26 January 2014

Up to now VAT payers needed to include in a table of assets all business assets with a purchase price of at least EUR 250 to determine their VAT revisions. This amount remained unchanged since 1980! As a consequence of inflation more and more small equipment became subject of this regulation.
As announced in a press release dated 24 October 2013, the tax administration intended to simplify the administrative tax burden.
In a response to this intention, the above EUR 250 threshold wasincreased to EUR 1,000 by Ministerial Decree of 4 December 2013 (Belgian Official Journal dd. 9 December 2013).

Impact of this regulation?

VAT deduction on business assets can be subject to a VAT revision. During five years following the purchase, the VAT payer needs to revise 1/5 of the deducted VAT if there was a change in the components of the calculation of the VAT deduction. Small equipment, such as smartphones, notebooks and tablets of less than EUR 1,000 do not qualify for this regulation, as a consequence of which the input VAT deduction is determined at the moment of purchase and can normally not be modified afterwards.

In an administrative decision (E.T. 125.162, dd. 16.01.2014) the VAT authorities explain that the new threshold applies to goods actually supplied from 1 January 2014 (primary cause for chargeability of VAT). This implies that subsidiary causes for chargeability of VAT (e.g. payment or issuance of an invoice prior to the supply) will not be taken into account. For goods supplied as from 1 January 2014 the EUR 1,000 threshold always applies to determine whether they qualify as business assets for VAT purposes, regardless of whether payment was effected in 2013 or an invoice was issued.

The decision also clarifies that VAT taxable persons that became subject to VAT as from 1 January 2014, whereas previously they were exempted from VAT, will be able to exercise their right to input VAT deduction by means of a regularisation. They will have to take into account the EUR 250 threshold with respect to goods supplied before 1 January 2014 to determine whether they qualify as business assets. With this the VAT authorities focus on lawyers, whose activities are subject to VAT as from 1 January of this year. Lawyers who bought, for example, a portable or smartphone of less than EUR 1,000 (but exceeding EUR 250) in 2013 for professional purposes will still be able to revise the VAT to their advantage for 1/5 during 4 more years.  


Should you have any further question or require a personal advice with respect to the impact of these rules on your company, please contact your usual contact person at BDO or you may send an email to [email protected] for the attention of one of the members of the Competence Centre VAT:

  • Erwin Boumans, 02/778.01.00
  • Pascal Dauw, 09/210.54.10
  • Kaatje Bondewel, 02/778.01.00
  • Brigitte Braeckmans, 03/230.58.40

Visit our website regularly to be informed on the latest updates.