transport are always subject to tax, irrespective of the person who makes them (a taxable person acting in that capacity, for example a car trader, a taxable person exempted, a non-taxable legal person and all private individuals).

The location of an intra-Community acquisition of goods is, as a rule, the place where the goods were located at the time of arrival of the consignment or transport to the purchaser (Art. 25quinquies). However, if the purchaser is unable to prove that the tax was levied in that manner, the location of intra-Community delivery shall be deemed to be within the Member State of the EU which has granted the VAT identification number under which the purchaser made that acquisition. Unless there is proof to the contrary, the intra-Community acquisition shall be deemed to have taken place in Belgium if the purchaser has a Belgian VAT identification number.

The taxable event takes place at the time the intra-Community acquisition of goods occurs. This time is determined according to the same rules as those applied to the delivery of goods in the country (Art. 25sexies, §1 and Art. 16). The tax shall become chargeable on the 15th day of the month following that in which the taxable event occurred, unless the invoice for the delivery/acquisition was issued to the purchaser before that date. In this case, the tax shall become chargeable on issue of the invoice (Art. 25sexies, §2).

As a rule, the tax basis of the VAT is the amount which the contracting partner of the supplier of goods or of the provider of services must pay to his supplier or provider. This amount also includes the commission, insurance and transportation costs as well as the taxes (except the VAT itself), duties and levies.

The tax basis does not include, however, certain price reductions and similar discounts, deposits on packaging, etc.

Special arrangements apply notably to imports (where the basis is, as a rule, the customs value), to transactions for which the price is not expressed in cash only (the normal value as the tax basis) and to the services of travel agencies, etc.

There is a minimum tax basis for certain goods and services, such as for new buildings.

 
Deductions, Allowances, Credits, Exemptions
Exempted sectors*

Main exempted sectors: financial institutions, insurances, public health (phyisicians, dentists, hospitals, ...), lease-farming and renting of real property, recognised educational institutions, certain social, cultural or sports institutions,  attorneys, ...


Special Measures derogating from the normal VAT rules in accordance with Article 395 of Directive 2006/112/EC*

Various smaller derogations exist, but in the area of deductions, allowances, credits and exemptions, the main derogation is the exemption of the supply of real pearls, natural gemstones and alike to persons who are trader exclusively in those goods, together with the exemption of the services rendered to the same persons in relation to those goods.



Comments

Exemptions: 

These exemptions can be divided into two groups. On the one hand, there are the activities which are exempted from VAT, but which do not take away from those who carry on these activities the right to deduct the VAT levied on the goods and services supplied to them (see point 1).

 

On the other hand, there are exempt activities for which the exemption is based mainly on cultural and social considerations and which do take away from those who carry on these activities the right to deduct VAT levied on the goods and services supplied to them (see point 2). 

 

1. Exportation, importation, intra‑Community deliveries and acquisitions and international transport

These are i.e. the following:

  • exportation (i.e. to a place outside the EU);
  • deliveries and intra-Community acquisitions of goods bound to be placed in Belgium under certain procedures pursuant to customs legislation;
  • deliveries of goods to a taxable person or to a non-taxable legal person in another Member State of the EU, who are required to subject their intra-Community acquisitions of goods to VAT (this does not apply to goods which are subject to the special system of taxation on the margin);
  • intra-Community supplies of new means of transport;
  • importations, intra-Community acquisitions or supplies of goods placed in Belgium under a warehousing regime other than customs warehousing and a certain number of related activities.
  • certain importations, intra-Community acquisitions, reimportations and temporary importations and related services (for example, goods placed under certain customs procedures pursuant to Customs regulations);
  • supply of services and goods taking place in another MemberState and exempt in this MemberState in accordance with a national provision transposing the VAT Directive;
  • international transportation of passengers by sea or air;
  • services of travel agents with respect to extra-Community travels;
  • international transportation of goods originating from non-EU countries and certain related activities (for example loading and unloading);
  • certain deliveries of sea-going ships and vessels, commercial inland waterway vessels, aircraft, seaplanes, helicopters and similar craft, as well as certain related activities;
  • certain deliveries, intra-Community acquisitions and importations of goods and services for diplomatic and consular missions and for specified international organizations;
  • the deliveries, intra-Community acquisitions and importations of gold to central banks.

