Frequently Asked Questions - Diplomats

How do you subscribe?

1. You can easily Sign Up online.
2. After the receipt of your Sign Up form, your Protocol ID is sent automatically in a daily database to the VAT administration for a validation.
3. A SEPA direct debit mandate is sent to your email address after your subscription Diplomatic Card Services B.V. 
4. After the signature of your SEPA direct debit mandate we send you the link to register to  your personal account where you can upload your invoices and follow up on your pending reimbursements.

What is a SEPA direct debit mandate?

A SEPA Direct Debit Mandate is the authorisation given by the diplomat, allowing Diplomatic Card Services B.V. to collect future payments from them at any time on their Euro-denominated bank account. The Direct Debit service is used to collect all costs related to the use of our services. Diplomatic Card Services will announce direct debits by sending our invoice by email.

Can you use a foreign bank account?

Yes. You can use a foreign bank account. The condition is that your bank is SEPA direct debit supported. Diplomatic Card Services will validate your bank account number upon registration.

Can family members benefit from your VAT privilege?

Yes. Family members can benefit from VAT exemption through your privilege. The restriction is that this person is registered at the protocol and is in the possession of an MFA ID-card. This person cannot have the Belgian nationality and has to be above 18 years old.
For VAT free purchases on the spot: A VAT free card can be created for your family members so they can also benefit from VAT free purchases. The VAT card is then connected to their mobile phone number. 
For VAT reimbursements: Your family members have to request a correct invoice on the diplomat's name. 

When will you receive your VAT card? 

The VAT card of Diplomatic Card Services will be sent to you within max 10 working days to the address of your diplomatic mission. This card enables you to pay immediately without VAT at all connected stores in Belgium.

How do I switch from provider when I want to enjoy the No. 1 VAT Service of DCC?

1. Send an e-mail to your old provider with your new provider in cc to inform you want to terminate your contract.
2. Sign up with your new provider.
3. Send your new invoices to your new provider.
4. IMPORTANT There is a transition period of 2 months before your new invoices will be positively validated by the VAT administration.

How does a proper invoice look like?

Please click on this link to view the minimum requirements for invoices to be accepted.

Haven't found your question?

Please feel free to contact our acclaimed Support Desk. Our dedicated team is always available to help you with any questions you might have.

How to change your personal details?

Your details are filed in a highly secured customer profile. Should any of your details change (for example: home address, contact details, bank account) then please confirm your latest details by email to info@diplomaticcard.be.

How to access your personal Client Portal and Mobile Application?

1. Activate your new account.
- Surf to the Customer portal: https://client.diplomaticcard.com
-
Choose 'Personal Use'.
- Click on 'Activate your client profile' (also if you have already signed up for our services).
- Enter your registered email address.
- You will receive an email in order to validate your identity.
- You will then be directed to a new page where you can create a new password.
2. Download our new mobile app 'Diplomatic Card'.
Below you can find the links of our mobile app.
PLEASE FOLLOW THE PREVIOUS INSTRUCTIONS (Activate your account) BEFORE YOU CAN ACCESS THE MOBILE APPLICATION

How to block your card in case of theft or loss?

1. Go to your Client Portal and login. 
2. Go to the menu ‘Additional Information’ in the blue upper bar. 
3. Your active cards are displayed, to block your card, click on the red button next to the card. 
4. To unblock your card, please contact our Support Desk.

Haven't found your question?

Please feel free to contact our acclaimed Support Desk. Our dedicated team is always available to help you with any questions you might have.

Where can you find the connected stores?

Please check our website for the connected stores and suppliers.

How does the VAT card work? 

1. Go to one of the connected stores in Belgium. 
- Make sure to have your VAT card and your mobile phone with you.
2. Before payment at the cash register, hand over your VAT card to the cashier.
3. In order to recognise and validate your VAT privilege, you will receive a 4-digit code per SMS. Mention this code to the person at the cash register. The shop assistant will enter the 4-digit code and the purchase details in our VAT-free application at the connected store.
4. If you are exempted of the VAT for this purchase, the application will validate your VAT-free transaction.
5. You can now pay immediately without VAT at the cash register.

