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A Newcomers Guide to file your VAT Returns in the Netherlands: Filing, Deadline, and Process

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Who submits a VAT return?

In the Netherlands, both Dutch legal entities and non-Dutch entities that trade in the Netherlands must comply with the regulations set out by the Dutch tax and customs administration.

If you have registered for VAT as a branch office or subsidiary, you are required to submit your VAT return. The return must include details such as your VAT identification number, turnover, and the amount of VAT you have charged and paid. This process involves stating the input tax from purchases and services, which you can then deduct from the VAT you owe.

A Dutch VAT return is crucial for businesses selling products and services within the country. The standard VAT rate, alongside any applicable exemptions, must be applied accurately. Entities must file their return by the deadline, typically the last day of the month following the tax period. The Chamber of Commerce registers businesses which then need to obtain a VAT number. A failure to submit the return on time can result in penalties from the tax administration. Some businesses may qualify for the Small Business Scheme, offering potential reductions or exemptions from turnover tax.

For entities that need to charge VAT and then seek a refund of VAT, it’s essential to keep detailed records of each invoice received and issued. If your turnover is significant, you may also have to submit an annual VAT return detailing the yearly transaction summary. Whether you are eligible for a VAT refund or need to pay the VAT due, adherence to the regulations for VAT in the Netherlands is critical. Keep in mind that certain businesses may be exempt from VAT, depending on their operations. Maintaining compliance with the Netherlands VAT rules ensures smooth operations for your business in the Netherlands.

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Are you an entrepreneur for VAT purposes, as per Dutch tax law?

Understanding your status as an entrepreneur for VAT purposes under Dutch tax law is essential. If you have a permanent establishment in the Netherlands, you are generally required to engage in several VAT obligations, including conducting VAT taxable transactions. When you trade with Dutch consumers, you need to consider the various substance requirements for VAT purposes, such as having your own warehouse or local staff. For international businesses, this may necessitate obtaining a non-resident VAT number to effectively deal with Dutch traders or handle import activities, even if you lack local 'substance'. This ensures compliance with Dutch tax rules and efficient filing of your VAT returns.

If you are VAT registered in the Netherlands, you must file your return and charge VAT to your customers. According to the Netherlands' tax administration, businesses are required to submit VAT returns periodically, often as quarterly VAT returns. These deadlines and payments are crucial; missing them can result in penalties. Calculating VAT, including input VAT and output VAT, is key to ensuring that your VAT returns are accurate. Once calculated, you must ensure to file VAT returns on time and make the appropriate VAT payments to the tax office.

It's important to note that not all VAT paid can be deducted. Specifically, if you cannot deduct VAT on business costs, you are still required to pay VAT on these expenses. Conversely, you can deduct VAT on business costs where applicable, reducing your overall VAT liability and potentially gaining a VAT credit. All these steps are supervised by the Netherlands tax administration, suggesting their critical role in compliance.

In summary, as a foreign entrepreneur engaging with Dutch markets, you are required to submit VAT returns and ensure they are filed correctly and on time. This involves accurate calculations, correct deductions, and adhering to all VAT obligations. Failing to submit VAT returns or pay VAT when due can attract significant penalties, emphasizing the importance of staying compliant.

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Settling received and paid VAT

When settling received and paid VAT, businesses in the Netherlands must adhere to specific procedures. Every business must file a tax return either quarterly or annually, depending on their size and revenue. The vat return in the Netherlands requires accurate reporting of the vat on goods sold and services provided. To ensure accuracy, detailed records should be maintained, including receipts of expenses and any thresholds or deduction exemptions applicable to your business. The standard rates applicable are the lower rate of 9 percent and the higher rate of 21 percent. For items that are classified as vat exempt, no VAT is added or deducted. Businesses must submit their vat return on the website of the tax authorities.

When preparing to file a vat return, it's crucial to deduct the vat charged on both local and foreign vat from the total VAT payable. Companies must remember to make sure to keep the receipts of your expenses to substantiate these deductions. Vat returns are filed to reconcile VAT on sales and purchases. Any business that has not sufficiently paid the due VAT, after deducting the paid amounts, need to pay vat to the authorities. Conversely, if the paid VAT exceeds the received VAT, the business can claim a refund.

