Posted: 19 Jun. 2023 1 min. read

New VAT circular on extended limitation and retention period(s)

Tax Law | Legal Newsflash

Full article in Dutch and French

On 14 June 2023, the Belgian tax administration published Circular 2023/C/58 (Dutch I French) on the practical implementation of the extended four-year limitation periods for VAT payments due, and the extended 10-year retention period for VAT books and documents, which came into force on 1 January 2023. For further information on the extended limitation and retention periods, see our Tax Alert of 10 October 2022 (Dutch I French).

In addition to some technical guidelines, the new circular letter contains some interesting points of note in connection with the new limitation period relating to VAT due in the event of the nonsubmission or late submission of the VAT return.

A late declaration is a periodic VAT return that was submitted after the 20th day of the month following the declaration period, with certain exceptions permitted under an administrative tolerance regime (the so-called "summer scheme").

This means that a periodic VAT return submitted after the 20th day following the declaration period, but before the 10th day of the following month, and for which no VAT penalties are currently imposed under existing administrative practice, may now be subject to the extended limitation period.

The extended limitation period is, as expected, restricted to the return that was not submitted or was submitted late, and is not extended to the entire calendar year.

The claim for VAT due must also be related to the nonfiling or late submission of the return. The extended limitation period is therefore limited to VAT which is: 

  • Included in a late return, regardless of whether it is the correct VAT return;
  • Not included in the correct VAT return, if this return is submitted late or not at all; or
  • Wrongly recovered (i.e., through overdeduction or an erroneous refund) in a declaration that was submitted late.

These rules apply retroactively to any VAT that has become due as from 1 January 2023. 

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Frank Vanbiervliet

Frank Vanbiervliet


Frank is a member of the Tax Dispute Resolution team of lawyers at Deloitte Legal. He specialises in multi-jurisdictional tax planning and tax litigation. He also provides tax advisory services relating to mergers & acquisitions, VAT and other indirect and local taxes, transfer pricing, pensions and benefits, international and local corporate restructuring for holding and real estate companies.