Haven't found your question?

Please feel free to contact our acclaimed Support Desk. Our dedicated team is always available to help you with any questions you might have.

How to apply for VAT reimbursement on purchases?

For purchases at stores that are not yet connected, please ask for a VAT-included invoice, issued on the name and address of the main account holder (Diplomat), at the moment of the transaction. Diplomatic Card Services processes your purchase after reception of the invoice and takes care of the reimbursement of your VAT.

1. Send us your invoices through the Customer Portal or Mobile Application (link nog toevoegen) in pdf, jpg and png.
2. After a few days your invoices will be processed and sent to the VAT administration for validation.
3. After a positive validation by the tax authorities, Diplomatic Card Services Belgium obtains an E-Certificate (an exemption document) from the tax authorities. Diplomatic Card Services Belgium then sends a refund request to the store.
4. The store has a payment term, to pay the VAT to Diplomatic Card Services, until the end of the month following the month the E-Certificate has been sent.
5. Diplomatic Card Services reimburses you the VAT on your bank account following the reception of the payment by the store and with a delay depending on your choice of service (Basic* or Extra**).

Where can you send your refund requests? 

Always upload your invoices on the Client Portal or on the Mobile Application:
Client Portal
- Go to the Client Portal: https://client.diplomaticcard.com
-
Go to ‘+ Add a new VAT declaration’.
- You can upload invoices in one of the following document formats  pdf, jpg, jpeg, png.
Mobile Application
- Go to the icon with the camera.
- Take a picture of your invoice OR add a file (pdf, jpg, jpeg, png.).
- Make sure all information on the invoice is visible in the picture.
- Click on the button ‘Upload transaction’.
Your file has been uploaded and the information will be processed by Diplomatic Card Services in the next couple of days.

Check your phone settings that the picture is not taken in a very high resolution. This will make the document too heavy to load on the application.

What document do you need for a smooth VAT refund?

Make sure the document is a proper invoice. Tickets or order forms are not accepted.
The invoice needs to contain:
- A unique invoice number
- A date of purchase
- The full name of the diplomat (even the purchase is made by your spouse)
- Your personal address
- Merchant Info (Name/address/VAT number/Phone number/E-mail)
- Description of the good(s)/service(s)
- Total amount excluding VAT
- Total amount including VAT
- % of VAT
Download our invoice guide.

PLEASE NOTE handwritten personal details on a printed invoice are not allowed, even the correction by hand of a wrong address is not allowed. The invoice has to be totally printed or totally handwritten.

How fast will you receive your VAT reimbursement?

After your Sign Up has been completed, your first transactions will be validated by the Belgium Tax Authorities starting from the first day of the month following your successful subscription.

If you transferred from another operator, a transition period of two months
is required by the Ministry of Finance, starting from the month after the cancellation.

Speed of Reimbursement depends on your choice of service:
- Reimbursement Basic Service*
= within 6 months after reimbursement by the store.
- Reimbursement Extra Service** = after reimbursement by the store.

Where can you  follow the status of your declarations? 

On your personal Client Portal or on our mobile application on your phone.
Activate your account before you can access our mobile application.

What is the meaning of a status? 

Symbol Status transaction Explanation?
( 1 ) Initial
Invoice uploaded in the client's account and is ready to be processed.
( 2 ) Processed Invoice checked by Diplomatic Card and processed.
( 3 ) Pending Approval Request forwarded to the Authorities for validation.
( 4 ) Approved Request received a positive validation.
( 5 ) Disapproved Request has been rejected. You can find the reason for disapproval by clicking on the status 'Disapproved' and 'Validation History'.
( 6 ) Pending Refund Refund request has been sent to the store and Diplomatic Card is awaiting the refund.
( 7 ) Refunded
VAT refunded to the customer. (Bank transactions can take a couple of days to arrive).
( 8 ) Archived Invoice has been checked but could not be processed. You can find the reason for archiving by clicking on the status 'Archived' and 'Validation History'.

Which purchases qualify for VAT reimbursement?

In accordance with the rules set by the Belgian VAT administration the VAT can be recovered on the purchase of movable items for your personal use (and your registered family members). Items that become immovable by use, services of any kind and nutrition (food, beverages) are excluded from this privilege.