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Are you  a Non-resident businesses planning to register for VAT in The Netherlands?

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Are you a non-resident business planning to register for VAT in The Netherlands? It's simpler than you might think. To begin, you'll need to either register your business at the Tax office, or register a branch office at the Chamber of Commerce first. It's important to note that there is no legal requirement to establish a local company. This means you can operate your business in The Netherlands without the need for extensive local infrastructure. Furthermore, there is no need to appoint a fiscal representative, or even a bookkeeper, removing yet another potential administrative hurdle.

Once registered, it's easy to log in to the Tax office and submit the tax return yourself. We will demonstrate this in our step-by-step tutorial. As a non-resident business, you must file a VAT return periodically, detailing your business activities and the VAT amounts involved. Fortunately, this process is straightforward and can be managed from anywhere with an internet connection.

However, be mindful that you can deduct this VAT only when your company is considered a 'resident' company based on 'substance requirements'. Substance requirements usually involve having a certain level of physical and economic presence in the country. Although this is more relevant for businesses seeking specific tax benefits, it's worth understanding the distinction to optimize your tax obligations.

In summary, starting your journey as a non-resident business in The Netherlands involves some initial steps, but the overall process is designed to be as user-friendly as possible. With our guidance and the right knowledge, you'll find it straightforward to navigate Dutch VAT registration and compliance.

How does house of companies work?

1st VAT return for newcomer entrepreneurs

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Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? If so, we will send your first VAT return either digitally or in paper format.

You will receive your VAT return after registering with the Chamber of Commerce and the Tax Authorities.

Even if you have not earned any revenue yet, you are still required to submit a tax return.

Your initial VAT return is generally sent on paper, though in some cases, it may be sent digitally.
If you owe VAT, you will receive a supplemental assessment along with payment details. If you are eligible for a VAT refund, you will receive a decision letter indicating the amount you will be reimbursed.

More information about the VAT return can be found in the Explanation of VAT return - Issued on paper .

You can also file a return with your own administration software, such as House of Companies's automated VAT accounting.

VAT return due dates in The Netherlands

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In the Netherlands, staying compliant with VAT filing requirements is crucial for businesses. To ensure timely submissions, you should be aware of the VAT filing due dates which are typically quarterly. Sometimes due dates may vary, so it’s important to check this table with filing dates to avoid any penalties.


Ensuring you meet your tax obligations timely is crucial to avoid penalties. Checking this table with filing dates is essential to stay compliant. 


For the reporting period of November 2023, the latest date for receipt of tax return and payment is 31 January 2024. Similarly, the reporting period for December 2023 concludes on 29 February 2024, and January 2024 should be settled by 31 March 2024. As the months progress, February 2024's deadline is 30 April 2024, and March 2024's deadline is 31 May 2024.


It’s important to note that the reporting period for April 2024 will end on 30 June 2024, while May 2024 must be filed by 31 July 2024. Continuously, for June 2024, the final date is 31 August 2024, and for July 2024, it is 30 September 2024. August 2024 needs to be finalized by 31 October 2024 to avoid any penalties.

Further, for September 2024, the latest date for receipt of tax return and payment stands at 30 November 2024, and for October 2024, the deadline is 31 December 2024. 


November 2024 filings should be completed by 31 January 2025, while December 2024's reporting must be done by 28 February 2025. Keeping a vigilant check on these dates helps avoid late payments and ensuing penalties.


So, it’s important to check this table with filing dates to avoid any penalties. Keeping track of these crucial dates ensures that you stay compliant with regulatory requirements and avoid any unnecessary fines or legal issues that could arise from missing a deadline. Many people overlook the importance of understanding their specific filing deadlines, which can lead to stressful, last-minute scrambles or, worse, hefty financial sanctions.


If you happen to forget to include an invoice in your return, you have options based on the amount. For smaller amounts, you can include the invoice in your next VAT return. However, for larger amounts or multiple invoices, it's advisable to opt for an annual VAT correction to align your records accurately.


