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Tax deadlines for independents and freelancers

Don’t miss out on these administrative deadlines as an independent!

Written by Valesca Wilms, Content Manager
Updated on
Read in 5 minutes

As an independent, you’re most likely aware that there are too few (working) hours in a day. You have to think of a million things at once and be in several different places. On top of that, there’s a number of administrative deadlines you have to meet. To keep an overview, we made a list of all deadlines, just for you.

💡Accountable tip: add this blog to your favourite bookmarks, because the deadlines are recurring!

4 Quarters a year

The word ‘quarter’ should ring a bell if you are an independent or a freelancer. This is because most administrative matters, such as VAT returns or social contributions, are grouped by quarter. So, depending on the type of administration, action is expected from you at the beginning or end of each quarter.

A quarter consists of 3 months and the start and end dates are the same every year:

🌑 1st quarter: January 1st – March 31st
🌒 2nd quarter: April 1st – June 30th
🌓 3rd quarter: July 1st – September 30th
🌕 4th quarter: October 1st – December 31st

💡Accountable tip: Planning on starting a new business or are you looking to start a secondary occupation? Wait until the beginning of a quarter. You pay social contributions for a full quarter, so if you start for example on March 30th, you pay the full amount of social contributions for the first quarter. So it’s better to wait a few days, so you save a few well-earned pennies.💰

Tax returns

Once a year, you file a personal income tax return. Depending on the entity of your business, you may also have to file a corporate tax return.

🧍Income tax

If you submit your income tax on paper, the documents must arrive at the tax office by the 30th of June. Take the postal delivery times into account and don’t be late.

If you submit the personal income tax digitally with Tax-on-web, the deadline is set on the 15th of July, unless:

  • Your accountant submits your taxes, in that case the deadline is set on October 18th
  • The deadline is also extended to October for electronic returns with specific income (all self-employed)

*The later filing date may vary from year to year. More info on the most accurate deadlines and the tax return, click here.

🏢Corporate tax

Corporate tax returns are filed electronically with Biztax. From the balance sheet date, regardless of the date of the general meeting, you have 7 months to file your corporate tax return.

Social contributions

As an independent person, you have to pay social contributions to the social security fund every quarter. At the beginning of each quarter, you will receive a payment request for that quarter’s contributions. You must make this payment before the end of the quarter.

Too late? If you haven’t paid your social security contributions by the end of the quarter, the social insurance fund will charge an extra 3% at the end of each quarter. Have you still not paid your social contributions at the end of the calendar year? Then there will also be a one-off increase of 7% on that part of your contributions that you have not yet paid.

VAT return

When you are subject to VAT as an independent or freelancer, you receive VAT on the goods or services sold for every invoice you send to customers. You have to return this collected VAT to the state every quarter. On the other hand, you can also recover VAT on some professional expenses, which reduces the amount you have to return to the state. 

You have to file your VAT return by the 20th of the month following the month or quarter in which you collected or recovered VAT. The VAT declaration is done through the Intervat application. The same principle applies to payment.

Monthly or quarterly?

Monthly VAT returns are the standard. However, it is possible to submit your VAT returns quarterly, for example if your turnover does not exceed 2,500,000 euro (excl. VAT). But it’s not possible to file your declaration quarterly if you are obliged to file intra-community declarations monthly. Other conditions for quarterly VAT returns can be found here

Do you qualify for a quarterly return? Then put these dates in your diary!

🌑 April 20th: declaration and payment for 1st quarter
🌒 July 20th*: declaration and payment for 2nd quarter
🌗 October 20th: declaration and payment for 3th quarter
🌕 January 20th: declaration and payment for 4th quarter

* During summer, the FPS Finance applies a later deadline for filing your VAT return. Therefore, returns for the 2nd quarter may be filed until 10/08. Payment is made as usual.

Please note, late returns and payments can result in a fine so make sure you’re on time.

Advance payments

It’s possible to make prepayments for your taxes. This brings a number of benefits, including a bonus or tax reduction for self-employed individuals in the first 3 years. 

Advance payments must be made within the set deadlines. These dates slightly vary each year, but you can assume that the money must be in the tax authorities’ account before:

🌑 April 10th for the 1st quarter
🌒 July 10th for the 2nd quarter
🌗 October 10th for het 3rd quarter
🌕 December 10th for the 4th quarter

You can find the exact dates for each year on the FPS Finance website. Write the dates down in your diary, because you risk a fine when you’re too late with the advance payment.

Client listing

All independents and freelancers subject to VAT must annually list the Belgian VAT numbers of those you worked with in the previous year. You must only list the clients to whom you have supplied goods or services with a value of more than 250 euros (excluding VAT). 

For the client listing, it is best to mark 31st of March in your diary every year.

Are you not subject to VAT because you’re under the small business exemption scheme? Then you still have to submit a client list, unless your clients do not have a Belgian VAT number or when your clients do have a Belgian VAT number, but your annual turnover per customer does not exceed 250 euro. 

Intra-community listing

Conducted business outside of Belgium? If so, you must submit an intra-community listing every quarter as a VAT-registered independent. The intra-community listing is a list of all transactions you have carried out with VAT-registered customers in other EU countries.

The government made this one easy for you, as the deadlines are the same as those for the VAT return. If you file your VAT return monthly, then you must also file your intra-community listing monthly. If you file your VAT return every quarter, then you may do the same for the intra-community listing. It’s as simple as that.

The date is set on the 20th of the month following the month or quarter in which the goods or services were supplied. For the quarterly declaration, stick to these dates. Please note that dates may vary annually. In case the date is adjusted, it is always later, never earlier. For the most accurate dates this year, check here.

🌑 April 20th: declaration and payment for 1st quarter
🌒 July 20th: declaration and payment for 2nd quarter
🌗 October 20th: declaration and payment for 3th quarter
🌕 January 20th: declaration and payment for 4th quarter

Need a reminder?

Being self-employed involves a lot of admin. Make it yourself easy and try Accountable for free. We will notify you when important tax and administration deadlines approach, so you can focus on what really matters: your business.

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Valesca Wilms, Content Manager
Valesca Wilms, Content Manager

As a Content Manager at Accountable, Valesca offers her readers an exciting and engaging content experience. Given her own experience as a freelance content marketeer & copywriter, Valesca knows the ins and outs of tax returns for the self-employed. It’s her goal to provide you with easy and understandable solutions to handle your tax returns stress-free with Accountable.

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