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Netherlands VAT

The Netherlands brought in its Value Added Tax (VAT) regime in 1968.  It harmonised this system with the rest of the European Union (EU) in 1979.  It is administered by the Dutch Revenue, and is based on the original Dutch VAT law with subsequent administrative decisions and rulings.

Any non-resident trader supplying goods in the Netherlands may face the obligation to Dutch VAT register, comply with the local laws, complete Dutch returns, Intrastat and other declarations.  There is however a common use of the reverse charge simplification rule, and import good VAT deferment schemes.

Should you register for Dutch VAT?

There are a number of trading situations which typically require a foreign business to register with the Dutch tax authorities.  These follow the broad EU VAT rules, and include:

  • Importing into the EU through the Netherlands, although there are some limited liability fiscal representation schemes which can be used instead
  • Buying and selling goods in Netherlands if the customer is not Dutch VAT registered (if they are, then reverse charge applies, and no registrations is required).
  • Holding goods in consignment in the Netherlands – special licenses may be used instead.
  • Selling goods on the internet to Dutch private individuals
  • Holding live exhibitions, events or training in Netherlands.
  • If a company is otherwise a non-VAT trader, but is receiving services in Netherlands under the reverse charge rule.
  • The self supply of goods.

There is a very limited requirement to VAT register non-resident companies if they are providing services.  This follows the 2010 VAT Package simplification.

If you do need to VAT register, read our Dutch VAT registration briefing to understand the requirements, including any VAT registration thresholds that may apply.

There may be further exemptions from the requirement to VAT register in the Netherlands that you should consider.  Please read our Dutch VAT Reverse Charge briefing.

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