 

2. Other exemptions

These are mainly :

  • services provided by the medical and certain paramedical professions;
  • services provided by hospitals and similar establishments;
  • services related to social work, social security or protection of children and young people, where provided by public bodies or other approved social establishments (e.g. care of the elderly, childcare, care of the disabled, home help, health insurance funds, etc.);
  • services provided by certain sports establishments;
  • services provided by school or educational bodies such as education, vocational training or retraining by public bodies or assimilated bodies which do not systematically aim at making profits, and lessons given, on a personal basis, by teachers and relating to school and university education;
  • services provided by certain other social and cultural institutions, such as libraries, theatres, cinemas (under certain conditions);
  • services provided by authors, artists and interpreters of works of art;
  • a supply of real property which is immovable by nature, except the supply of buildings and the land on which they stand by certain taxable persons and occurring not later than December 31st of the second year following the one in which the building was first placed into service or entered into first possession. Similar rules apply to the establishment and transfer of rights in rem;
  • lease-farming and renting of real property (except, for example, parking space and space for storing goods, hotels and camp sites, real property in nature made available for operating ports, waterways and airports, and the leasing, under certain conditions, with VAT by real estate leasing companies of buildings for the performance of economic activities);
  • insurance operations, except for services rendered by damage experts;
  • most deposit and credit transactions, payment and collection transactions, and transactions relating to securities;
  • a supply of post-stamps for the payment of postage, of revenue stamps and the like;
  • betting, lotteries and other chance and money games (under certain conditions);
  • services provided by the universal postal services and supplies of goods incidental thereto;
  • the supply, intra-Community acquisition and importation of investment gold.
 
Rate(s) Structure
Standard VAT rate Rate: 21.00 %
Comments

Reduced rate 1

(article 98 of Directive - Annex III of Directive)
Rate: 6.00 % on full or part of the following items

Article 98(2) 2006/112/EC

Foodstuffs (including beverages but excluding alcoholic beverages) for human and animal consumption; live animals, seeds, plants and ingredients normally intended for use in the preparation of foodstuffs; products normally used to supplement foodstuffs or as a substitute for foodstuffs
Supply of water
Pharmaceutical products of a kind normally used for health care, prevention of illness and as treatment for medical and veterinary purposes, including products used for contraception and sanitary protection
Medical equipment, aids and other appliances normally intended to alleviate or treat disability, for the exclusive personal use of the disabled, including the repair of such goods, and supply of children's car seats
Transport of passengers and their accompanying luggage
Supply, including on loan by libraries, of books on all physical means of support (including brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, children's picture, drawing or colouring books, music printed or in manuscript form, maps and hydrographic or similar charts), newspapers and periodicals, other than material wholly or predominantly devoted to advertising
Admission to shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions and similar cultural events and facilities
Reception of radio and television broadcasting services
Supply of services by writers, composers and performing artists, or of the royalties due to them
Provision, construction, renovation and alteration of housing, as part of a social policy
The renovation and repair of private dwellings, excluding materials which account for a significant part of the value of the service supplied
Window cleaning and cleaning in private households
Supply of goods and services of a kind normally intended for use in agricultural production but excluding capital goods such as machinery or buildings
Accommodation provided in hotels and similar establishments, including the provision of holiday accommodation and the letting of places on camping or caravan sites
Restaurant and catering services, it being possible to exclude the supply of (alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic) beverages
Admission to sporting events
Use of sporting facilities
Supply of goods and services by organisations recognised as being devoted to social wellbeing by Member States and engaged in welfare or social security work, in so far as those transactions are not exempt pursuant to Articles 132, 135 and 136
Supply of services by undertakers and cremation services, and the supply of goods related thereto
Provision of medical and dental care and thermal treatment in so far as those services are not exempt pursuant to points (b) to (e) of Article 132(1)
Supply of services provided in connection with street cleaning, refuse collection and waste treatment, other than the supply of such services by bodies referred to in Article 13
Minor repairs of bicycles
Minor repairs of shoes and leather goods
Minor repairs of clothing and household linen (including mending and alteration)
Domestic care services such as home help and care of the young, elderly, sick or disabled
Hairdressing

