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The vat plugin

The lino_xl.lib.vat plugin adds notions for handling value-added tax (VAT).

Table of contents:


The VAT plugin defines the following concepts:

VAT number

An identification number used by national tax offices to identify legal persons that are subjectible to VAT.

See also Wikipedia.

See also lino_xl.lib.contacts.Partner.vat_id.

VAT id

Short for VAT identification number.

VAT identification number

Another word for VAT number.

VAT rate

The percentage to apply to a base amount in order to compute the amount of VAT.

VAT regime

Specifies how the VAT for this voucher is being handled, e.g. which VAT rates are available and whether and how and when VAT is to be declared and paid to the national tax office. See VAT regimes.

VAT class

The nature of a trade object to be differentiated in the VAT declaration.

For example most countries differentiate between “goods” and “services”. Other common VAT classes are “investments” or “vehicles”.

The list of available VAT classes is defined by your national VAT module. For example in Estonia the VAT office wants to know, in one field of your declaration, how much money you spend for buying “vehicles” and in another field how much you spent for “real estate” objects, while in Belgium both vehicles and real estate objects are considered together as “investments”.

VAT rules

A set of rules that defines which VAT rate to apply and which account to use for a given combination of regime, class and trade type. The available VAT rules vary depending on which national VAT module is installed.

VAT area

A group of countries having same VAT rules in the country of the site operator. See VAT areas.

national VAT module

The module that implements a given national VAT configuration.

Every Lino site has at most one national VAT module, which corresponds to the country where the site operator is registered.

Specified by lino_xl.lib.vat.Plugin.declaration_plugin.

tax office

The business partner (organization) to whom you must pay due VAT or who returns your deductible VAT.

The tax office is for a VAT declaration what the customer is for a sales invoice, or the provider for a purchases invoice.

VAT declarations

A VAT declaration has a number of fields that contain different sums, automatically computed by Lino when you register the voucher. These sums reflect the operations in an observed period or range of periods. The voucher itself is a ledger voucher that generates new movements in its own period of declaration, which is different from the observed period range.

VAT declaration

A document to be submitted every month or every quarter to your national tax office. It is a summary of the value of your sales and purchase transactions during a given period, showing the due VAT and the deductible VAT. Details are implemented by the national VAT module.

See also VAT declarations.

intra-community statement

A document to be submitted together with your VAT declaration when you had intra-community sales operations. It is a list of all non-domestic intra-community customers with their sum of sales operations.

fr: “relevé intracommunautaire”, “listing des clients intracommunautaires”, de: “Liste der innergemeinschaftlichen Kunden”

annual list of domestic customers

A list with each domestic VAT subjectible partner with whom you had sales operations that exceed 250€

fr: “liste annuelle des clients assujettis”, de: “jährliche Liste der MwSt-pflichtigen Kunden”

VAT regimes

A VAT regime must be assigned to each voucher, and the default value to be used in new vouchers can optionally be set for each partner.

The VAT regime of a partner is used as the default value for all vouchers with this partner. When you define a default VAT regime per partner, any new voucher created for this partner will have this VAT regime. Existing vouchers are not changed when you change this field.

The VAT regime has nothing to do with the trade type. For example, when a partner has the regime “Intra-community”, this regime is used for both sales and purchase invoices with this partner. The difference between sales and purchases is defined by the VAT rules, not by the regime.

VAT classes

A VAT class is a direct or indirect property of a trade object (e.g. a Product) that influences the VAT rate to be used. Here is the list of VAT classes used unless you have some local change.






Goods at normal VAT rate



Goods at reduced VAT rate



Goods exempt from VAT









Real estate






Without VAT

The list of VAT classes does not contain the actual VAT rates because this still varies by country, and within a same country it can vary, e.g. depending on the date of the operation or other factors.

A VAT class is assigned to each item of an invoice. The VAT class can influence the available VAT rates. You can sell or purchase a same product to different partners using different VAT regimes.

VAT areas

When your business is located, e.g. in Belgium and you buy goods or services from France, Germany and the Netherlands, then these countries are called “intra community”. Certain VAT rules apply for all intra-community countries. We don’t want to repeat them for each country. That’s why we have VAT areas.













A VAT area is a group of countries for which same VAT rules apply in the country of the site operator.

VAT areas are used to group countries into groups where similar VAT regimes are available.

The country field of a partner influences which VAT regimes are available for this partner.

Returnable VAT

returnable VAT

A VAT amount in an invoice that is not to be paid to (or by) the partner but must be declared in the VAT declaration.

Returnable VAT, unlike normal VAT, does not increase the total amount of the voucher but causes an additional movement into the account configured as “VAT returnable” (a common account).