Tax on added value

VAT in the Netherlands

Subject to VAT


The value added tax system in the Netherlands corresponds with that currently used by all other EU-states. The following transactions are subject to VAT:

  • The provision of goods and services by businesses within the Netherlands;
  • Intra-Community purchases of goods in the Netherlands in the course of business operations by entrepreneurs and corporations;
  • Intra-Community acquisitions of new means of transport;
  • Imports of goods from outside the EU.

Tax base


The tax is levied on the sale price and the general rate is 21%. A lower rate of 6% applies for certain goods and services, such as food products, books, medicines, art, antiques, entry to museums, zoos, theatres and sports. Visible exports are zero-rated. A number of exemptions apply for special goods and services such as educational, medical and cultural services.


VAT payable


VAT is payable by entrepreneurs operating a business in The Netherlands, either as natural or legal persons. Entrepreneurs who form a group from a financial, organisational and economical point of view may request treatment as a fiscal unity for VAT purposes. Foreign entrepreneurs are also liable for Dutch VAT if they operate a business in the Netherlands.


VAT on expenses


Entrepreneurs may deduct VAT paid on purchases and other business expenses from the VAT payable on their sales. If an exemption applies, VAT payments are not deductible.

Once an entrepreneur has registered the business with the tax office then a VAT number will be provided and VAT returns will be sent at the applicable dates.


EU regulations concerning invoices


Deadlines for filing VAT returns in 2013 (the brochure is for 2013, but gives an indication for later years)


Examples of questions answered in our Knowledge Base: