Brexit update: BE VAT registration with the appointment of a fiscal representative for UK companies

Considering the UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and the ‘stand-still‘ transition period will come to an end on 31 December 2020, new details on how UK companies will need to organize their business in terms of VAT registration in Belgium and the related timing to comply are beginning to surface. 

As such, 1 January 2021 is the next date to mark in our calendars, as Brexit will – under the present circumstances – have an effect on that particular date. This means that UK companies will have to fulfill all the VAT obligations linked to their ‘non-EU’-status from that date on and thus need to appoint a fiscal representative when being registered or registering for VAT purposes in Belgium.

In that context, the Belgian VAT authorities recently released a communication on the timing to comply with the so-called ‘switch’ for UK companies with a direct registration in Belgium to a VAT registration with the appointment of a fiscal representative once Brexit is effective.

In brief, UK companies with a direct VAT registration in Belgium will have to prepare and file their request for the approval of a responsible fiscal representative for VAT in Belgium with the competent Belgian VAT administration as soon as possible. This should preferably be done before Brexit takes effect and at the very latest in the 3rd month following the effective date of Brexit, so before 31 March 2021.

Note that this procedure can easily take longer than one month, as the conditions and the formalities for a VAT registration by means of the approval of a responsible Belgian established fiscal representative are far more detailed and stricter than those for a direct VAT registration.

The Belgian VAT administration will end the approval procedure within a period of 6 months following Brexit: in that 6-month period, the Belgian VAT administration will consider and treat the direct VAT registration number of UK companies as having already been converted to a VAT registration number with the appointment of a fiscal representative in Belgium. 

If you have a Belgian VAT number or need one, PwC Belgium can help you identify and appoint a Belgian fiscal representative that best fits your business needs. Our proven expertise in fiscal representation and VAT compliance makes us the ideal partner for foreign companies doing business in Belgium. 

Should you have questions or concerns about this topic or be interested in our service offering, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to have a one-to-one discussion on your unique business needs in preparation for Brexit.

Pascal Janssens (Partner)


Related : PwC Belgium

Click here to see the ad(s)
All articles VAT

Lastest articles VAT

Termination fees often subject to VAT

Following a ruling of the CJEU, termination fees in the event of early termination of a contract are often triggering VAT....

Termination fees often subject to VAT Read more

Mesures fiscales prises dans le cadre de la propagation du Covid-19

Le cabinet TETRA Law a répertorié l'ensemble des mesures fiscales prises en Belgique dans le cadre ...

Read more

Belgian tax measures

As from 18 March 2020, the Belgian government published various tax measures in order to deal with the economic impact of ...

Belgian tax measures Read more

Optional VAT regime: how to opt for the application of VAT

The optional VAT regime for real estate rental entered into force on 1 January 2019  (see Eubelius Spo...

Optional VAT regime: how to opt for the application of VAT Read more

LexGO Network