brexit and belgium: mandatory vat representation for uk businesses

22 February 2019

by Dries Torreele and Bert Vandorpe

Brexit and Belgium: mandatory VAT representation for UK businesses

With Brexit just around the corner, details on how we will need to organize our businesses tax-wise are beginning to surface. In that context, the Belgian VAT Administration finally confirmed what the consequences of Brexit are for UK companies with a Belgian VAT number.  

Brexit and Belgium: mandatory VAT representation for UK businesses

To this date, UK taxable persons, that need to be registered for VAT purposes in Belgium, can register themselves directly. After Brexit, UK taxable persons will qualify as not established in the European Union and will have to fulfill all the VAT obligations relating to this status.

This means that after Brexit every UK business registered in Belgium for VAT purposes needs to appoint a Belgian fiscal representative. This representative will fulfill all the obligations concerning VAT in Belgium and will also be held accountable if these formalities are not fulfilled.

What consequences does this entail for UK businesses with a direct VAT registration in Belgium? They will have to file a request for the approval and designation of a fiscal representative before Brexit is effective, be it 30th March 2019.

The Belgian VAT Administration will finalize the approval procedure within a period of 6 months following Brexit. In the meantime, the VAT Administration will consider the direct VAT registration number as already converted into a VAT registration number with a fiscal representative. The switch from direct registration to the mandatory registration with a Belgian fiscal representative has no impact on the periodical returns and the VAT number stays unchanged.

After filing the request, the VAT Administration normally performs an audit to check if the appointed responsible representative is solvent enough to comply with all the VAT obligations, if it complied with its VAT obligations the last years, etc… Since many years, Vandelanotte is a good partner of the VAT Administration, which allows us to avoid this audit and speed up the VAT registration.

If you have a Belgian VAT number or are in need of one, Vandelanotte can act as your Belgian fiscal representative. Our long-time experience in representation, advising and compliance, makes us the ideal partner for foreign companies doing business in Belgium.

Any questions concerning this topic? Do not hesitate to contact one of our experts at contact@vdl.be.