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File a VAT Return

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Filing your own VAT returns in the Netherlands might be easier than you think. Especially if your company only had few transactions, and you are planning to charge back VAT that you paid on your purchase invoices.

This VAT filing guide will provide you all the details you need, to understand the VAT requirements, and also to submit the VAT return via the online portal of the Dutch Tax & Customs administration.

Your Dutch company (or foreign entity, that applied for a VAT number in the Netherlands)  has file a VAT return every quarter (within 4 weeks after the end of the (calendar) quarter). In some cases, a VAT return can be submitted on a monthly, or yearly basis.  Make sure you submit your declaration and payment on time. 

If your company has not been issued a VAT number, you are not able to submit a VAT return. In case your company performed any VAT-relevant transactions, it should register for a VAT number, before it can file it first VAT return.

In this chapter you will read all about how to file your VAT Return, and the important matters that you should consider when submitting your VAT return.

The VAT return can be filed online, by accessing  ‘My Tax Portal for entrepreneurs’.

You are (still) able to login with the username and password you received from the Tax & Customs Administration via an official letter, right after your company was registered.

What info do you have to submit in your VAT return?

In the declaration you state the VAT that you have charged to your customers, and the VAT that your suppliers have charged you.You would also mention the purchases of goods or sales from within Europe, for which your suppliers have applied the reverse charge method.

You can find more information on the VAT requirements here.

Submitting your VAT Return, and paying the VAT

After you have completed and submitted the VAT return, you will receive a confirmation of receipt. If you get a VAT refund, the Tax & Customs Administration (TCA) will notify you within a few weeks. If your business has to pay VAT (which you already charged your customers via the VAT surcharge on your sales invoice) , you must do so at the latest on the date stated in your online tax portal. If you do not pay or do not pay on time, the TCA can impose an additional assessment or a fine. When paying through your (overseas) bank account, you must take into account a few days of processing time.


  • Are you a starting entrepreneur? The Tax & Customs Authorities will send you the 1st VAT return digitally or on paper. You often receive your 1st VAT return on paper. Sometimes you will receive your 1st VAT return digitally (depending on your formation date).

If you have to pay VAT, you will receive an additional assessment with a giro collection form. Do you get a VAT refund? Then you will receive a refund decision. This is a letter stating how much you will get back.

Which turnover and expenses are relevant for Dutch VAT?


For most goods and services, you charge VAT to your (Dutch or EU) customers. Your sales price then includes VAT. In some cases, you do not charge VAT on the goods and services you provide.(for example, in case of export to outside the EU, or in case the reverse charge method is applicable).

Shifting VAT| Application of the reverse charge method

In a number of cases you do not pay the VAT, but the entrepreneur to whom you supply the goods or services. The reverse also occurs. This is the reverse charge scheme. This scheme typically involves other EU countries, however, in some cases it’s also applicable between Dutch companies (for example in the construction industry).

Under the reverse charge mechanism, the VAT is transferred from the supplier to the customer. The supplier does not charge VAT, but transfers the VAT to the entrepreneur who purchases goods or services from him. For each VAT rate, the supplier states the fee over which the VAT has been shifted in his VAT return. The customer states the compensation and the VAT that has been transferred to him in his VAT return.

Are you transferring VAT to another entrepreneur? In that case, you do not charge VAT, but put it on the invoice 'VAT shifted'. You must also state the customer's VAT identification number on the invoice. The VAT identification number is the number with 'NL' before it. On the invoice you state the compensation per VAT rate.

When the reverse charged method have been applied, you must complete the VAT return as follows:

  • VAT has been reverse charged to you:
    In your VAT return you enter how much VAT has been reverse charged to you. You enter the invoice (and VAT) amount in section 2 'Reverse charge in home country' or in section 4 'Services provided to you from abroad'.

  • You have shifted VAT via the reverse charge method:
    In your VAT return, you enter the turnover for which you have shifted VAT. You do this in section 1 'Domestic performance', or in section 3 'Performance (to) abroad'.

