Belgian VAT electronic invoice requirements update
Belgium has become the latest country to publish guidelines on the use of electronic invoices following the implementation of the EU e-invoice directive last year.
Generally, Belgian VAT invoices must be issued by the 15th of the month following the transaction or any prepayment or sooner. The must be retained for a minimum of seven years, but paper invoices may be held electronically for this period.
The circular, issued by the Beglian Ministry of Finance, covers the producers for controlling and issuing electronic invoices. The main requirements include:
- a clear audit trail on the creation and recording of e-invoices to prevent the potential for fraud or inadvertent errors from issues such as double issuing of invoice numbers
- The requirement that customers must be in a agreement to receive electronic invoices
- paper and electronic invoices are hold the same legal status in the eyes of the tax authorities
- Documented controls on the issueance of e-invoices on electronic signatures and electronic data interchanges
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