VAT registration in the Netherlands

  • Last update: 23.02.2024
  • Published: 18.08.2023
  • Read in: 5 min

VAT-related matters are integral components of the economic frameworks in EU nations. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is no exception, where VAT (value added tax) is referred to as BTW, and the principal Dutch VAT act is the Value Added Tax of 1968 (known in Dutch as Wet op de omzetbelasting 1968).

Foreign companies planning to operate in the Netherlands must acquire a Netherlands VAT number, also known as BTW-ID, to conduct their business operations effectively. This involves registering for VAT, a requirement similar to that of other EU member states.

VAT registration is essential for businesses that intend or are obligated to engage in VAT settlements within the Netherlands and apply Dutch VAT rates to their transactions. This article will provide a detailed look at this process, including its location and the expected time frame for completion.

vat registration in the netherlands

From the following article you will find out:

  • What are the applicable VAT rates in the Netherlands?
  • In which situations is VAT registration Netherlands compulsory?
  • How to carry out VAT registration in the Netherlands?
  • How is the Tax and Customs Administration in the Netherlands called?
  • What documents does the Dutch VAT registration process require?
  • What is the Dutch VAT number format?
  • Who is obliged to pay VAT in the Netherlands?

The Dutch VAT Netherlands

In total, there are 3 VAT rates in the Netherlands.

The standard Dutch VAT rate is 21%, and there are also two, lower VAT rates in place.

The reduced Dutch VAT rate is 9%, which applies to various items, including pharmaceutical products and medical devices. Additionally, there is a zero VAT rate, which covers specific services related to the transportation of goods and people, as well as certain aspects of composing and writing activities.

To explore this topic further, you can refer to our article “VAT Netherlands 2023.”

When is it mandatory to register for VAT in the Netherlands?

Value Added Tax, plays a crucial role in the Netherlands’ economic system, and VAT registration is obligatory in the Netherlands foreign entrepreneurs under circumstances similar to those in other EU Member States, which include:

  • export and import of goods to and from third countries,
  • sale of goods and services within the Netherlands,
  • warehousing of goods in the Netherlands and their dispatch to recipients in other EU member states,
  • bringing goods into the Netherlands from other EU countries,
  • carrying out distance intra-Community sales of goods whose value exceeds €10,000.

The latter refers to the VAT registration threshold for intra-Community distance sales of goods. This regulation became effective on July 1, 2021, and it applies to all B2C) sales made by the same business to other Member States of the European Union. It sets a limit above which a trader is obligated to register for VAT locally and handle VAT settlements in the country where the sale takes place, either directly or via the VAT OSS procedure.

Conversely, prior to surpassing this specified threshold, businesses have the flexibility to apply the VAT rate of the country from which the goods are dispatched, and they can also manage VAT settlements there.

If you require consultation or assistance with any of these aspects, please schedule a free consultation with us to explore how our VAT Compliance specialists can support you and your business.

VAT registration procedure in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, VAT registration for entrepreneurs from other EU member states involves the traditional process of communication with the tax authorities. Entrepreneurs are required to provide the necessary documentation for this registration.

The Dutch Tax authorities – The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst)

The Dutch tax authorities responsible for VAT matters is the Belastingdienst/Kennis- en Expertisecentrum Buitenland, and they can be reached at Postbus 2865, 6401 DJ Heerlen.

The documents required for VAT registration in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, when registering for VAT purposes, the Dutch VAT authorities require the following documents:

  • a completed registration application,
  • proof of company registration from a trade register,
  • bank statement for the company’s account from the last 3 months,
  • VAT certificate for VAT registration in another EU member state,
  • proof of identity,
  • copy of the memorandum of association (Articles of Association),
  • power of attorney, in case of using the help of a representative.

What’s essential, non EU companies (companies from non EU countries), in order to register for VAT purposes in the Netherlands) must appoint a tax representative. However, for a foreign company from other EU countries it’s optional to use a VAT representative.

Once these documents are submitted, assuming all is filled out correctly, the VAT registration process in the Netherlands typically takes about 2-4 weeks.

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The Netherlands VAT number

The current format of the Dutch VAT number (also known as the VAT identification number), known as the BTW-identificatienummer (BTW-ID), has been in effect since January 1, 2020. It is comprised of nine digits, followed by a code that includes the letter B and numbers ranging from 01 to 99. Additionally, the country code for the Netherlands is NL.

It’s important to be aware that the Netherlands also has an Omzetbelastingnummer, which serves as the equivalent of the TIN (Tax Identification Number). However, it should not be mistaken as the previously mentioned (BTW-ID) VAT number.

Obligations of a VAT payer in the Netherlands

When engaged in VAT-taxable activities in the Netherlands and registered for VAT in the country, entrepreneurs are obligated to fulfil certain requirements to prevent potential penalties. These responsibilities encompass tasks such as submitting a VAT return in the Netherlands and applying the correct VAT rate to the goods and services they are selling.

Deadlines for filing VAT returns and paying VAT in the Netherlands

The standard timeframe for submitting a VAT return in the Netherlands is on a quarterly basis, and both, foreign and Dutch companies, are required to settle their VAT by the last day of the month following the respective quarter.

In contrast, monthly VAT returns become obligatory when a company surpasses €15,000 in VAT amount owed on a quarterly basis or experiences a delay in filing their quarterly returns. In such cases, the Netherlands tax authorities may alter the frequency of VAT return submissions. The due dates for filing monthly VAT returns correspond to the final days of the months following the accounting periods.

It’s important to note that annual returns are also a mandatory requirement in the Netherlands. However, these are specifically applicable to domestic entrepreneurs whose total value of intra-Community sales of goods does not exceed €10,000. VAT payers have until March 31 of the year following the accounting period to submit their annual returns.

VAT registration Netherlands - summary

VAT registration in the Netherlands and acquiring the VAT number for Dutch tax purposes are mandatory requirements for companies intending to engage in business activities within the country, especially those involved in intra-Community transactions.

Similar to other EU nations, the Netherlands has its own distinct regulations, VAT rules and VAT registrations procedures, as well as the obligations related to VAT, including the submission of VAT returns and the associated deadlines.

The VAT registration process itself is initiated through traditional postal correspondence, requiring the submission of the appropriate documentation. Moreover, it is conducted in the Dutch tax office, known as Belastingdienst, and when conducted properly, one is given a VAT number in the netherlands, which has a form of a country code NL, followed by nine digits, the letter B and numbers ranging from 01 to 99.

If you find yourself in need of a VAT expert assistance or VAT registration in the Netherlands or any other EU country, our team of VAT Compliance specialists is well-equipped to handle this procedure for you. Additionally, we offer support for settlements, returns, VAT OSS, and VAT EU. Simply schedule a free consultation, and our team of specialists will take care of the rest.

Michał Doruch Michał has been dealing with VAT settlements, registrations, and filings in European Union member states and the United Kingdom for over 10 years. He also covers issues related to VAT OSS, Intrastat reporting, and direct customer support. Michał has been associated with Taxology since March 2021.