Proof of filing and payment
The so-called "Notice of filing of the annual accounts" is considered as proof of filing and payment of annual accounts.
For a legal entity whose annual accounts are filed
Pursuant to Article 180 of the royal decree of 30 January 2001 implementing the Companies Code, the National Bank of Belgium sends a "Notice of filing of the annual accounts" to the enterprise publishing its annual accounts within eleven working days of the acceptance of the annual accounts. Pursuant to Article 32 of the royal decree of 19 December 2003 implementing the accounting obligations and the publication of the annual accounts of certain NPO's, international NPO's and foundations, the National Bank of Belgium sends a similar notice to the association or foundation publishing its annual accounts, within the same period of time. A duplicate of this notice can be requested by mail on the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is evident from Decision ET 74.590 of 14 July 1992 of the Central Authority for VAT, Registration and State Property that this notice of filing is also valid as an accounting document for the tax authorities for the purpose of the deduction of the VAT on the filing expenses by the enterprise whose annual accounts are filed. In other words, this document is deemed equivalent to a valid invoice.
For any third party filing the annual account
A third party filing the annual accounts has been authorised by the client to act as an agent and to file the annual accounts with the National Bank of Belgium.
If a filing agent files his client’s annual accounts and pays the corresponding charges, then in accounting terms those charges are costs borne by third parties. According to Recommendation No. 105/2 of the Belgian Accounting Standards Board, costs borne by agents acting for a third party (the principal, in this case the legal entity whose annual accounts are filed) are regarded exclusively as costs in respect of that principal, and it is therefore up to the principal to record those costs as such, according to their nature, in his own books. The filing agent may not include these charges as expenditure, but this “advance” should appear on the assets side of his balance sheet as a claim against the client/principal. The amount of the advance can be recovered from his client/principal by submitting an invoice for the costs of making up the annual accounts, including separate mention of the filing charges which are regarded as an advance within the meaning of Article 28, 5° of the VAT Code, and which are therefore not included in the basis of assessment for the purpose of charging tax.
The National Bank of Belgium will not deliver a duplicate of the "Notice of filing of the annual accounts" to a third party. Using the application "Filing of annual accounts via the internet", menu item "Composition des paiements" (in French), it is possible to enter the payment transaction number and request a list of the sets of annual accounts for which the filing charges were paid via that particular payment transaction.
For all interested parties
As of 4 February 2008 all annual accounts recently filed with and accepted by the National Bank of Belgium are available free of charge using the application "On-line consultation of annual accounts". The fact that you can consult a set of accounts is, of course, proof in itself that the annual accounts have been filed.