In order to avoid the prefinancing of import VAT, a taxpayer can apply for a so-called ‘E.T.14.000’ import license under certain conditions. The license allows the taxpayer to pay the import VAT through the periodic VAT return (grid 57) and to immediately deduct the same amount in the same VAT return. Through this reverse charge, no import VAT has to be paid to the customs authorities.
However, this import license was only granted under the condition of the payment of a deposit which is equal to 1/24th of the VAT due on the actual imports during the four quarters preceding the application.
To eliminate this competitive disadvantage with our neighboring countries, the federal government, within the framework of its economic recovery plan, has decided to introduce a new reverse charge regime, without deposit, as from 1 January 2013.
The existing regime2 continues to apply until 31 December 2012, both for taxpayers which already have an import license, as for taxpayers who apply for a license before the end of the year. However, the tax administration will, as a transitory measure, no longer demand deposits for license applications filed as from 1 October 2012.
As the new reverse charge regime as from 1 January 2013 will no longer require a deposit, any taxpayer can claim the refund of the deposit he has paid. The taxpayer can obtain a refund by reporting its amount in grid 62 of the periodic VAT return for January 2013 (in case of monthly filing) or the first quarter of 2013 (in case of quarterly filing).
At the same time the taxpayer must send a refund application to its VAT auditor. If the taxpayer has not claimed a refund in the above-mentioned VAT return, he can still do so in a VAT return to be filed before the end of 2016.
1 Circular letter nr. AAFisc 30/2012 (E.T.122.812) of 28 September 2012.
2 Circular letter nr. 1/2008 of 2 January 2008.