A number of your customers may be experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Nevertheless, you should still submit your invoices to them promptly, as otherwise you could run into problems with the tax authorities.
If you supply goods or services to other businesses, for example, you are in principle obliged to submit an invoice. This must be done by no later than the 15th day of the month following that in which you supplied the good or service.
Colleague in difficulties
As a result of the coronavirus crisis, you may have supplied goods or services to colleagues who now find themselves in financial difficulties. You should still submit your invoices to them promptly too, as otherwise you could run into problems yourself with the tax authorities.
Deferment of payments
You have the option of granting your colleagues extra supplier credit, if you wish, by offering them a payment term of two months instead of one month, for example. Of course, it is important that you do not end up in financial difficulties yourself as a result, as your own financial obligations will presumably still have to be met as normal.
Tax authorities grant ‘free’ deferment
The fact that your invoice will not be paid until later does not affect your VAT return, assuming that you apply the accrual accounting system. You therefore include the amount of the supply as normal in the tax period during which the invoice is sent.
The VAT included does not have to be paid immediately, as, if necessary, you can apply for a three-month deferment of payments as a result of the coronavirus crisis. This has to be done online using your DigiD code. The interest payable is only 0.01% on an annual basis.
Your invoice is not paid. What happens now?
If you have submitted an invoice and it looks like this will not be paid, you can claim back the VAT as soon as it is certain that your claim (or part of your claim) will not be paid. The tax authorities deem this to be the case if the invoice has not been paid within one year at the latest following the expiry of the payment deadline you agreed with your customer.
If no payment term has been set, the statutory payment term of 30 days from the moment your customer received the invoice applies.
How do you claim back VAT?
The amount of the refund should be included in the return for the period during which the amount became uncollectable or the period of one year expired. You should enter the amount you are claiming back as negative turnover and negative VAT under question 1a or question 1b of your VAT return.
What if the invoice is subsequently paid?
If the invoice is paid after you have reclaimed the VAT, you must enter the amount of turnover and VAT again in your next VAT return.
Be aware if converting the amount to a loan
If your customer is unable to pay the invoice and asks you to convert the amount into a loan, you still need to pay the VAT in the normal way. Please therefore bear this in mind!