In addition, a deposit is no longer required for new license applications filed as from 1 October 2012.
To avoid “pre-financing” of import value added tax (VAT), a taxpayer could apply for the “E.T.14.000” import license under certain conditions.
The license allowed the taxpayer to pay the import VAT through the periodic VAT return (grid 57), and provided an immediate deduction of the same amount in the same VAT return. Through this reverse-charge mechanism, no import VAT had to be paid to the customs authorities.
However, this import license was only granted if there was a deposit made equal to 1/24 of the amount of VAT due on the actual imports during the four quarters preceding the application.
The Belgian government decided to introduce a new reverse-charge regime—one not requiring a deposit—effective 1 January 2013.
The existing regime continues to apply until 31 December 2012, both for taxpayers that already have an import license and for taxpayers who apply for a license before year-end.
However, the tax administration will, as a transitional measure, no longer require deposits for license applications filed as from 1 October 2012.
Refund of the deposit
Because the new reverse-charge regime, beginning in 2013, will no longer require a deposit, a taxpayer can file a claim for refund of an already made deposit. To file a claim for refund, the taxpayer is to report the amount in grid 62 of the periodic VAT return for January 2013 (if monthly filing) or the first quarter of 2013 (if quarterly filing).
At the same time, the taxpayer must send a refund application to its VAT auditor.
If the taxpayer has not claimed a deposit refund via the VAT return, a refund can still be made in a VAT return to be filed before the end of 2016.
Read this October 2012 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Belgium: Deposit E.T.14.000 license abolished. Do not forget to reclaim existing deposits as from 1 January 2013!