Belgium Steps Closer to Mandatory E-Invoicing

Marta Sowińska
June 9, 2022

In line with the obligations set by the European Directive 2014/55 on electronic invoicing in public procurement, Belgium introduced a mandate for public entities to receive and process electronic invoices in 2019.

For Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia the initiative went beyond the bare minimum of the EU Directive requirements and introduced obligations to also issue e-invoices for suppliers to public sector entities in these regions.

With recent legal changes, Belgium is now preparing to extend the e-invoicing obligation to even more businesses by introducing mandatory e-invoicing in the B2B sector.

E-invoicing in public procurement

On 31 March 2022, the Belgian Official Gazette published the Royal Decree of 9 March 2022, which intends to expand the obligation to issue electronic invoices to all suppliers of public institutions in the context of public contracts and concession contracts.

As previously mentioned, such obligation was already present in multiple regions including Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia, however, now the mandate covers suppliers of public bodies in all regions. The dates concerning issuing electronic invoices in the public contracts, based on their value are:

  • 1 October 2022: e-invoices for public contracts equal to or greater than the European threshold of €214,000 must be issued six months after the publication of the decree in the Belgian Official Gazette and on the first day of each month.
  • 1 April 2023: e-invoices for public contracts equal to or greater than €30,000 must be issued 12 months after the publication of the decree in the Belgian Official Gazette, and on the first day of each month.
  • 1 October 2023: e-invoices for public contracts less than €30,000 must be issued 18 months after the publication of the decree in the Belgian Official Gazette and on the first day of each month.

Only public contracts and concessions, which estimated value is less or equal to €3,000 excluding VAT are exempt.

E-invoicing in the private sector

As reported previously, Belgian authorities have indicated the ambition to move beyond B2G e-invoicing. On 11 May 2022, the Belgium Chamber of Representatives published a draft law amending the law of 2 August 2002 on combating late payment in commercial transactions, as last amended by the law of 28 May 2019, with the aim to implement electronic invoicing between private companies (B2B).

The rationale behind the proposal is the need to enable companies to invest in electronic invoicing, after already supporting the digitalization of invoicing in the B2G sector. The benefits that will follow are a much faster invoicing process, which is more secure and minimises the risk of errors and missing data.

Moreover, the chances of fraud will decrease while privacy protection increases, without the need for human intervention in the invoicing process.

Lastly, the environmental aspect concerning less paper consumption is highlighted. In terms of financial gain, as calculated by the Administrative Simplification Service (DAV), full digitalization of invoices in Belgium could reduce the administrative burden by €3.37 billion.

Based on the draft law, companies (with the exception of micro-enterprises) will be obliged to send their invoices in structured electronic form (in line with the European standard for electronic invoicing EN 16931-1:2017 and CEN/TS 16931-2:2017) as well as receive and process invoices electronically.

Nothing in the draft law describes the involvement of a centralised clearance platform, or the reporting of e-invoice data to the tax authorities. At this time, there is therefore no formal indication that the proposed mandate would be designed as a Continuous Transactions Control (CTC) e-invoicing system, however it is possible that the system will evolve to connect with PEPPOL.

The law will come into effect on 1 January 2025 regarding SMEs, thereby ensuring that companies have adequate time to prepare for the transition. If it comes to large enterprises, it is expected that mandatory e-invoicing will be present from January 2024. Originally the date concerning large taxpayers was July 2023, and small taxpayers from 2024, therefore those dates will most likely be postponed.

Take Action

Get in touch about how Sovos can help with your e-invoicing compliance challenges.

Sign up for Email Updates

Stay up to date with the latest tax and compliance updates that may impact your business.

Author

Marta Sowińska

Marta Sowińska is a Junior Regulatory Counsel at Sovos. Based in Lisbon and originally from Poland, Marta earned a Bachelor’s degree in International and European Law from the Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and has studied at the Beijing Normal University in China.
Share This Post

EMEA
June 16, 2022
VAT on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

The recent popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has captivated investors, governments and tax authorities. An NFT is a digital asset that represents real-world objects such as a piece of digital art, an audio clip, an online game or anything else. NFTs are purchased and sold online and are typically encoded with the same software as […]

EMEA IPT
June 15, 2022
In Focus: Why is Italy’s IPT Regime so Challenging?

Tax compliance in Italy – where do we start? From monthly tax settlements to an annual declaration, prepayment, additional reporting and treatment of negative premiums – all these factors make Italy unique and one of the most challenging jurisdictions from an insurance premium tax (IPT) compliance perspective. Let’s break it all down: Insurance taxes IPT […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
June 15, 2022
Reciprocity Agreements and Why They Matter When Recovering VAT

Sovos recently hosted an online webinar on VAT recovery where we covered reciprocity agreements between the UK and EU Member States when making 13th Directive VAT refund claims. One of the questions that kept coming up is what are reciprocity agreements and why do they matter? Reciprocity When making 13th Directive refund claims, each EU […]

E-Invoicing Compliance EMEA
June 14, 2022
Draft Resolution Introduces Changes to Peru’s E-transport Document

E-invoicing was introduced in Peru in 2010, following the continuous transaction controls (CTC) trend in Latin American countries for a more efficient collection of consumption taxes. Since then, the government has rolled out measures to encompass a significant number of taxpayers under the country’s mandatory e-invoicing regime and advance new technical and institutional structures within […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
June 8, 2022
How to Prepare for a VAT Audit

Our previous articles covered audit trends we have noticed at Sovos and common triggers of a VAT audit. This article discusses the best practices on how to prepare for a VAT audit. Each country and jurisdiction may have different laws and requirements related to the VAT audit process. Tax authorities can carry out audits in […]