Goods and services

As explained in the VAT Requirements page, for most goods and services VAT is applicable. In case you charged your client VAT, you must include it in the VAT return. In case you paid VAT on goods or services, and these expenses were related to your business, the main rule is that you can charge back this VAT, by including these invoices in your VAT calculation (and return). It's important to check the applicable vat rates of your services or provided goods, before preparing your invoices. Different vat rates might apply, without one transactions with your customer. For example, courier services are taxed differently, then the provision of standard goods.

Special turnover

Sometimes you will receive compensation for something, while you do not provide goods or services for this. You then charge VAT on that compensation. You can read more about this under Special turnover.

International Transactions

Do you supply goods or services to foreign entrepreneurs? Or do you buy goods or services from entrepreneurs abroad? 

Then other rules apply. See the 3 categories:

1. Goods and services to other EU countries

2. Purchase goods and services from other EU countries

3. Transactions involving Buyers or Suppliers outside the EU

Goods and services to other EU countries


You supply goods or services to customers in another EU country. Do you have to charge VAT to your customer or not? And where do you file a declaration? That depends on whether you provide goods or services. And whether your customers file VAT returns. Read here what to do.

In general, you do not charge VAT to entrepreneurs from other EU countries. For goods, you then apply the 0% rate and for services, the VAT is transferred to your customer. Do you supply goods or services to customers who do not file a declaration, for example private persons? You then normally charge 9 or 21% Dutch VAT. You can read more at Calculate VAT for export goods to EU countries and Calculate VAT for services to customers in other EU countries.

Doing business abroad involves a number of additional administrative obligations. Sometimes you even have to file a declaration in other EU countries.

If you do business with other EU countries, there are additional requirements that your invoice must meet. You can read more about this under Invoicing if you do business with other EU countries.

You must also submit a declaration if you apply the 0% rate or if the VAT has been transferred to your customer. In addition, you periodically declare an intra-Community performance (ICP).

You will find the countries and territories that belong to the EU in a table.

Purchase goods and services from other EU countries


Goods and services you buy from entrepreneurs from other EU countries are usually taxed in the Netherlands. What do you do with VAT? And how do you indicate this in your tax return? What information do you need to keep in your records? You can learn more about what to do if you purchase goods and services from EU countries here.

If you purchase goods from other EU countries, the supplier usually charges you 0% VAT. As a customer, you must then pay Dutch VAT. If you purchase services from another EU country, the VAT is often transferred to you as a customer. In both cases, you calculate the VAT yourself and indicate this in your VAT return. You can also deduct this VAT as input tax, insofar as you use the goods or services for taxed turnover.

There are a number of exceptions to the rule that the VAT is shifted to you for services. In some special situations, other rules also apply to the import of goods.

Transactions involving Buyers or Suppliers outside the EU


If you do business outside the EU, you have to deal with the VAT rules in our country and the rules in the other country. We do not have an unambiguous answer to the question that you must meet outside the EU. This differs per country and you must check for yourself which rules you must comply with. Also check where to file a VAT return when doing business with non-EU countries. Read here what you need to do to comply with Dutch VAT legislation.

Export to and import from non-EU countries

When exporting goods to non-EU countries, you charge 0% VAT. When importing goods from non-EU countries, you must declare them to Customs. You pay import duties and VAT on those goods, among other things. How to calculate VAT if you do business outside the EU, read Calculating VAT if you do business outside the EU. Do you regularly import goods from non-EU countries? In that case, you can ask us for a permit, Article 23. With this permit, you can calculate the VAT on these goods yourself and indicate this on your VAT return. Do you trade in bulk goods? If these qualify for storage in a VAT warehouse, you can apply the 0% rate under certain conditions. Read more at Import.

Reclaiming tax from non-EU countries

Have you paid tax in a non-EU country? Inquire with the tax authorities of that country whether and if so how you can reclaim tax. Read more under Reclaiming VAT from non-EU countries.

How do I know how much VAT I can claim back? (or have to pay…)


When you submit your VAT return,  you calculate how much VAT you have to pay to the Tax & Customs Administration. In your administration you keep track of how much VAT you have charged to customers and how many VAT suppliers have charged you. The difference between these is the VAT that you have to pay or that you get back.

The main rule is: you pay us the VAT that you have charged to your customers, and you may deduct the VAT that your suppliers have charged you.