Utilizing services like House of Companies can simplify the process through automated VAT compliance, freeing you from the intricacies of manual tracking. Regardless of the method chosen, always set your calendar and submit VAT returns yourself or ensure your automated tools are up-to-date to stay compliant.


Remember, the approach depends on the amount of the invoice and how you structure your VAT accounting. Proper planning and awareness of submission dates can keep your business running smoothly and prevent any legal complications.

Filing a VAT return for newcomers, yes, you can do it yourself (using eherkenning and/or House of Companies)!

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Filing a VAT return might seem daunting for newcomers, but rest assured, you can do it yourself with some guidance. One of the essential tools you'll need is e-herkenning. This digital identification system allows you to securely login to the tax portal (belastingdienst.nl) and manage your VAT returns. To obtain e-herkenning, you must follow a few steps. Firstly, you need to choose an accredited provider such as WE-ID. The process requires that you be identified in person to ensure that only authorized individuals can access the system. If you find this challenging, you can leverage the agent service of House of Companies, which can assist you in obtaining and managing your e-herkenning.


Once you have your e-herkenning, the process of filing your Dutch VAT return becomes straightforward, especially if your transactions are minimal. The fewer transactions you have, the easier and quicker it is to file your VAT return. You can avoid the cost of hiring an accountant as long as your VAT transactions are not complex. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the process:


Step 1: Login to 'Zakelijk' (business) area of the belastingdienst.nl. This is where you will manage all of your business tax matters. Make sure you have your e-herkenning credentials ready.

Step 2: Open the VAT section and check for pending or overdue VAT returns. This section will display any VAT return submissions that need your attention.

Step 3: Open the VAT return form. This is where you'll input your financial data.

Step 4: Complete the questions. Per VAT category, you should add up the total turnover and the VAT paid or deferred. If you have no transactions for the period, you can easily skip this section, making the process even faster.

Step 5: Complete the final statements. Ensure that all details are accurate and reflect your business transactions correctly.

Step 6: Approve the VAT return, and submit it. Once submitted, your VAT return will be processed by the tax authority.

And you are done! No need to pay an accountant, as long as the VAT transactions are not complex. 


By following these steps and utilizing e-herkenning and tools like the House of Companies agent service, you can efficiently manage and file your VAT returns in the Netherlands.

Check these slides for more information! 


Or contact the team of House of Companies for free assistance to file your VAt return.

Monthly, quarterly, or yearly?

Businesses must submit their VAT filings on time, as vat returns must be filed regularly — mostly on a quarterly basis, although some prefer to submit returns on a monthly basis. Accurate reporting and timely submission help avoid penalties. For goods and services priced excluding vat, be sure to calculate and add the respective VAT percentages before completing the filings. Keeping precise records and staying informed about current VAT regulations via the website of the tax authorities will facilitate smooth vat filing processes for any business.

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Make sure to submit the VAT return and pay on time

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Submitting your VAT return and ensuring timely payment in the Netherlands is crucial for maintaining good standing with the tax authorities. The due date of VAT filing is the last day of the month after the quarter has ended


This means if your quarter ends on March 31st, your VAT return needs to be submitted by April 30th. However, it’s essential to be aware that penalties apply for late filing. Specifically, there is a grace period, or coulance geldt, of 7 calendar days after the filing deadline. 


In case your VAT return reaches the tax authorities within this grace period, you won’t face any penalties.. However, if your filing is late or if you fail to submit your return entirely, you will incur a penalty of €68. 


Additionally, if you do not file a VAT return or you file it too late, you will receive a supplementary assessment. The tax authorities will then estimate the amount you owe based on their own calculations.


It’s also worth noting that penalties are not limited to late or missing filings. Did you file a return, but did not pay VAT, or paid too little or too late? You will also receive a supplementary assessment. This means that even if you manage to submit your VAT return on time but fail to make the appropriate payment, you will still be penalized with supplementary assessments and potentially more fines. 