Article 102 2006/112/EC

Supply of natural gas
Supply of electricity
Supply of district heating

Article 103(1) 2006/112/EC

Pictures, collages and similar decorative plaques, paintings and drawings, executed entirely by hand by the artist, other than plans and drawings for architectural, engineering, industrial, commercial, topographical or similar purposes, hand-decorated manufactured articles, theatrical scenery, studio back cloths or the like of painted canvas (CN code 9701)
Original engravings, prints and lithographs, being impressions produced in the limited numbers directly in black and white or in colour of one or of several plates executed entirely by hand by the artist, irrespective of the process or of the material employed, but not including any mechanical or photomechanical process (CN code 9702 00 00)
Original sculptures and statuary, in any material, provided that they are executed entirely by the artists.
Sculpture casts the production of which is limited to eight copies and supervised by the artist or his successors in title (CN code 9703 00 00); on an exceptional basis, in cases determined by the Member States, the limit of eight copies may be exceeded for statuary casts produced before 1 January 1989
Tapestries (CN code 5805 00 00) and wall textiles (CN code 6304 00 00) made by hand from original designs provided by artists, provided that there are not more than eight copies of each
Individual pieces of ceramics executed entirely by the artist and signed by him
Enamels on copper, executed entirely by hand, limited to eight numbered copies bearing the signature of the artist or the studio, excluding articles of jewellery and goldsmith's and silversmith's wares
Photographs taken by the artist, printed by him or under his supervision, signed and numbered and limited to 30 copies, all sizes and mounts included
Postage or revenue stamps, postmarks, first-day covers, pre-stamped stationery and the like, used, or if unused not current and not intended to be current (CN code 9704 00 00)
Collections and collector's pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, ethnographic or numismatic interest (CN code 9705 00 00)
Goods, other than works of art or collector's items, which are more than 100 years old (CN code 9706 00 00)
Comments

Supply of electicity: rate was 21% on 1/1/2014 and reduced to 6% from 1 April 2014 onwards but only for private households.

The marked boxes are at the least partially incorporated in the Belgian VAT Code. Given the sometimes subtle differences (conditions, distinctions, rewording…) between the wording in national and community legislation, it would clearly go beyond the scope of this exercise to give an exhaustive overview of national legislation. It should therefore be borne in mind however that the wording of a category in the annex III of the Directive does not automatically mean that the wording in national legislation is identical and that the goods or services concerned benefit therefore automatically and under all circumstances a reduced VAT rate.



Reduced rate 2

(article 98 of Directive - Annex III of Directive)
Rate: 12.00 % on full or part of the following items

Article 98(2) 2006/112/EC

Foodstuffs (including beverages but excluding alcoholic beverages) for human and animal consumption; live animals, seeds, plants and ingredients normally intended for use in the preparation of foodstuffs; products normally used to supplement foodstuffs or as a substitute for foodstuffs
Supply of water
Pharmaceutical products of a kind normally used for health care, prevention of illness and as treatment for medical and veterinary purposes, including products used for contraception and sanitary protection
Medical equipment, aids and other appliances normally intended to alleviate or treat disability, for the exclusive personal use of the disabled, including the repair of such goods, and supply of children's car seats
Transport of passengers and their accompanying luggage
Supply, including on loan by libraries, of books on all physical means of support (including brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, children's picture, drawing or colouring books, music printed or in manuscript form, maps and hydrographic or similar charts), newspapers and periodicals, other than material wholly or predominantly devoted to advertising
Admission to shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions and similar cultural events and facilities
Reception of radio and television broadcasting services
Supply of services by writers, composers and performing artists, or of the royalties due to them
Provision, construction, renovation and alteration of housing, as part of a social policy
The renovation and repair of private dwellings, excluding materials which account for a significant part of the value of the service supplied
Window cleaning and cleaning in private households
Supply of goods and services of a kind normally intended for use in agricultural production but excluding capital goods such as machinery or buildings
Accommodation provided in hotels and similar establishments, including the provision of holiday accommodation and the letting of places on camping or caravan sites
Restaurant and catering services, it being possible to exclude the supply of (alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic) beverages
Admission to sporting events
Use of sporting facilities
Supply of goods and services by organisations recognised as being devoted to social wellbeing by Member States and engaged in welfare or social security work, in so far as those transactions are not exempt pursuant to Articles 132, 135 and 136
Supply of services by undertakers and cremation services, and the supply of goods related thereto
Provision of medical and dental care and thermal treatment in so far as those services are not exempt pursuant to points (b) to (e) of Article 132(1)
Supply of services provided in connection with street cleaning, refuse collection and waste treatment, other than the supply of such services by bodies referred to in Article 13
Minor repairs of bicycles
Minor repairs of shoes and leather goods
Minor repairs of clothing and household linen (including mending and alteration)
Domestic care services such as home help and care of the young, elderly, sick or disabled
Hairdressing

