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01 June 2017 / news

New guidance from the Belgian VAT authorities on business gifts, samples, promotional items, gifts and goods provided free of charge

On 29 May 2017 the Belgian VAT authorities published circular letter n° 2017/C/32 to clarify the VAT treatment of goods free of charge.

Circular letter n° 2017/C/32 clarifies the VAT treatment of:

  • business gifts;
  • samples;
  • promotional items;
  • occasional gifts for staff or their children;
  • goods that are donated by a taxable person to victims of a disaster; and
  • food surpluses that are donated by a taxable person to food banks (merely a reference to existing administrative rules).

The circular letter provides a definition of these concepts, addresses the right to recover the input VAT incurred in relation to those goods, and clarifies in which cases a VAT regularization should take place now that the distributed or donated goods are used for purposes other than those of the taxable person’s business.

You can read the circular letter (in Dutch) for more information. 

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