This article covers the following topics

What is the VAT return?

As a self-employed person, you are, in most cases, liable for VAT. That means you charge VAT on invoices for your customers. The standard VAT rate is 21% and declaration is monthly or quarterly. By submitting your VAT return, you indicate how much VAT you received and paid that quarter. It is then calculated whether you will receive a VAT refund or have to pay the VAT.

VAT exemption

You can claim the VAT exemption scheme if you/your company's annual turnover does not exceed €25.000 (excluding VAT). This also applies to student self-employed persons and self-employed in main or secondary occupations. You then no longer have to submit periodic VAT returns on your invoice, and you can no longer deduct VAT.

How do I apply for VAT exemption?

Applying as a new business

When you register as a self-employed person, you must submit an application for VAT identification (Form 604A). If you want to opt for the VAT exemption scheme, indicate your choice in Form 604A. Click here to go to the form. Do you apply for your VAT number at the same time as your company number at a business counter? Then you can also indicate during your application that you want to make use of the VAT exemption. 

Applying as an existing company

To apply for the exemption scheme, you must file a VAT identification change declaration (form 604B). There are two possible effective dates:

  • 1 July: you must make the application before 1st of June.
  • 1 January: you must make the request by 15th of December.

The benefits of VAT exemption

If you enjoy VAT exemption as a small business, you have no outstanding VAT liabilities. So you do not charge VAT on your invoice, you do not file VAT returns and do not keep VAT accounts.

The disadvantages

If you do charge VAT to your customers, you yourself are also entitled to a VAT deduction. That means you don't have to pay VAT on goods and services you purchase for your own business. So if you have a VAT exemption, you cannot use this. 

How do I declare this in the YoungOnes app?

As a self-employed person, it is your own responsibility to pass this on properly in the app. Enter in the app whether you use the VAT exemption scheme and from when. Go to your account and click on business details. Pay close attention to the dates and the year number.

How do I register as self-employed?

Register as self-employed via this link. We have a partnership with enterprise counter Acerta and they will arrange your enterprise number, VAT number and your affiliation to a social insurance fund.

We've got your back! We pay the cost of a company number. Save €101. Be quick as we are giving away this fee to the first 100 registrants. Read more about this fee here.


Optional: apply for VAT number yourself. With the FPS Finance, submit an application for VAT identification (form 604A) online free of charge. Click here to go to this form. Make sure you turn off the 'request VAT number' option while applying to your company number.