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Compliance and Regulations

Belgium announced electronic invoicing obligation

February 2, 2024
9:00 am

On the 2nd of February 2024, the Belgian Parliament endorsed a legislative amendment to the VAT Code, paving the way for compulsory business-to-business (B2B) electronic invoicing by 2026.

This move is part of the government's broader initiative to embrace the benefits of electronic invoicing and streamline administrative processes.

The country has already undertaken the necessary steps to request a derogation from the European Commission, in order to be allowed to deviate from the provisions in the VAT directive 2006/112/EC and introduce mandatory electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) for domestic taxpayers.

Scope of the obligation

Starting from the 1st of January 2026, VAT-liable companies with a VAT registration and establishment in Belgium are obligated to receive and send structured electronic invoices, leaving no room to refuse them.

Even if a business is not required to issue invoices under national regulations, it must take the necessary measures to process and settle electronic invoices. The obligation refers to domestic B2B transactions, issued under the Belgium VAT law. Cross-border transactions are out of scope.

In the light of the obligation the government also amends the definition of electronic invoices. The new definition emphasises structured electronic invoices, distinguishing them from simple PDFs sent via email. The focus is on automatic and electronic processing, aligning with the concept of "machine-to-machine" communication.

Electronic invoicing framework

To facilitate this transition, the government has introduced the use of the Peppol network. Connecting via Peppol offers interoperability advantages, eliminating the need for bilateral agreements between participants and providing a common standard for all. The network is already operating in the country as a primary delivery method in the Business-to-Government (B2G) e-invoicing obligations.

In order to meet even the most specific needs of the businesses the government has created the so-called “Dual-Track” approach, where the first track - default network and format, will be based on Peppol.

The second “track” will allow taxpayers to opt-out from the default network, based on mutual agreement, and use another means for e-invoicing, i.e. EDI.

Government incentives and available tax deductions

Belgium's government understands the challenges posed by the mandatory transition. To incentivise businesses, the government has introduced a tax initiative which will allow businesses to claim tax on particular e-invoicing implementations, subscriptions and consultancy costs.

Take a look at the full initiative here.

Start your electronic invoicing journey with Unifiedpost Group

Establishing efficient and compliant electronic invoicing procedures can be a demanding task. At Unifiedpost Group, we take on the demanding tasks, so that you don’t have to. Businesses from around the globe utilise our services in order to create compliant processes that align with local regulatory frameworks. With our extensive experience assisting numerous Belgian businesses, we have a thorough understanding of local processes and what is needed in anticipation of the upcoming mandates.

To ensure you have the right processes in place, contact a member of our local Unifiedpost Belgium team to discuss your e-invoicing needs.

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