VAT-registered businesses in an EU member state are eligible to recover VAT on business costs from A VAT Refund Netherlands Guide under the EU VAT Refund Directive.
VAT-registered businesses outside of the European Union are eligible to recover VAT on business costs from A VAT Refund Netherlands Guide under the 13th Directive.
The Netherlands VAT Rates:
In 1969, the Netherlands became one of the earliest European countries to introduce a value-added tax (VAT). The Dutch VAT or value added tax (known locally as the BTW) started at a standard rate of 12% before increasing to 17.5% a few years—just above the minimum 15% rate for members of the European Union. Rates fluctuated around the 17.5% mark for close to 15 years.
Since the 1990s, the Dutch standard value added tax or VAT rate has risen by a few percentage points every decade or so, with brief declines during times of economic crisis. The most recent increase occurred in 2012. As of 2022, the Netherlands’ standard Dutch VAT rate of 21% still falls slightly above average compared to neighboring countries.
Current Rates in The Netherlands
The Netherlands uses a three-tier system of VAT rates: standard, reduced, and zero-rate. The details of each category are as follows:
- Standard (21%) – The standard rate covers all goods and services that don’t fall under the other two categories. The vast majority of products fall at 21% Dutch tax rates.
- Reduced (9%) – On January 1, 2019, the government increased the reduced VAT rate from 6% to 9%. Reduced goods and services include essential supplies like agricultural products, food and beverage, medicine, books, magazines, and newspapers. This rate also covers hairdressing, renovations and repairs, the use of sports facilities, and admission to cultural events.
- Zero (0%) – Most zero-rated items have ties to international commerce. For example, international transportation via air or sea is VAT-free, as are exported goods.
How to Pay VAT Bill in The Netherlands
The Netherlands offers three payment schedules for foreign entities to complete their VAT returns:
- Monthly – If you file monthly, your return will be due on the last day of the month, two months after a sale. For example, VAT from September will be expected by November 30.
- Quarterly – Quarterly payments follow a similar “two months later” schedule. First-quarter returns are due by May 31; second-quarter returns are due by August 31; third-quarter returns are due by November 30; fourth-quarter returns are due by February 28. Quarterly returns are the most common.
- Annually – If you submit your VAT returns annually, the due date is March 31 of the following year.
Conveniently, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration will inform you which schedule you need to follow.
Since 2014, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration has required all foreign businesses to submit their returns online. To fill out the form, you must first register with Mijn Belastingdienst Zakelijk and then log into your account, through which you can also make payments.
The Netherlands VAT Compliance
To comply with VAT rules and regulations in the Netherlands—and receive refunds when owed—one must:
- Maintain complete and accurate records and accounts for seven years
- Invoice customers for goods and services on time
- Include all required information on every invoice, such as VAT number and invoice number
- Use official currency conversion rates
For more information about how to receive a VAT refund, Netherlands VAT laws, and VAT compliance support, contact VAT IT today.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Consumption Tax Trends – Netherlands. https://www.oecd.org/tax/consumption/consumption-tax-trends-netherlands.pdf
Government of the Netherlands. VAT rates and exemptions. https://www.government.nl/topics/vat/vat-rates-and-exemptions
Tax and Customs Administration. Latest date for receipt of VAT [BTW] return and payment for entrepreneurs not based in the Netherlands. https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontenten/belastingdienst/business/vat/vat_in_the_netherlands/filing_vat_return_and_paying_vat/latest_date_for_receipt_of_vat_btw_return_and_payment_for_entrepreneurs_not_based_in_the_netherlands
Tax and Customs Administration. Invoice requirements. https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontenten/belastingdienst/business/vat/vat_in_the_netherlands/vat_administration/invoice_requirements