Belgian ESL Returns


Due date and frequency of Belgian ESL returns

ESL returns are filed on a quarterly basis unless the (rather low) threshold is exceeded. These returns are due by the 20th day of month together with the VAT return (there is a holiday extension for the December and Q4 returns).

  • Frequency of filing rules

    • Monthly
      The total amount of ICS of goods or services exceeds €50,000 in the current or any of the previous four quarters
    • Quarterly
      Standard reporting period
    • Bi-monthly (only once)
      The €50,000 threshold is exceeded in the second month of the quarter
    • Annually
      Only exceptionally applicable to certain businesses in the agricultural industry

More information about the frequency of filing is available in the website of the Belgian tax authorities.

  • Due date rules

    • Monthly
      20th day of the month following the reporting period
    • Quarterly
      20th day of the month following the reporting period
    • Bi-monthly (only once)
      20th day of the month following the reporting period
    • Annually
      31st March of the month following the reporting period

If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday, the date is shifted to the next working day.

There is holiday extension foreseen for the June and July period. These ESL returns are due, respectively, on 10th of August and 10th of September. Similarly, the second quarter ESL return is due by 10th of August. The deadline for holiday extensions should be double checked every year.

The Belgian authorities publish a calendar with all tax due dates. This calendar includes the changes due to bank holidays.

Belgian nil ESL returns

If there are no intra-Community transactions to be reported in a given period, a Belgian nil ESL is NOT due.

In Europe, only a few countries require nil ESL returns to be submitted. These jurisdictions include Ireland, Italy or France (where the threshold has been exceeded).

Penalties for late Belgian ESL returns

Late filing an ESL return in Belgium has a fixed penalty that goes from €50 to €5,000. In case the return is submitted by the 10th day of the second month following the reporting period, there are no penalties foreseen. In case the ESL return is submitted between the 10th day of the second month and the 10th day of the third month, there will be a minimum penalty of €12.5 and maximum of €250 (depending on the amount of details reported). Higher penalties are foreseen for ESL returns filed later than the third month following the reporting period.

All applicable penalties can be found (in French or Dutch) in the following link (see Section XI).

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