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Netherlands VAT country guide

VAT compliance and reporting rules in The Netherlands

Below is summary of the major rules provided under Dutch VAT rules (VAT Law of 1968 and VAT implementing regulation), plus adoption of EU VAT Directive provisions. Check our country VAT guides for other jurisdictions.

Our VAT Calculator & VAT Filer products on a single platform, VAT Calc,  are unique in that they come with all of this included out-of-the box for The Netherlands and scores of other countries around the world.

Netherlands VAT country guide

Highlights Local term Belasting over de toegevoegde waarde (BTW)
VAT Rates - standard 21%
VAT Rates - reduced 9%; 0%
VAT number format NL 123456789B01
Registration threshold Small business scheme €20,000 net VAT per annum threshold. Nil for all others including non-residents. €10,000 for pan-EU digital services and goods OSS return. Intra-community acquisitions €10,000
VAT Group Yes, voluntary
VAT recovery foreign businesses Yes
Fiscal Representative Not required for non-EU, except importers with deferred VAT
Currency Euro €, January 1999
Administration Introduction VAT was introduced in January 1969. It is a founding member of the European Union
VAT laws VAT Law of 1968 and VAT implementing regulation; Also EU VAT Directive which takes supremacy as part of EU membership
Tax Authorities Belastingdienst (tax authorities) is part of the Ministry of Finance. Non-resident businesses are managed by the Heerlen regional office except when using a fiscal representative when contacts switch to agent's office
VAT Rates Standard rate 21%
Reduced rates 9%: certain foodstuffs; domestic passenger transport; books and ebooks; cultural and amusement admissions; certain labour intensive services such as barbers, cleaning; intra-community passenger transport; hotel and related accommodation; hospitality services; sports events; certain medical and pharmaceutical products
Zero-rated Intra-community passenger travel by air and sea; Exports and intra-community supplies of goods;
Exempt Education; financial services; health, hospital and social welfare; postal; letting immovable property; betting and gambling; welfare services
Scope of VAT Scope of VAT Provision of domestic taxable goods and services; EU imports; intra-community acquisitions; Distance selling of goods B2C (OSS or IOSS); receipt of services or goods via the reverse charge
Time of supply Goods & Services (general rule) When invoice issued or should have been issued. Otherwise, at the time of delivery of goods and provision of services. Advanced payments subject to VAT at time of receipt of funds.
Reverse Charge At the time the services provided or goods delivered
Continuous  Services At time of payment or at least at end of calendar year.
Imports At the point of importation. But residents and non-resident may defer import VAT with 'Article 23' licence (see Compliance section for rules on Fiscal Representative for non-residents)
Goods on approval and return
Registration VAT registration threshold Sole traders only €1,883 net VAT per annum threshold. Nil for all others including non-residents. €10,000 for pan-EU digital services and goods OSS return. Intra-community acquisitions 10,000
Voluntary VAT registration Small business scheme €20,000 net VAT per annum threshold. Nil for all others including non-residents. €10,000 for pan-EU digital services and goods OSS return. Intra-community acquisitions €10,000
VAT number format NL 123456789B01
VAT Group Yes, voluntary on application - although tax office may impose based on review of relations. Based on close financial, control, economic or similar links being in place - 50%+ cross share holding; same business and economic objectives; and/or shared senior management. Only available to resident businesses, and no non-taxable holding companies. Single group VAT number but members with intra-communality supplies may retain their numbers. Intra-group VAT invoices are zero-rated. All members share liabilities. Single return required although may apply for individual members' returns instead
Non-residents Applications via Heerlen office. Extensive use of reverse charge may reduce need to register if providing only local B2B goods or service supplies.
Fiscal Representative Not required for EU or non-EU businesses. Exceptions are for 'Article 23' deferred import VAT licence and some bonded warehouse trading which does require a certified fiscal rep (jointly and severally liable) for non-EU traders. 
Digital Services The Netherlands participates in the EU single  One Stop Shop (OSS) VAT return for digital, telecoms and broadcast services. This was formerly the MOSS regime until 30 June 2021
Pre VAT registration costs Permitted for set-up and preparation costs
VAT Invoices Issuance Latest 16th of the month following supply. Continuous supplies must be invoiced at least annually. 
Content Date; unique sequential invoice number; name and address of supplier and customer; Customer VAT number for intra-communality supplies or reverse charge; date of supply or advance payment if different from invoice date; Description, quantity or units etc of supply of goods or services; taxable amount; VAT charged; rate (broken out if supplies at different rates); total; explanation if zero-rated supply; fiscal representative's details if applicable
E-invoices Permissible if both sides agree - but no requirement for written agreement. There are no regulations, but must be general controls around security and integratory of invoice information. PDF / EDI / digital signature acceptable but no specific requirements
Simplified invoices Permitted for amounts not exceeding €100. Not required for retail in this case unless requested by customer. No invoice required for hotel and hospitality, consumer fuel sales.
Self-billing Permitted with written agreement between customer and supplier