To avoid this, it is crucial to ensure that not only is your VAT return filed on time, but that the necessary payments are completed promptly.

One key way to prevent falling into the pitfalls of penalties and supplementary assessments is to be diligent about your filing, even if it is a zero declaration.

Always file a return: zero declaration. By doing this, you can avoid extra fines and assessments even when you do not have any turnover for the period.

You can avoid a supplementary assessment by filing your VAT return on time, by using the calender of House of Companies, which integrates with your Gmail. Ensuring timely filing and payment, even without any taxable turnover, helps you maintain a good record with the tax authorities and avoids unnecessary financial burdens.

Need help with your Dutch VAT compliance? House of Companies can help!

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Need help with your Dutch VAT compliance


House of Companies is here to assist! Dealing with international VAT can be complex, especially when you're handling everything on your own. That's why we've designed a variety of services to simplify your VAT obligations. With our help, you no longer have to worry about the intricacies of VAT filing. We offer the support of an expert Dutch bookkeeper alongside our cutting-edge tools to ensure your VAT processes are handled seamlessly and accurately.


What sets House of Companies apart is our unique blend of human expertise and technological innovation. Our automated accounting systems provide error-free computations and eliminate the tedious manual effort involved in tax compliance. You can benefit from transparent low fees without compromising on the efficiency and precision that your business needs. Our services include access to a realtime portal where you can track your VAT status and transactions at any time, from anywhere. Never be in the dark about your VAT obligations again!


Moreover, our self-service options empower businesses to take control of their tax filings. Utilize our self-service tax filing feature to gain independence while still ensuring compliance. For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, you can download our playbook to submit your VAT return yourself, using the VAT analysis


This playbook provides a step-by-step guide, supported by our realtime VAT analysis per quarter, so you can confidently handle your VAT returns. By following our detailed instructions, you can not only ensure compliance but also understand the nuances of VAT reporting.


For those who need a bit more assistance, worry not! You can always contact us to get a quote from our VAT tax experts in the Netherlands to provide tax advice and assist with the VAT filing. Our team of experts is ready to offer personalized advice and services tailored to your specific business needs.


 Don't let VAT compliance be a source of stress; let House of Companies handle it for you. With our comprehensive suite of services and expert guidance, VAT compliance has never been easier.


Contact the Dutch Tax office/ VAT Department


If you need to get in touch with the Dutch Tax Authorities, the belastingdienst.nl is a useful website to start with. The site offers a wealth of information and resources, making it easier for individuals and businesses to manage their tax obligations. For more personalized assistance, you can reach out to the belastingtelefoon, which is the tax authorities' customer service helpline. This service is especially beneficial if you have specific questions about your taxes or need guidance on certain tax processes. While most call center employees are helpful in a very basic manner, they can guide you through general queries or direct you to the appropriate resources for more detailed information.


If you are dealing with more complex issues, such as a 'non-resident' VAT number and filing, the Tax Department in Heerlen specializes in this area and has a separate call center to handle such cases. Whether you need to send a letter, request an overview of outstanding tax payments, or change your bank account or other details, it is crucial to act timely to avoid complications. 


Alternatively, you can visit one of their regional offices for face-to-face assistance, which might be more effective for resolving intricate issues.

For businesses, contacting the tax authorities is straightforward. Simply call: 0800 - 0543 (gratis) and opt for 'business' (ondernemers) (option 2). This ensures that you are directed to the right department that can handle business-related queries and concerns. If you are calling from abroad, the number to dial is +31 555 385 385. Given that international calls can sometimes have longer wait times, it is advisable to call during non-peak hours if possible.


In conclusion, using the Dutch Tax Authorities' resources effectively can make managing your taxes much simpler. Be it through the belastingdienst.nl website, the belastingtelefoon customer service, visiting a regional office, or calling their specialized centers, there are multiple avenues to get the help you need. 


Whether you need assistance with basic queries or specialized non-resident VAT issues, timely and effective communication with the Dutch Tax Authorities can prevent a lot of headaches down the line.