Article 102 2006/112/EC

Supply of natural gas
Supply of electricity
Supply of district heating

Article 103(1) 2006/112/EC

Pictures, collages and similar decorative plaques, paintings and drawings, executed entirely by hand by the artist, other than plans and drawings for architectural, engineering, industrial, commercial, topographical or similar purposes, hand-decorated manufactured articles, theatrical scenery, studio back cloths or the like of painted canvas (CN code 9701)
Original engravings, prints and lithographs, being impressions produced in the limited numbers directly in black and white or in colour of one or of several plates executed entirely by hand by the artist, irrespective of the process or of the material employed, but not including any mechanical or photomechanical process (CN code 9702 00 00)
Original sculptures and statuary, in any material, provided that they are executed entirely by the artists.
Sculpture casts the production of which is limited to eight copies and supervised by the artist or his successors in title (CN code 9703 00 00); on an exceptional basis, in cases determined by the Member States, the limit of eight copies may be exceeded for statuary casts produced before 1 January 1989
Tapestries (CN code 5805 00 00) and wall textiles (CN code 6304 00 00) made by hand from original designs provided by artists, provided that there are not more than eight copies of each
Individual pieces of ceramics executed entirely by the artist and signed by him
Enamels on copper, executed entirely by hand, limited to eight numbered copies bearing the signature of the artist or the studio, excluding articles of jewellery and goldsmith's and silversmith's wares
Photographs taken by the artist, printed by him or under his supervision, signed and numbered and limited to 30 copies, all sizes and mounts included
Postage or revenue stamps, postmarks, first-day covers, pre-stamped stationery and the like, used, or if unused not current and not intended to be current (CN code 9704 00 00)
Collections and collector's pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, ethnographic or numismatic interest (CN code 9705 00 00)
Goods, other than works of art or collector's items, which are more than 100 years old (CN code 9706 00 00)
Comments

The marked boxes are at the least partially incorporated in the Belgian VAT Code. Given the sometimes subtle differences (conditions, distinctions, rewording…) between the wording in national national and community legislation, it would clearly go beyond the scope of this exercise to give an exhaustive overview of national legislation. It should therefore be borne in mind however that the wording of a category in the annex III of the Directive does not automatically mean that the wording in national legislation is identical and that the goods or services concerned benefit therefore automatically and under all circumstances a reduced VAT rate.



Special reduced VAT rate for specific regions (including articles 104 and 105 2006/112/EC) Rate:
Regions
Comments

Special provisions under article 110 2006/112/EC (existing provisions prior to 1991):Yes

The supply of scrap is zero rated in Belgium, meaning that no VAT is due on the supply, but that the supplier maintains its right to deduct input VAT on this transaction.


Special provisions under articles 111 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 112 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 113 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 114 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 115 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 116 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 117 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 118 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 119 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 120 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 121 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 122 2006/112/EC:Yes

6% for plants and other floriculture as well on fire wood.



Comments

1.   General points

The VAT is calculated on the tax basis at rates which depend on the nature of the transaction.  Normally the rate to be applied is that which is applicable at the time at which the taxable event takes place. In many cases, however, the rate to be applied is that which is applicable at the time at which the tax is payable (cashing).

The standard VAT rate amounts to 21% and applies to goods and services which are not explicitly mentioned in one of the tables A or B of the Annex to Royal Decree No 20 of 20 July 1970, establishing VAT rates and the classification of goods and services under these rates.

In addition to the standard VAT rate, there are two reduced rates amounting to 6% and 12% and applying to a certain number of goods and services which are respectively mentioned under sections 2. and 3.

2.   The reduced rate of 6%

Supply of electicity: rate was 21% on 1/1/2014 and reduced to 6% from 1 April 2014 onwards but only for private households.

