28 May 2024

Postponement of major VAT changes until 2025

by Siel Demeyer and Charlotte Steelandt

The legislator initially planned to implement several important VAT changes at the beginning of 2024. However, these changes have been postponed and will now take effect from January 1, 2025, as stipulated in the law of March 12, 2023, which was postponed via a Royal Decree. Below, we discuss some of the most significant changes.

Extended filing deadline for quarterly declarants

Currently, the deadline for submitting the return (and paying the VAT debt) for both monthly and quarterly declarants is the 20th of the month following the return period. If this day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a public holiday, the deadline is extended to the next business day.

From January 1, 2025, the submission deadline for quarterly declarants will be extended by five days. This means that quarterly declarants must submit their VAT return no later than the 25th of the month following the end of the quarter. Note: the payment deadline remains unchanged on the 20th of the same month.

For monthly declarants, the submission deadline remains unchanged on the 20th of the month following the return period.

VAT refund

Currently, refunds of a credit can be requested via the periodic return. This applies to both the credit shown in the submitted return and the credit still outstanding on the VAT current account.

From 2025, a request via the periodic return will only be possible for the credit shown in the relevant return itself. Furthermore, the periodic VAT returns for the past 6 months must have been submitted on time, and this credit must be at least 50 euros.

Credits from previous returns must be requested through a separate procedure.

Specifically, a new 'commission account' will be available via MyMinfin, where taxpayers can choose to reclaim all or part of the amount in this account. It will also be possible, through MyMinfin, to choose to use all or part of this account to pay outstanding administrative debts.

Monthly refund

Currently, as a monthly or quarterly declarant, you can get the VAT credit refunded 4 times a year. For monthly declarants, it is possible to obtain a monthly refund through a permit. From 2025, this permit will disappear, allowing monthly declarants to automatically request their VAT credit monthly without a separate permit.

Replacement declaration

VAT taxpayers who do not fulfill their filing obligation will, in addition to the usual penalties for late submission, receive a proposed substitute return from the VAT administration. This will happen three months after the end of the return period. This proposal will show a VAT amount due that is equal to the highest amount due from the returns of the 12 months preceding the return period. After receiving this proposal, the taxpayer has one month to submit the return. If the taxpayer fails to do so, the proposal becomes final and can only be contested via an administrative appeal or a petition to the court.

Practical and procedural changes

Currently, there is no legal deadline for responding to a request for information from the tax authorities concerning VAT (except for the general principle that this period must be 'reasonable'). From 2025, as with direct taxes, a period of 1 month will be provided, counting from the third business day after the date of dispatch. This period can be shortened to ten days if the rights of the Treasury are at risk or if the request is part of an audit concerning an excess VAT refund.

A practical change is that from 2025, it will be possible to pay VAT debts via direct debit.

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