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    Before launching your self-employed activity, you need to check whether you are liable for VAT. If this is the case, then you will, in principle, have to identify yourself to the General Tax Administration.

    Is your company subject to VAT?

    If your company supplies goods or services covered by the VAT Code, independently and on a regular basis, it is subject to VAT (VAT Code, article 4).

    If your company exclusively carries out certain activities exempted by Article 44 of the VAT Code and  so far as certain conditions are met, it is liable for VAT but does not have to charge VAT to its customers or to be identified for VAT purposes. It includes the following activities:

    • social or cultural;
    • financial;
    • medical.

    If, as a natural person, you meet all the conditions to benefit from the VAT arrangements for the collaborative economy or the VAT arrangements for occasional services between citizens, you are liable for VAT if you carry out these transactions independently and habitually, but you do not have to charge VAT to your customers and you do not have to be identified for VAT purposes.

    Foreign companies must also identify themselves for VAT purposes, if they carry out transactions in Belgium that are covered by the VAT Code.

    It is not always clear whether or not certain professions are liable for VAT. If in doubt, check with your accountant or tax office.

    Who should you ask for your VAT identification?

    In order to obtain your VAT identification, you must apply for it at your competent tax office before starting your activity. Your company number is, then, activated with the General Tax Administration. In the course of 2020, the identification request will have to be made online.

    The business counter can also apply for VAT identification on your behalf, for a fee. The cost of this service varies from one counter to another.

    Which is the competent tax office?

    The competent office for a company located in Belgium is determined as follows:

    • For natural persons (SMEs)
      It is the management and service provision division of the Centre for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) of the place where the natural person is domiciled as listed in the national register.
    • For legal persons (SMEs) and companies/associations without legal personality
      It is the management and service provision division of the Centre for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) of the place where the administrative headquarters of the company is located, from where it is effectively managed and administered.
    • Larger companies need to contact the management division of the Centre for Large Enterprises (LE).

    For taxable persons who are not established in Belgium, or foreign taxable persons who have a permanent establishment in Belgium, the management and service provision division of the Centre for Foreign nationals is competent.

    For more information, see the explanatory note to Form 604A on pages 5 and 6. You can also search for the competent department via the guide to the offices of the FPS Finance.

    For more information on the target groups, see the document "Criteria for the identification of the target group in DG Fisc" of the FPS Finance.

    What are your obligations as regards VAT?

    Among other things, a business subject to VAT is required to:

    The different VAT regimes

    The normal regime

    The normal regime is applicable to all persons liable to VAT who do not benefit from any other regime.

    Companies are required to submit a monthly report for the previous month's transactions.

    Companies whose annual turnover does not exceed EUR 2,500,000 excluding VAT may submit a quarterly declaration (exception: the ceiling is EUR 250,000 excluding VAT for supplies of energy products, mobile telephone equipment, computers and their peripherals, accessories and components, as well as motor land vehicles subject to registration regulations).

    Special regimes

    The application of the normal VAT regime entails a number of tax obligations. In order to lighten these obligations, small businesses can opt for certain special regimes:

    • the tax exemption regime concerns small enterprises with an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 25,000 (excluding VAT). These companies are exempt from most of the VAT obligations.
    • the flat-rate regime applies to businesses with an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 750,000 (excluding VAT), which deal primarily with private individuals and operate in certain sectors. Since 1 January 2020, this scheme has been reserved only for natural persons subject to VAT.
    • the agricultural regime which applies to agricultural holdings.

    To benefit from one of these regimes, you can contact your tax office.

    Additional information

    For more information, consult your tax office or the FPS Finance:

    FPS Finance
    Contact centre
    Tel.: +32 2 572 57 57

    Last update
    23 December 2020