by Dries Torreele and Hannelore Durieu
Vandelanotte International is contacted by numerous non-resident companies when they carry out transactions in Belgium for the first time, thereby coming into contact with Belgian VAT. It is noticeable that many companies come up with the same questions. In this short series, we aim to provide you with the answers to the five most frequently asked questions.
This week: telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services.
Question: As a foreign company, we provide private Belgian individuals with private electronic services via the cloud and via software downloads. Which VAT obligations do we have to meet?
Answer: When a foreign company supplies electronic services to a Belgian private individual, the place of supply is located in Belgium. As a result, Belgian VAT is payable on the transaction amount. The VAT amount must then be paid to the Belgian VAT office.
Question: What is the method of paying this VAT as a non-Belgian company? Should we register ourselves in Belgium and submit periodic VAT returns or are there other options? Should we register ourselves in all countries of the EU if we want to offer services across the EU?
Answer: To avoid the necessity of registering as a foreign company in all EU countries, it is possible to make use of the so-called Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) system. If you do this, it will be sufficient to register in one country only (e.g. Belgium). Then you can submit a single electronic VAT return in Belgium every quarter. This VAT return will show all transactions in all EU Member States. Moreover, you only need to make a single payment for all supplies made in the EU. These amounts are then divided amongst the various EU Member States.
Vandelanotte International has a team of people specialised in VAT compliance and consulting. If you would like to find out more about this topic or any other VAT issues, then please feel free to contact one of our VAT specialists via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.