You are subject to VAT and you file monthly or quarterly returns? Then you must in principle imperatively pay by December 24 at the latest an advance payment on the VAT due respectively on your operations for the month of December or the fourth quarter of the current year.
How to calculate your VAT advance payment?
The computation of the VAT deposit is not done automatically. You must determine the amount yourself based on one of the following two methods:
- The amount of the advance payment is equal to the VAT actually due by the company for operations carried out from 1 to 20 December (monthly taxable persons) or from 1 October to 20 December (quarterly taxable persons) of the current calendar year. The amount is included in box 91 of the last VAT return of the year.
- When you do not fill box 91 in your last VAT return or file this VAT return late with a completed box 91, the amount of the VAT advance payment is equal to the VAT due (box 71) for the operations of the month of November (monthly taxable persons) or the 3rd quarter (quarterly taxable persons). If your company uses this second method, it does not have to pay any deposit if the above-mentioned declarations result in a tax credit (box 72 of the return) or does not show any amount due to the Treasury ("nil" declaration).
These methods of determining the amount of the VAT advance payment to be paid leave de facto to the company the possibility to determine the deposit by itself and thus to pay either a deposit calculated on the basis of the tax actually due on December 20, or a fixed deposit equal to the tax due for the operations of the previous VAT period.
What are the penalties if you don't pay a VAT deposit?
You will have to pay interest for late payment. Let's take the following example: your company files monthly VAT returns and for lack of time or negligence fails to calculate its VAT deposit. It will therefore not be able to enter anything in box 91 of its last VAT return of the year. This mere fact has a specific meaning as it will be interpreted by the tax authorities ... as your choice to pay a deposit equal to the VAT due for the operations of the month of November! The Belgian State will automatically claim late payment interests (0.8% per month of delay) on the amount of VAT entered by the company in box 71 of its November VAT return.
Exceptional measure: exemption of the VAT deposit for the month of December 2020
As part of the urgent fiscal measures taken by the Belgian government to deal with the Covid pandemic, companies will be exempted this year from the payment of the VAT deposit. The exemption from payment of the VAT advance payment is exceptional and therefore only concerns the declaration of December 2020 (monthly taxable persons) or of the 4th quarter 2020 (quarterly taxable persons) which must be filed by 20 January 2021 at the latest. All companies are of course still required to pay the full VAT resulting from their last periodic declaration of the year 2020, mentioned in box 71, at the latest on January 20, 2021.