The minimum amount of one invoice is €125** EXCLUDING VAT.  (€151.25 - 21% VAT and €132.5 - 6%)

**Please note that your privilege depends on the reciprocity rules set by the Belgian VAT administration. As a result, diplomats from some countries may not be entitled to the same privileges as the others. Reciprocity rules may change overtime. Please contact your organisation's Protocol Office for more information.

What do you have to do when a transaction is disapproved?

When a transaction has been archived and there's still something you can do to change the outcome we send an email with the action that you can take.
If you can’t find the email and you want to find out the reason for this archived status:
1. Go to your mobile application on your phone.
2. Click on the menu button and choose ‘Declarations’.
3. Click on the transaction that has been archived. It has a box -icon.
4. You now see the details of this transaction. Click on the word Archived again.
5. You will now see the text with the reason for Archiving this transaction.
6. If you have a new document or extra information to submit, please add a new declaration request. 

OR

1. Go to your Client Portal
2. Click on ‘Transactions’ in the upper blue menu bar.
3. You can filter your declaration by status.
4. Click on the transaction to see the details. 
5. Click on the right hand side of the page on ‘Reason for archiving’.
6. You will now see the text with the reason for Archiving this declaration.
7. If you have a new document or extra information to submit, please add a new declaration request. Please do not submit rejected invoices again.

Can you recover the VAT on purchases made abroad?

This is possible, however we do not offer this service. Should you have made purchases made in a member country of the European Union, please contact our support desk for instructions.
In case of purchases done outside Belgium by diplomats stationed in Belgium, a different procedure applies. This process  is based on the Certificate 151. In case the diplomat would like to initiate the 151-procedure, please go to section tab c-151 procedure.

The following steps would be:​
1. Completion of the form. Do not forget to have the certificate countersigned and stamped by your Organisation.
Kindly note that 2 copies of the certificate are required. Only versions printed recto verso (double sided) will be accepted.
2. Make a copy of the invoice.
3. Send the certificate 151 in twofold and the original invoice to the Belgian General Tax Administration for approval. Their postal address is mentioned on the Certificate. It is the address with Postbox 317.
4. After you have received the approval by the Belgian tax authorities, contact the local Tax Administration in the country where your supplier is established.

If a diplomat or diplomatic mission buys at a company that is established in The Netherlands, then send the approved Certificate and the invoice to the Dutch Tax Authorities.
Their address is:
Belastingdienst Haaglanden – CB/IFB
Prinses Beatrixlaan 512NL-2595 BLDen HaagNederland

Haven't found your question?

Please feel free to contact our acclaimed Support Desk. Our dedicated team is always available to help you with any questions you might have.

When and how to use the C-151 procedure?

* For purchases in an EU Member State other than Belgium.
* For the purchase of a car for your personal use.

1. Completion of the form. Do not forget to have the certificate countersigned and stamped by your Organization. Kindly note that 2 copies of the certificate are required. Only versions printed recto verso (double sided) will be accepted.
2. Make a copy of the invoice.
3. Send the certificate 151 in twofold and the original invoice to the Belgian General Tax Administration for approval. Their postal address is mentioned on the Certificate. It is the address with Postbox 25.4. After you have received the approval by the authorities, send the positively validated C-151 together with the invoice to the store who has to reimburse the VAT directly to you.
4. If a diplomat or diplomatic mission buys at a company that is established in The Netherlands, then send the approved Certificate and the invoice to the Dutch Tax Authorities. Their address is: Belastingdienst Haaglanden – CB/IFB Prinses Beatrixlaan 512NL-2595 BL Den Haag Nederland.

Please download the C-151 document here in French or English for your own use.

Is there a fee to use our VAT-Free service?

If you are interested in our No. 1 VAT service, please contact our Support Desk for our price setting.

Haven't found your question?

Please feel free to contact our acclaimed Support Desk. Our dedicated team is always available to help you with any questions you might have.

Diplomatic Card is the only provider who can offer a VAT Free purchase at the moment you buy at our Connected Stores.

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