Belgian VAT refunds
When a VAT return is in a repayable position, a VAT refund can be requested in the quarterly VAT return. It is not possible to get monthly VAT refunds unless you are registered in the frequent exporter regime. The tax authorities will reimburse the repayable amount by the end of the third month following the reporting period. If not repaid, interest will be added to the total amount due by the tax authorities.
There are minimum amounts and specific time limits for VAT repayments.
If you are submitting VAT returns quarterly:
- You can request a refund in the first, second or third quarter when the receivable amount exceeds €615. The refund is repaid by 30th June, 30th September (delays may apply when using the holiday extension) or 31st December
- You can request a refund in the fourth quarter VAT return when the receivable amount exceeds €245
If you are submitting VAT returns monthly:
- You can request a refund in your March, June or September VAT return when the receivable amount exceeds €1,485
- You can request a refund in your December VAT return when the receivable amount exceeds €245
VAT refunds are only repaid to bank accounts in SEPA countries (EU Member States, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). The bank details used by the authorities would have been communicated when registering for VAT purposes in Belgium (form 604A). These bank details can also be updated using the form 604B.
When the VAT refund is material or when there is a deviation from the usual amounts reported by the registered company, the Belgian tax authorities may start a tax audit. These audits will normally request an explanation of the overall business, copies of (some) invoices and input and output VAT ledgers. More information about Belgian VAT refunds is available in the website of the Belgian tax authorities.