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Special VAT declaration for self-employed people who are VAT exempt

Written by Valesca Wilms, Content Manager
Updated on
Read in 4 minutes

Are you covered by the VAT exemption scheme for small businesses? Then you don’t have to charge VAT to your customers or submit a periodic VAT return, but you still need to pay VAT on your professional purchases. So far, so good.

As a VAT-exempt small business, you’re not normally required to file a VAT return. However, if you make a purchase in another EU member state, you may receive an intra-community invoice on which VAT is ‘transferred’. This means you receive an invoice without VAT, on which you, as a buyer in your own country, still have to pay VAT. You must then take the initiative to submit a special VAT declaration and pay VAT on these purchase invoices to the Belgian State. In this article, we explain how to do it.

The special VAT declaration

You only need to submit a special VAT declaration if you have something to declare. Therefore, you’re only taking into account the intra-community invoice(s) in question.

💡Accountable tip: As a small business exempt from VAT, you can avoid the special VAT declaration by opting for a normal purchase receipt (like for private individuals), without mentioning your company number. In this case, you pay VAT and don’t need to file a special VAT return afterwards.

If you don’t have any invoices with reverse-charged VAT for a particular quarter, then you don’t have to declare anything, not even a zero declaration.

When do you need to submit a special VAT declaration?

When submitting the special VAT declaration, you follow the usual VAT schedule. This means you need to submit the declaration before the 20th of the month following the end of the quarter.

An example: you made a business purchase in January in the Netherlands and provided your business information. You therefore received an intra-community invoice with self-liquidated VAT. The deadline to submit your special VAT declaration is 20 April, i.e. within the month following the end of Q1.

How to submit a special VAT declaration?

For this special VAT declaration, you need to take the initiative yourself. To do this, go to Intervat, and in the ‘Declaration by screen’ section, choose ‘Special VAT Return 629’. Take your intra-community invoices and fill in the appropriate categories.

Or, make your life easier by submitting your special VAT declaration with Accountable. You upload an intra-community invoice, and we prepare the declaration for you. The exact way steps to follow are explained here.

After submitting the declaration, you receive a confirmation of receipt (Intervat) with payment details and the payment deadline. Pay the amount on time and with the appropriate structured communication so your payment is recorded correctly. Then, everything will be in order with the VAT administration for your intra-community invoices.

How to avoid a special VAT declaration?

If you benefit from the VAT exemption scheme for small businesses, it’s often sufficient to not mention your VAT number when making a purchase in another EU country.

Generally, you then receive a regular invoice that includes VAT, just like any private individual. Or, you can explicitly request an invoice with VAT. If you opt for either of these approaches, you don’t need to submit a special VAT declaration for the invoices.

However, where possible, make sure you receive a real invoice in the name of your business so you can deduct this professional expense from your taxes.

⚠️ Note that in certain cases, you’re actually obliged to mention your VAT number, even if you’re exempt from VAT. For example, your VAT number must always appear on the invoice when you purchase services, a vehicle or other excise products in another EU member state. For goods, it’s mandatory to mention your VAT number as soon as you exceed €11,200 in purchases per year from the same supplier. Once you exceed this amount, you need to provide your VAT number for any purchases from this supplier the following calendar year.

💡Accountable tip: Do you have a question about your specific situation? Don’t hesitate to contact our Tax Coaches – or ask our AI Tax Assistant. That way, you can be sure your special VAT declaration is completely in order.

What is the advantage of a VAT exemption?

In certain cases, thanks to a VAT exemption, you can be cheaper than your competitors. If most of your customers do not recover VAT themselves, then it may be beneficial for you not to have to charge them VAT. In addition, if you only do business very occasionally, and your turnover remains very low, a VAT exemption can be interesting.

However, you still need to pay VAT on your own business purchases, and you should factor this into your pricing. If you have a lot of business expenses, this can quickly wipe out the price advantage. Do you have clients who are subject to VAT? If so, a VAT exemption can even make you more expensive, since your services or products are not VAT deductible for your client.

Exempt from VAT, but not from proper accounting

Even with a VAT exemption, you still need to keep proper accounts, based on your annual personal income tax and annual client listing.

If you often make purchases abroad and therefore regularly have to submit a special VAT declaration, it may be better to file a regular VAT return four times a year. This way, you no longer have to deal with this additional VAT, and as a business subject to VAT, you also recover the VAT paid on your other professional expenses.

For your accounting, you always have to keep track of all your expenses and income. By doing this diligently, Accountable has all the information needed to generate your VAT return in just one click. All you have to do is submit it via Intervat, and you’ll recover the VAT on your professional purchases.

Exempt from VAT or subject to VAT? Accountable is here for you. For your accounting, and for any special VAT declarations. Fast, simple and reliable.

The Accountable team wishes you every success.

Try Accountable now for 14 days for free.

Also interesting:

The VAT exemption: when and for whom?

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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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