06 March 2014

As part of its recovery plan, the federal government has agreed to raise the threshold for the application of the special VAT scheme for small enterprises from EUR 5,580 to EUR 15,000 as of 1 April 2014. The VAT administration is already explaining the impact while awaiting the approval of the measure by the parliament and the publication in the Belgian Official Journal.

Less formalities…

VAT payers with a maximum turnover over EUR 15,000 (VAT excluded) in 2013 qualify for the new special VAT scheme for small enterprise. This means that they will no longer have to charge VAT on their outgoing invoices and hence, do not need to account for VAT. However, they will no longer be entitled to any VAT deduction.

As a recap: certain activities and transactions are excluded from the special VAT scheme, such as the activities of a VAT unity, certain incidental transactions (e.g. in relation to construction work), the transfer of new buildings by incidental VAT payers, … .

… But still some obligations to respect

Enterprises applying this special VAT scheme still need to comply with certain formalities, such as:

  • reporting the start, change or closing of an activity;
  • issuing invoices, without VAT, however, mentioning “Special VAT scheme for small enterprises”;
  • filing an annual client listing prior to 31 march of each year;
  • storing and numbering incoming and outgoing invoices. It is, however, not required to keep purchase and sales ledgers;
  • drawing up a table of company assets;
  • keeping a cash receipt ledger;
  • informing customers and suppliers of the Belgian identification number;
  • if necessary, filing intra-Community sales listings;
  • filing special VAT returns for the reporting of transactions in relation to which the enterprise needs to account for the VAT due to a reverse charge mechanism.  

Transition from regular VAT or farmers’ scheme to special VAT scheme for small enterprises

Normal VAT payers or VAT payers subject to the farmers’ scheme that are switching to the special VAT scheme for small enterprises will lose their right to input VAT deduction.

In addition, they will have to revise the VAT deduction within one month after the transfer of the VAT scheme in relation to:

  • capital goods, other than those of which the property has not yet been transferred and non-consumed services; 
  • capital goods: revision in proportion to the outstanding years of the VAT revision period (5 years for movable goods, 15 years for immovable goods).

3 dates for transition to the new special VAT scheme

From 1 April 2014 - enterprises that met the threshold and other conditions for the special VAT scheme in 2013 will be able to apply for the new scheme from 1 April 2014, provided that they notify the competent VAT inspection office hereof ultimately on 21 March 2014.

From 1 July 2014 – enterprises that realised a maximum turnover of EUR 15,000 EUR and met all other conditions in the course of 2013, but did not submit a notification to the VAT inspection office, will automatically be subject to the special VAT scheme from 1 July 2014. However businesses wanting to remain subject to the normal VAT or farmers’ scheme, shall inform the competent VAT inspection office hereof prior to 1 June 2014.

From 1 January 2015 – Enterprises (other than the above mentioned) will be given the opportunity to apply for the special VAT scheme until the last quarter of 2014 (but prior to 15 December 2014), taking effect from 1 January 2015.

Note in this respect that new businesses can apply for the special VAT scheme on the basis of an estimate of the expected turnover for the year of commencement of their activity. 


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
  • Joëlle Teuwen, 081/ 20 87 87

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