Updated 1 October 2012
Netherlands VAT is based on the rules set by the European Union. This includes the details for Dutch VAT Registrations and VAT Returns, and other VAT compliance issues. However, the Dutch VAT rate is still set by the local state.
As part of the EU, the Netherlands follows the laws, or VAT Directives, formulated by the European Commission, in Brussles.
Click here for free guidance on Dutch VAT registration and returns - including fiscal representation for importing or non-EU companies.
THE NETHERLANDS VAT Law
The Dutch VAT law is contained within the General Tax Code. It is administered by the Dutch Revenue.
DUTCH VAT Registration
Foreign companies may register in the Netherlands for VAT without the need to form a local company – known as non-resident VAT trading. There is no VAT threshold in the Netherlands for the registration of non-resident traders – a VAT number must be in place before the commencement of taxable supplies.
There are strict rules on the situations where a registration is permitted. Common scenarios which require a Dutch VAT registration include:
- Importing goods into the Netherlands;
- Trading commodities and excise goods within Dutch warehouses;
- Organising live events, conferences etc in the Netherlands;
- Holding goods in a warehouse in the Netherlands as stock for resale longer than 3 months;
- 'Supply and install' services over 12 months;
- Selling goods from the Netherlands to other EU countries; and
- Distance selling to private individuals in the Netherlands, e.g. internet retailing
Registering for Dutch VAT generally takes 2-3 weeks, although this can vary.
DUTCH VAT Compliance
There are detailed rules controlling the recording and processing of Dutch transactions. These include guidelines on:
- Dutch invoice requirements;
- Use of the 'Reverse Charge' procedure;
- Foreign currency reporting and translation;
- Correcting errors from prior returns;
- Credit notes and corrections; and
- What accounting records must be maintained.
Dutch VAT Rates
The standard VAT rate in the Netherlands is 21%. This rate was set on 1 October 2012 - click here to see details Dutch VAT rate increase in 2012. There is a reduced rate of 6% for: food and drink; books and some newspapers; passenger transport; hotel and restaurant services; and other.
There are many variations to the rates above, including exempt taxable supplies. Please contact us to learn more:
DUTCH VAT Returns
Companies with a Dutch VAT number must submit periodic returns detailing all taxable supplies (sales) and inputs (costs). Generally, VAT returns submitted by non-resident traders in the Netherlands are submitted quarterly and are due two months following the reporting period. Companies with appointed Fiscal Representatives are usually required to file returns on a monthly basis, due on month following the reporting period.
DUTCH FISCAL representative AND trading licenses
The Netherlands has in place a number of schemes to facilitate imports and to allow the wholesale trading of certain, often Excise (Energy and Petroleum), goods. For non-Dutch traders to take advantage of these schemes it is necessary for them to obtain specific licences, e.g. Article 23 or BTW Entrepot, which requires the appointment of a local Fiscal Representative with General Licence. Click here for free guidance on the requirements for this.
Dutch Intrastat and EC Sales Lists
In addition to VAT returns in the Netherlands, companies may be required to submit additional statistical information.
The Dutch Intrastat, submitted to the Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS), lists sales (dispatches) and purchases (acquisitions), within the EU region, must be filed monthly once the annual threshold is exceeded. Dutch EC Sales Lists, or recapitulative statement, details customers and the values of sales made to them. It should be submitted on a quarterly basis, and there is no threshold for reporting.
DUTCH VAT Refunds
If a foreign company is providing taxable supplies in the Netherlands, but unable to obtain a Dutch VAT number, or simply incurring Dutch VAT on local goods or services, then Dutch VAT may be recovered through a VAT reclaim.
From the 1st of January 2010, for all EU-based businesses, VAT refund applications are made through the Tax Authorities of the applicant’s home country.
For more details, click here to read about our VAT Recovery service.
To talk about our Dutch VAT services, enquiries should contact TMF’s UK office, which co-ordinates TMF's European VAT services. TMF has offices in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
+44 (0)870 067 8881