VAT penalties in Belgium

The Program Law published at the end of June doubled the principal VAT penalties from 25-2,500 euro to 50-5,000 euro. The government published in July a Royal decree for the implementation of this new provision. The increased penalties apply to infringements committed as of 1 July 2012.

The Royal Decree determines the fixed penalties applicable on non-compliance with formal VAT requirements such as non filing or late filing of VAT returns, non-issuance or late issuance of invoices or other documents, incorrect wording of an invoice, non-compliance with rules regarding the VAT bookkeeping etc.

Besides the substantial increase to 50-5,000 euro for non-compliance, most of the existing penalties are doubled or more than doubled. For some infringements a penalty is introduced for the first time.

Recurring infringements entail higher penalties. In order to determine whether an infringement qualifies as “recurring”, the same infringements subject to penalties during the four preceding years are taken into account.

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