Table A of the above-mentioned Annex to Royal Decree No 20 lists the various categories of goods and services to which the reduced rate of 6% applies. However, this reduced rate does not apply where the services hereafter are incidentally part of a complex agreement which relates essentially to other services.

It concerns principally the following goods and services:

a) The following goods:

  • live animals (for instance: bovine, swine, sheep, goats, some horses, poultry, etc.) (Section I)
  • meat and meat offal (Section II)
  • fish, crustaceans, shellfish and molluscs, with the exception of caviar and caviar substitutes, spiny lobsters, lobsters, crabs, crayfish and oysters, and preparations and ready-made meals containing spiny lobsters, lobsters, crabs, crayfish and oysters (Section III)
  • milk and dairy products; eggs; honey (Section IV)
  • edible vegetables, plants, roots and tubers (Section V)
  • edible fruit; peel of citrus fruit or melons (Section VI)
  • vegetable products (for instance: cereals, seeds, live trees, bulbs, corms, roots and other plants for ornamental horticulture, fresh cut flowers and fresh ornamental foliage, etc.), with the exception of goods offered for sale as dog, cat and some other animals food (Section VII);
  • products of the milling industry; malt; starches, with the exception of goods offered for sale as dog, cat and some other animals food (Section VIII);
  • fats and oils (animal or vegetable fats and oils, and prepared edible fats with the exception of margarine) (Section IX);
  • other foodstuffs (for instance: coffee, tea, spices, sugars, chocolate, etc., with the exception of beer with an alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 0.5% or any other beverage with an alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 1.2% (Section X);
  • animal fodder and waste; fertiliser; animal products with the exception of goods offered for sale as dog, cat and some other animals food (Section XII);
  • water supply (Section XIII);
  • medicines and medical appliances (Section XVII);
  • newspapers, periodicals and books, with the exception of works published for advertising purposes or essentially focused on advertising (Section XIX);
  • works of art, collectors' pieces and antiques (only for importation of certain works of art, collectors' pieces and antiques specified, as well as for certain supplies and intra-Community acquisitions of works of art specified, under certain conditions) (Section XXI);
  • motor cars for invalids; spare parts, equipment and accessories for those cars, see also hereafter (Section XXII). Under certain conditions, the invoiced VAT on the acquisition or importation of motor cars for invalids, is refunded to those persons;
  • miscellaneous goods (for instance: coffins, orthopaedic appliances, walking frames, wheel chairs and similar vehicles for invalids or sick people, etc.) (Section XXIII);
  • supplies of goods by institutions for social promotion (Section XXIIIbis);

b) The following services:

  • agricultural services, with the exception of services relating to animals not mentioned in Section I, and of gardening companies (Section XXIV);
  • transport of persons, and unchecked luggage and animals accompanying passengers (Section XXV);
  • maintenance and repair of motor cars for invalids and most of goods mentioned in Section XXIII (Section XXVI);
  • establishments for culture, sports and entertainment, with the exception of granting the right to make use of automated recreation devices and providing movable goods (Section XXVIII);
  • copyrights; performing concerts and shows, with the exception of services relating to advertising (Section XXIX);
  • hotels and camping sites (Section XXX);
  • construction work relating to private dwellings which are at least 15 years old, described in Section XXXI;
  • private dwellings for handicapped persons, described in Section XXXII;
  • institutions for handicapped persons, described in Section XXXIII;
  • miscellaneous services (hire of most of goods mentioned in Section XXIII, services performed by funeral directors, with some exceptions) (Section XXXIV);
  • services supplied by institutions for social promotion (Section XXXV);
  • housing in the framework of social policy, by regional housing companies and social housing companies agreed by them (Section XXXVI);
  • demolition and rebuilding of dwellings in urban territories (Section XXXVII);
  • renovation and repair of private dwellings (Section XXXVIII);

  • small repair services (repair of bicycles, shoes and leather goods, repair and alteration of clothing and household linen) (Section XXXIX);

  • (temporarily from 1 April 2014) supply of electricity to household customers.

