As from 1 January 2013, the issuance of an invoice not always triggers the payment of the VAT. Due to the practical implications of this new rule, the Belgian authorities had provided for transitional measures that were applicable from 1 January 2013 until 31 December 2014.
On 7 October 2014, the Belgian VAT authorities published an administrative decision (E.T. 126.003) with the “definitive rules”. The decision entered into force on 1 January 2015, but it has subsequently been postponed to 1 July 2015.
In a new decision (decision E.T.128.109 of 17 April 2015), it has now been decided that the transitional VAT regime (as it was in place in 2013/2014) continues to apply until Belgian VAT law is amended.
Practically speaking, taxpayers now have the choice to apply the definitive or the transitional rules.
For local operations, several tolerances are applicable so that the accounting treatment and VAT reporting of advance payments will be relatively easy.
For intra-Community operations, these tolerances are limited to avoid a mismatch of information between Member States. So, the rules are a bit stricter.
Some questions remain open, such as the possibility for the supplier and the client to take a different approach regarding the payment/deduction of VAT, which can be advantageous in terms of VAT pre-financing. This possibility does not seem to be disallowed according to administrative comments.
For more information, please contact your regular PwC adviser.