Calculation methods

You can calculate VAT in 2 ways:

  • with the billing system

You calculate the VAT on the basis of the invoices that you have sent and received in a declaration period. You use this method if you supply goods or services to other entrepreneurs.

  • with the cash system

You calculate VAT based on your receipts in the tax return period. You use this method if you mainly supply private individuals.

Paying (charged) VAT

In the VAT return you will state the VAT that you have calculated for your customers in the VAT return.

Which VAT is deductible?

You deduct the VAT that your suppliers have charged you from the VAT that you have to pay us. This is called deduction as input tax. You calculate the deduction on the basis of the invoices that you received in a declaration period. The invoice date determines in which period you deduct the VAT. You can read which VAT you can deduct under What VAT can you deduct?

Convert foreign currency

Read more about converting foreign currencies into euros under Declaration of goods and services from other EU countries.

Check VAT identification numbers

It is important for you to know whether your customer is indeed an entrepreneur. If, after checking your administration, it turns out that your customer is not an entrepreneur, you will receive an additional assessment. You still have to pay VAT on the goods and services that you have supplied without VAT.

Read more about the application of the 0% rate for goods at Calculating VAT when exporting goods to EU countries. More information about shifting VAT on services can be found under Calculating VAT for services to customers in other EU countries.

Check the VAT identification number

Do you want to check your customer's VAT identification number? Then go to the website of the European Commission. You can check the VAT identification numbers of your customers from all EU Member States here. So also those of your Dutch customers.


If the check does not work, remove the applicant's Member State and VAT number in the bottom section and try again. The system is case sensitive, so uppercase letters cannot be entered as lowercase letters.

In addition to the validity of the VAT identification number, you can also check your customer's name and address details on this website. Is the number not valid or do the name and address details differ? Then contact your customer


It is not possible to check the name and address details of customers in Germany via the above internet site. The confirmation that the VAT identification number is valid is then sufficient.

Would you like confirmation of the VAT identification number check you have performed? Then you can print the result of the check and / or save it in your computer. When checking, you can enter your own VAT identification number. This will then be shown on the confirmation.


Reclaiming VAT from other EU countries

Have you paid VAT in another EU country? About goods, services or when importing goods from a non-EU country and you do not file a VAT return there? You can then easily reclaim this VAT from that EU country via the Dutch tax authorities.

To claim VAT from another EU country via the Dutch tax authorities, you must meet certain conditions. You can read what conditions these are at When can you make a request?

How do you reclaim VAT?

You can reclaim VAT on the website VAT refund from other EU countries. Make use of the Requirements and explanation of the request for VAT refund from other EU countries. We will forward your request to the tax authorities in the EU country where you reclaim VAT. You need login details for this website.

Request login details You need login details to reclaim VAT. You can find out whether you can request login details using the Request login details for VAT refund from other EU countries. The tool takes you to the correct form to request login details.

You must also use this tool to request login details if your tax service provider takes care of your refund request.

Last VAT return of the year/’Suppletie aangifte’


In the last declaration of the year, you include a number of statements about the past calendar year. In that case, you repay part of the VAT that you previously deducted for the private use of goods and services that belong to your company.

Private use

If you have a business, you may also use private goods or services from your business. If you have previously deducted VAT on these goods or services as input tax, you must repay VAT for private use. You can read how to calculate this under Estimate private use.


For the company car, you also pay VAT for private use in the last VAT return of the year. You can read more about this at VAT and the car.

Taxed and exempted turnover

Do you have turnover for which you have to pay VAT and turnover that is exempt from VAT? Then you probably have costs and purchases for both taxed and exempt turnover. You then estimate the expenses you incur for taxed turnover before deducting the tax. You may deduct the VAT that you have paid on costs and purchases that you use for taxed turnover as input tax. At the end of the year, check whether this estimate is correct. If you need to correct VAT, you do this in the last tax return of the year. You can read more about this under Taxed and exempted turnover.

Employee benefits

VAT on employee benefits, gifts and business gifts is limited deductible. You can only deduct the VAT on this if you do not spend more than € 227 per employee or relation per year. If you have spent more and deducted the VAT on this as input tax, you correct your input tax in the last return. You can read more about this under Threshold amount for employee benefits, gifts and business gifts.




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