 

3.   The reduced rate of 12%

Table B of the above-mentioned Annex to Royal Decree no 20 lists the various categories of goods and services to which the reduced rate of 12% applies:

  • restaurant and catering services, with the exception of the supply of drinks (Section I);
  • phytopharmacology (Section III);
  • margarine (Section VI);
  • tyres and tubes for wheels of agricultural machines and tractors, with the exception of tyres and tubes for wheels of forestry tractors and pedestrian-controlled tractors (Section VII);
  • certain solid fuels (i.e. notably coal, brown coal and coke, etc.) (Section VIII);
  • housing in the framework of social policy, by notably provinces, municipalities, public social assistance centres and certain other persons governed by public or private law, such as housing supplied by public social assistance centres, managers of accommodation facilities for elderly, residential schools, youth protection centres, refuges for people with major difficulties, psychiatric nursing homes, “habitations protégées” (i.e. refuges for persons with psychiatric difficulties) (Section X).

 

 

4.   Daily papers and some periodicals

Supplies, intra-Community acquisitions and importations of daily papers and periodicals containing general information and published at least 48 times a year, are exempted from VAT but keep the deduction right from their supply by the publisher until their arrival to the reader.

 

A concrete and more detailed description of the above-mentioned categories is to be found in the above-mentioned RD No 20 and in the complementary legislation and circulars on the subject.

 
Tax due date

1. Supply of goods

As a rule, the tax becomes due ("taxable event") at the time of delivery of the goods. In certain cases, however, another arrangement may apply (deferred payment till the 15th day of the following month [for intra-Community traffic] or liability arising upon invoicing or upon cashing).

 

2. Supply of services

The taxable event occurs, as a rule, at the time the service is supplied. The tax is then also due. In certain cases, another arrangement may apply (for example invoicing or cashing).

 

3. Importation

The taxable event takes place, as a rule, in Belgium and the tax is due in this country upon importation of the goods into Belgium.

 

4.Intra-Community acquisition of goods

The taxable event takes place at the time of the intra-Community acquisition of goods and the tax is due on the 15th of the following month, unless the invoice for the delivery/acquisition was issued to the purchaser before that date.

 
Tax collector

Federal Public Service Finance.

 
Special features

1.  Submission of returns and payment of the tax

The correct operation of the VAT system requires that taxable persons fulfil a number of obligations. These concern keeping accounting records, the issuing of invoices, the filing of client lists, submitting of VAT returns and the payment of VAT. For certain taxable persons, special (simplified) rules apply.

A VAT identification number, which includes the letters BE, is assigned by the VAT Administration to most taxable persons (except, for instance, to those taxable persons carrying out exclusively supplies in respect of which VAT is not deducable). Those taxable persons who are not assigned such a VAT identification number as well as non taxable legal persons will also be assigned such a VAT identification number when their intra-Community acquisitions of goods exceed € 11,200 (excl. VAT) or when they declare to submit to VAT all their intra-Community acquisitions. In some cases, even taxable persons not established in Belgium will be assigned a Belgian VAT identification number.

In addition to the application for identification and the notifications of modification or cessation of an activity, most taxable persons must, in principle, file a monthly VAT return showing the VAT to be paid and deducted and pay the amount due every month. The return must be submitted and the payment must be made by the 20th of the following month at the latest. On December 24th at the latest, a deposit must be paid in respect of the VAT which will be payable for that month.

However, taxable persons whose turnover does not exceed € 2,500,000 (excl. VAT) a year may, if they comply with certain rules, submit quarterly VAT returns.

This provision does not apply to taxpayers whose overall annual turnover (less VAT) exceeds € 250,000 in respect of their supplies of energy products, mobile telephone equipment, computers with their peripherals, accessories and components, or motorized land vehicles subject to registration.

Taxpayers submitting quarterly returns must pay, in the course of the 2nd and 3rd month of each calendar quarter, a deposit equal to one third of the tax due for the preceding quarter. They can nonetheless opt for monthly returns.

Taxable persons submitting a monthly VAT return, must send the return and both above-mentioned lists online. However, they are discharged from this obligation as long as they have no computer at their disposal to fulfil this obligation. 

Finally, taxable persons must also yearly submit a list of the Belgian taxable persons to whom they supplied services or goods. As regards intra-Community deliveries and services for which the VAT must be paid by the recepient, an intra-Community statement must be monthly submitted. Subject to certain conditions, this intra-Community statement can be quarterly submitted.

  

2. Special systems

In view of the fact that the normal VAT system entails considerable obligations which, for certain small enterprises, are difficult to fulfil, special systems apply to certain enterprises. There is also a special system notably for non-taxable legal persons.

