by Dries Torreele
The year 2023 has not yet started, yet the legislature is already carrying out a number of important changes in respect of VAT which will be applied on 1st January 2024. We have set them out for you below.
Currently, the deadline for submitting the return (and paying the VAT) whether you do a monthly or a quarterly return is the 20th of the month after the period to which the return applies. If this date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday, then the deadline date shifts to the next working day.
If the VAT return is not submitted on time then a fine of € 100 is applied per return and per month delay to a maximum of € 1,000. Note that an administrative tolerance means that no fine is actually applied if the VAT return is submitted no later than the tenth day of the following month. Admittedly, the deadline for paying the tax due remains unchanged.
From 2024, the deadline for submitting a quarterly VAT return will be extended to the 25th of the month after the end of the quarter. The administrative tolerance mentioned earlier will no longer apply, however.
Currently, a repayment of a credit can be requested with the VAT return. This applies to the credit that is already on the VAT account as well as the credit that is apparent from the return itself.
From 2024 a request with the VAT return will only be possible for the credit that is apparent from that return itself. Credits from previous returns will have to be requested via a separate procedure. In concrete terms, a ‘provision account’ will be available via MyMinfin where the taxpayer will have the option of requesting full of partial repayment of the amount in the account. It will also be possible via MyMinfin to use all or part of this account to pay any outstanding administrative debts.
Currently, if you do a monthly or quarterly VAT return, you can receive the refund of any VAT credit four times per year. For those who do a monthly return, there is also the possibility of receiving a monthly refund by means of a permit. From 2024, those who do a monthly return should be eligible for a monthly refund without need of a permit, which will disappear.
As well as the usual fines from the VAT authorities for late submission, VAT payers who do not fulfil their obligation to submit returns receive a proposed substitute return. This occurs three months after the VAT return period. The VAT owed in this proposed substitute return is equal to the highest amount owed in the returns from the 12 months prior to the VAT return period. After this proposed return, the VAT payer has one month in which to submit the actual return. If that does not occur, the proposed substitute return becomes the definitive return, which can only be contested by means of an administrative appeal or an application to court.
Currently, there is no statutory period in which the tax authorities have to answer a request for information (except for the general principle that the period must be ‘reasonable’). From 2024, this period should be one month, as applies to direct taxation. This period can be reduced to 10 days if the rights of the Treasury would otherwise be compromised.
If you have any questions, contact one of our experts.
In our opinions, we rely on current legislation, interpretations and legal doctrine. This does not prevent the administration from disputing them or from changing existing interpretations.
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