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VAT

VAT rates in Belgium

Quick overview

Standard Rate Reduced Rate Other Rates
21% 6% 12%

The local name for VAT in Belgium is ”Belasting op de Toegevoegde Waarde” (BTW). The VAT rates in Belgium are defined in Royal Decree No. 20, of 20 July 1970, fixing the rates of value added tax and classifying goods and services under those rates.

Recent developments

  • A 6% reduced rate temporarily applies from 1 January 2021 through 31 December 2022
    • the demolition and reconstruction of houses and flats to be mainly used as a ‘domicile’ by the builder/buyer
    • properties destined to be leased long-term to or via a ‘social rental’ agency.
    • the ‘sale’ of reconstructed properties and adjacent land (for example, by real estate developers). Specific conditions, restrictions (for example, maximums regarding square metres), and formalities have to be satisfied.
  • Following the initiative of the European Commission, Belgium has implemented a temporary (from 1 January 2021 through 31 December 2022) 0% VAT rate for the supply, the intra-Community acquisition, and the import of COVID-19 vaccines and in vitro diagnostic devices used to monitor the virus, as well as services that are closely related to the before-mentioned vaccines and medical aids.
  • A 6% VAT rate for medical protective gear applicable till June 30, 2021

For more information about (recent) rate change developments in Belgium, please click here.

Standard rate: 21%

Current standard rate is in place since 1 January 1996.  Before that, the standard rate was 20.5% and 19,5%. This rate applies for all transactions that take place in Belgium, unless an exception applies (such as a reduced rate, the zero rate or an exemption, or a reason to treat the transaction as outside scope of VAT).

Zero rate (0%)

Belgium applies 0% VAT rate only to Periodical Publications as newspapers, journals and magazines of general interest issued at least 48 times a year. (This does not include the goods/services for which an exemption applies)

Reduced rate 1: 12%

The 12% VAT rate is applicable on

  • Services provided by institutions with a social purpose
  • Restaurant & Catering Services, excluding beverages
  • Phytopharmacy
  • Margarine
  • Tires and inner tubes
  • Fuels
  • Housing in the context of social policy
  • Certain renovation works on immovable property

 Reduced rate 2: 6% The 6% VAT rate is applicable on

  • Living Animals
  • Food for Human consumption (Meat, Fish, Milk, Eggs, Vegetables, Fruit, Vegetable products, Fats and oils)
  • Food for animals and other animal products
  • Water distribution
  • Medicines and medical devices
  • Newspapers, Magazines and Books
  • Works of art and antiques
  • Motor vehicles, part and equipment for the transport of disabled persons
  • Deliveries of goods by institutions with a social purpose
  • Agricultural services
  • Transport
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Establishments for culture, sports or entertainment
  • Royalty; performing concerts and performances
  • Hotels, camping
  • Real estate work related to private homes
  • Private homes for the disabled
  • Disabled facilities
  • Services provided by institutions with a social purpose
  • Housing in the context of social policy
  • Demolition and reconstruction of buildings in urban areas
  • Renovation and restoration of private houses
  • Small manufacturing services
  • Buildings intended for education and student guidance

For a description of how the VAT rates are structured in the European Union, please see here.  The European Commission has also made an EU VAT rate database available where you can find the applicable VAT rate by entering the CN/CPA code of the goods respectively services (you can find more information here). A global VAT/GST rate overview can be found here (note this is a work in progress). This post was last updated on 4 April 2021.

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