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VAT advance payments abolished as from 1 April 2017

To further simplify Belgian VAT compliance, the tax authorities have announced that the advance VAT payments required of taxpayers that file quarterly VAT returns, will be abolished as from 1 April 2017. In other words, as from filing the quarterly VAT return for Q1/2017.

In principle, VAT is due monthly with returns and payment due by the 20th of the month following the taxable period. Most VAT-filers who file quarterly must pay an advance of 1/3rd of the VAT due, resulting from the previous quarterly VAT return. Non-payment or late payment of these advance payments triggers a late payment interest of 0,8% per month.

The tax office now intends to abolish the advance payment requirement. As a result, quarterly filers from April onwards will only need to pay the VAT due by the 20th of the month following each quarter (four times a year). On top of that, quarterly filers will also need to pay an installment of VAT due for the final period of the year by 24 December, which is a requirement that already applies to the monthly VAT-filers.

The new regime is not yet final and still needs to be published in a Royal Decree. If all goes as planned, quarterly VAT declarants will only need to make five VAT payments per calendar year, and no longer twelve as is currently the case.

We will update you as soon as the new Royal Decree has been published.