Update VAT rate modifications in Belgium (ebooks and bicycles)

BELGIUM - Update VAT rate modifications in Belgium (ebooks and bicycles)

June 2019

The Belgian Government recently approved the application of a reduced VAT rate to the supply of electronic publications and bikes.

With effect from 1 April 2019, the reduced VAT rate of 6% is applicable on publications irrespective of the way in which they are made available to the reader, that is, on paper or any other physical carrier or by electronic means. Publications and electronic publications that consist exclusively or mainly of video content or listenable music are excluded from the reduced rate. Moreover, the current 0% VAT rate applicable to magazines and newspapers is extended to electronic publications that meet certain conditions. In addition to the existing conditions, it is also required that the publications are protected by copyright and have been produced under the final responsibility of a professional editorial staff composed mainly of professional journalists.

To encourage the purchase of bikes, a law has been adopted to reduce the applicable VAT rate on the supply of bicycles, motorised bicycles, and pedelecs (if they are electrically empowered) to 6%. However, this law will only enter into force after approval of the European Commission.

Tine Mertens

Brigitte Braeckmans