2.1 The special system for small enterprises

There is first the flat-rate system for small enterprises. This system applies only to enterprises which deal mainly with private individuals, which have a turnover not exceeding € 750,000 (excl. VAT) a year and which are active in certain sectors (e.g., bakers, butchers, hairdressers, ...). For each rate of VAT, their turnover is set according to a fixed rate. The deduction of the VAT charged on inputs is applied according to the normal rules. These companies can, however, opt for the normal VAT system.  

In addition there is also the tax exemption for the supply of goods and services by enterprises whose annual turnover does not exceed € 15,000. They are not entitled, however, to deduct the VAT on their purchases. This exemption system does not apply to certain immovable transactions or to certain transactions with new means of transport and to some other transactions (notably in the building, horeca and recovery sectors). If these enterprises so wish, they can, under certain conditions, be subjected to the normal VAT system or the flat‑rate system referred to above. 

2.2 The special system for certain agricultural enterprises

Agricultural enterprises are not required to fulfill to the obligations relating to invoicing, returns and the payment of VAT, except in respect of their intra‑Community purchases exceeding the threshold of € 11,200 (excl. VAT). If the contracting partner is a taxable person who submits returns, the latter pays the agricultural enterprise a sum which is calculated at a fixed rate, as a compensation for the VAT charged on inputs. This amount is equal to 2 % of the purchase price for the supply of wood and 6 % for other supplies. The contracting partner is entitled, under certain conditions, to deduct this fixed compensation from the VAT which he owes the Treasury. Agricultural enterprises can opt for the normal VAT system. The normal system is compulsory, however, for certain agricultural enterprises (for example those which are in the form of a commercial company). 

2.3 Other special systems

Special taxation regimes have been implemented, for instance, for manufactured tobacco ( VAT levied together with the excise duty), for importation of fish, crustaceans and molluscs which are brought directly from the sea to the fish market (levy at the moment of sale at the fish market) and for the importation of goods which are sent in small consignments or carried in the luggage of travellers (flat‑rate calculation).

In addition, a number of taxable persons can,under certain conditions, be discharged from specific VAT obligations : accounting, submission of returns and payment of VAT to the Treasury. They must then, however, waive their entitlement to the deduction of VAT paid to their suppliers. This is, for instance, the case for certain inland navigation service providers, owners of laundries, dyeing and dry cleaning establishments and certain other small firms.

Finally, an exemption from VAT registration is granted for a very limited number of activities, for instance for certain independent press correspondents. 

2.4 The special VAT return

A special VAT return must be submitted by those taxable persons who do not submit periodic VAT returns and who :

  • make certain intra-Community acquisitions (for example new means of transport, acquisitions of other goods for more than € 11,200 (excl. VAT) a year or they may, if they so choose, subject all acquisitions of the said goods to the VAT in Belgium);
  • receive certain services such as advertisement, the intellectual work of certain consultants, the supply of staff, the renting of certain tangible movable property (except means of transport), etc. which are deemed to take place in Belgium and which are supplied by services providing persons who are not established in Belgium. 

The special return must also be submitted by non-taxable legal persons (for example the State, municipalities, public institutions) for the transactions referred to above (notably the intra-Community acquisition of goods).

The persons concerned must, before they carry out these transactions, inform the VAT Administration according to certain rules. They are assigned a VAT identification number and must, in so far as they have performed the said transactions (purchases), submit per quarter the special VAT return referred to above, not later than the 20th day of the month after the quarter in which the VAT became due.

 
Economic function







Comments
 
Environmental taxes



Comments
 
Tax revenue
ESA95 code d211a + d29hh

Year
Annual tax revenue (millions)
Currency
Tax revenue as % of GDP
Tax revenue as % of total tax revenue
2012 26,895.90 EUR 6.94
2011 25,980.80 EUR 6.85
2010 25,177.40 EUR 6.90
2009 23,556.20 EUR 6.75
2008 24,053.50 EUR 6.79
2007 23,656.40 EUR 6.86
2006 23,053.10 EUR 7.06
2005 21,362.40 EUR 6.86
2004 20,121.70 EUR 6.74
2003 18,730.40 EUR 6.63
2002 18,591.00 EUR 6.76
2001 17,817.40 EUR 6.70
2000 18,129.70 EUR 7.02

Comments