Important considerations on Dutch VAT


1. What is a VAT return and why is it important?


A VAT return is a periodic summary of the value added tax (VAT) that your business needs to pay or can reclaim. It is essential because it ensures that the tax authorities can accurately track and collect VAT from businesses. Filing it on time helps you stay compliant with tax regulations and avoid penalties.


2. How can I handle VAT return filing by myself?


Handling VAT return filing by yourself involves calculating the VAT you have collected from sales and the VAT you have paid on purchases. You'll need to complete a VAT return form, which can be filed online through the tax administration portal. Ensure all details are accurate to avoid complications with the dutch tax authorities.


3. Are there specific considerations for filing a VAT return in the Netherlands?


Yes, when filing a VAT return in the Netherlands, businesses must be aware of local regulations, including VAT rates and filing deadlines. It's crucial to use platforms accredited by the Dutch tax administration and to know if your business is eligible for schemes like the small business scheme.


4. What is the Dutch VAT rate and how does it apply to my business?


The standard Dutch VAT rate is 21%, but reduced rates of 9% and 0% apply to certain products and services. Your business needs to identify which rate applies to your offerings to correctly charge VAT to your customers and to ensure accurate vat return filing by yourself.


5. What are the deadlines for VAT return filing in the Netherlands?


The deadline for VAT return filing in the Netherlands typically follows a quarterly schedule. However, specific businesses might have monthly or annual deadlines. It is essential to check with the tax authorities to understand your specific deadlines to avoid penalties.



Do you need to pay VAT but haven't received a VAT return from us yet? Make sure to request a VAT return within one month following the period for which VAT is due.

Are you expecting a VAT refund and haven't received a VAT return? In that case, you must request a VAT return within six months after the end of the calendar year for which you are owed the refund. If you submit a VAT return later, but still within five years after the end of the tax year in question, your return will be handled as a refund request.


Q: What is a Dutch VAT return, and who needs to file it?


A: A Dutch VAT return is a periodic tax return that businesses in the Netherlands must submit to the Dutch tax authorities. Both Dutch and foreign businesses need to file Dutch VAT returns if they provide goods or services subject to VAT within the Netherlands.


Q: What is the standard VAT rate in the Netherlands?


A: The standard VAT rate in the Netherlands is 21%. There are also reduced rates of 9% and 0% that apply to specific goods and services.


Q: When is the deadline for filing a VAT return in the Netherlands?


A: The deadline for filing a VAT return in the Netherlands depends on the tax period of your business, commonly quarterly or monthly. Generally, VAT returns must be filed by the last day of the month following the end of the tax period.


Q: How do I file my VAT return in the Netherlands?


A: You can file your VAT return in the Netherlands online through the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration's website. You’ll need to log in using your company’s credentials to submit your VAT return.


Q: What is the small business scheme in the Netherlands for VAT?


A: The small business scheme (Kleineondernemersregeling or KOR) in the Netherlands allows eligible small businesses to be exempt from charging VAT and filing VAT returns if their annual turnover is below a certain threshold.


Q: Do foreign businesses need to appoint a tax representative in the Netherlands?


A: Foreign businesses may need to appoint a tax representative in the Netherlands depending on the types of goods they trade. However, this can be expensive and complicated. It's often cheaper to apply for an art. 23 license yourself or reclaim the paid VAT as soon as possible.


Q: How can I get a VAT refund in the Netherlands?


A: To get a VAT refund in the Netherlands, you must include any incurred VAT in your VAT return. The refund is typically processed by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and can be offset against your VAT liabilities. Timing your imports at the end of the quarter can help you receive refunds faster.


Q: What are the advantages of having a tax representative in the Netherlands?


A: Appointing a tax representative in the Netherlands can offer advantages, such as navigating local VAT compliance requirements more smoothly and ensuring accurate and timely VAT filings.


Q: Are there any exemptions from paying VAT in the Netherlands?


A: Yes, there are exemptions from paying VAT in the Netherlands for certain goods and services, such as medical care, educational services, and certain financial and insurance services. Certain small businesses may also be exempt under the small business scheme.

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