Adjustments to the VVPR-bis regulation

Digital VAT refund procedure for non-EU businesses

Adjustments to the VVPR-bis regulation

Foreign VAT taxable persons without a Belgian VAT registration number, can apply for a refund of Belgian VAT incurred in the framework of their economic activity. This VAT refund procedure exists for EU-established as well as non-EU established businesses.

Whereas EU-established businesses could submit their EU VAT refund claim electronically in the Member State where they are established, non-EU established businesses were obliged to file their refund claim for Belgian VAT on paper in Belgium. Needless to say that this paper based procedure was inefficient. This will change. From 1 July 2022 the application for the refund of  Belgian VAT by non-EU established businesses can also be filed electronically, making it easier for non-EU established VAT taxable persons to claim back Belgian VAT incurred.

As a reminder, we reiterate a number of basic conditions for the VAT refund claim. Non-EU established businesses are entitled to recover Belgian VAT if:

  • the claimant is not registered or liable to register for VAT purposes in Belgium;
  •  the claimant is not deemed to be established in Belgium;
  • the claimant has not provided any taxable supplies in Belgium (exceptions apply);
  • a minimum refund amount is reclaimed (If the refund application relates to a refund period of less than one calendar year, but at least three calendar months, the minimum refund amount is EUR 400. If the refund application is for a calendar year or the remaining part of a calendar year, the minimum amount is EUR 50).

Furthermore, input VAT refund limitations can apply depending on the nature of the cost. No VAT refund is allowed for VAT on:

  • manufactured tabaco
  •  alcoholic beverages (few exceptions apply)
  • hotel accommodation, meals and beverages (few exceptions apply)
  • reception costs.

A partial VAT refund will be allowed for car costs as the VAT refund for these costs is limited to maximum 50% of Belgian VAT incurred. This also applies to maintenance, repair and fuel costs in Belgium.

The deadlines for submitting and processing the electronic refund application remain unchanged. The request (with all required data) must be submitted by 30 September of the calendar year following the year in which the VAT became chargeable.