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Belgium - Monthly VAT prepayments to cease from 1 April 2017

From 1 April 2017, businesses that submit quarterly VAT returns are no longer required to make monthly VAT prepayments. This was announced by the Belgian minister of Finance via a press release in January, and has now been confirmed by a Royal Decree.

This is not only an administrative simplification, but it also resolves VAT pre-financing issues that businesses without a steady flow of revenue faced.

From the second quarter of 2017, the VAT payable in respect of quarterly VAT returns will need to be paid by the 20th of the month following the end of the quarter. In other words, no prepayment will be required in May and June 2017 on the basis of the VAT payment in respect of the VAT return relating to the second quarter of 2017.

With regards to the December prepayment, businesses that submit their VAT returns on a quarterly basis will need to make a specific prepayment by 24 December. More specifically, these businesses will need to pay no later than 24 December an amount equal to:

  • The VAT due on the transactions performed in the period 1 October - 20 December (if on 20 December the amount of deductible VAT is equal to or greater than the amount of VAT due, no prepayment needs to be made); or
  • The amount of payable VAT reported in box 71 of the VAT return with respect to the third quarter. 

The VAT prepayment amount can be offset against any outstanding VAT credit. Businesses are free to choose between these two options. The amount of the December prepayment needs to be reported in box 91 of the VAT return of the fourth quarter. If the December prepayment is not reported in this box, the December prepayment due will automatically be determined on the basis of the second option. Please note that in some situations late payment interest may be due if this box is not completed and it can make a significant difference if '0,00' is stated in box 91 or if it is simply left blank.

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