Retention of invoices Seven years. (10 years for digital services and services for immovable property). Invoices may be stored electronically if can assure on security and integrity. May keep records outside of the Netherlands
FX rules Permitted to invoice in foreign currency; however, the VAT amount must be shown in €. For conversion, should use day rate of European Central Bank
Invoice corrections Credit notes permitted with reference to original invoice number, details of what has changed
Compliance Right to deduct Excluded: Business gifts above €227 per annum; restaurant and catering; benefits in kind for employees
Call-off stock Following 2022 EU Quick Fixes, the Netherlands had no need to update its call-off stock provision to allow avoidance of VAT registration by non-Dutch supplier of goods to customer warehouse under their control without legal title change. There is no time limit on the actual legal transfer of goods to the customer. Goods held by supplier in warehouse where eventual customer is not yet known (B2B or B2C) requires Dutch VAT registration (Consignment Stock). The consignment stocks VAT simplification was withdrawn.
Reverse Charge - B2B Non-resident supplies of goods or services to customer (resident or not) with Dutch VAT number should use reverse charge - therefore no requirement to VAT register if this their only supply. Domestic reverse charge on: gas & electricity; scrap; construction and hire of construction staff; carbon trading; security services; mobile phones, computer chips, games consoles etc if above €10,000) immovable property
Cash discounts No requirement to adjust invoices if credit taken and reported through VAT returns
Bad debt relief Yes. Generally is unpaid after 1 year and can show efforts to recover. May be applied for through VAT return
Import VAT deferment Possible to postpone import VAT via VAT return and so no actual cash payment. Requires a licence from tax office. Non-Dutch entity will require fiscal representative for facility. Limited Fiscal Representation license regime allows certified resident agents to act as import for non-residents and defer clients' import VAT through their VAT return. Trader may use multiple limited liability fiscal representatives. Importation with zero-rated intra-community supply permitted with VAT registration and other requirements.
VAT warehouse Both location-based and administrative VAT warehousing for exemption. Bonded customs warehouses also extensively used for zero-rated VAT transactions.
Supply & install Dutch rules on installation and supply VAT obligations are not clearly defined.
Use and enjoyment services The Netherlands imposes VAT registration obligations on non-EU suppliers of certain services to non-VAT registered persons: consulting; transport rental; copyright-related transactions; financial services; advertising; temporary staff hire; hire of movable property
Capital goods adjustment period Movable property: four years. Immovable property: 9 years
Non-residents VAT recovery EU non-Dutch businesses may recover any Dutch VAT through an online application to their home tax office (8th Directive reclaim) without supporting invoices. Quarterly claims of >€400 or a final annual claim >€50. Any non-EU businesses will have to apply to the Dutch tax office with paper-based claims including supporting invoices. No fiscal representative requirements. Same limits as EU claimant. Limited recoverability of catering, staff benefits and restaurant costs.
VAT on Digital Services The Netherlands follows the EU VAT on digital services regime, introduced in 2015. This includes participation in the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) single EU VAT return (formerly MOSS until 30 June 2021)
Live events
Distance selling threshold for goods Nil. Following the EU ecommerce VAT package reforms from 1 July 2021, local Dutch VAT must be charged on all sales by non-Dutch EU e-commerce sellers shipping from within the EU. Imported distance sales not exceeding €150 liable to Dutch sales VAT with  IOSS return option
Cash accounting scheme No. But small business scheme allows companies with turnover not exceeding €20,000 to opt out of VAT invoicing and returns.
VAT registered cash tills N/a
Statute of limitations Five years after end of tax year of transaction(s)
Other
VAT Returns Frequency Quarterly. Annual only if sales less than €1,883 and intra-community supplies do not exceed 10,000. Taxpayers with poor compliance record may be switched to monthly reporting
Filing method Electronic - but not obligatory
Deadlines (inc payments) Residents: Last day of the month following the quarter end. Same deadline for payments of any VAT due. Non residents: Last day of the second month following the quarter end. Same deadline of any VAT due
VAT credits Excess VAT is automatically refunded to the tax payer. There is no rollover of excess VAT
Corrections Errors not exceeding €1,000 may be corrected in the subsequent VAT return. Otherwise supplementary VAT return must be filled
Non-residents Same terms as resident taxpayers
Other filings European Sales Listing for goods filed quarterly if above €50,000 per quarter; No threshold for ESL submissions for services, which are filed quarterly. Intrastat filings due by 10th of the month following if above thresholds: arrivals €5m per annum; dispatches €1m per annum
SAF-T N/a
Penalties & interest Default €65 for missed or late (over 7 days after deadline) VAT return, which can be raised to €131. Default late payment interest is 3% up to max €5,278. For undeclaration of VAT amounts, separate assessment will be raised with 5% penalty to max €5,278 for voluntary disclosures. 'Offence' penalties due for negligence or deliberate misstatement between 25% and 100%. Intrastat fines may reach €16,000.
B2C Distance Selling returns The Netherlands participates in the One-Stop-Shop pan-EU VAT return for distance selling, introduced in July 2021.

 

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