Tax Insights June 2022 - Foreign vat refund. Do not forget to submit your request!

In addition to the various domestic options to avoid VAT liquidity problems (accelerated refund, review of the filing periodicity of the returns, etc.), the foreign VAT refund is often overlooked. 


Any business, incurring VAT in an EU Member State where it does not submit VAT returns (regardless whether it is established in the EU or not). 


Taxpayers with a right to deduct input VAT can in principle recover all EU VAT incurred. Also similar taxes paid outside the EU (e.g. Sales Tax and the Goods and Services Tax) can often, according to the applicable procedure in that country, be refunded. 

However, this refundable VAT is often ‘forgotten’, whereby millions of euros of foreign VAT are not reclaimed. 


EU taxpayers can submit their VAT refund request electronically where they are established.

As from 1 July 2022, also non-EU taxpayers will be able to request the refund of Belgian VAT via the Belgian e-portal (and no longer on paper). 

As far as GST/Sales tax is concerned, the applicable procedure should be checked on a country-by-country basis. 


In Belgium, the VAT refund application for VAT incurred during 2021 must be submitted before 30 September2022. 

Submitting VAT refund requests on a quarterly basis is also possible, provided that the amount of refundable VAT amounts to at least €400.


In practice, refund requests are often submitted without further verification of the underlying transactions or additional information, which can lead to requests for information by the foreign VAT administrations, the simple denial of the refund request or even penalties for not complying with a VAT registration obligation.  In this case, it takes a great deal of knowledge, effort and time to obtain the refund and/ or avoid sanctions. 

RSM Belgium has the specific knowledge and an extensive network to ensure that the refund requests in all 27 EU Member States and outside the European Union run smoothly and efficiently, from the submission of the request to the actual refund.  

If you would like to receive additional information on this matter or our VAT assistance, the tax team of RSM Belgium is at your disposal ([email protected]). 

RSM Belgium | Tax



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