Tax and Customs Administration corona measures for businesses and employers

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Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst

The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration has implemented a number of measures to help businesses and employers with payment difficulties due to the corona crisis, and to avoid extra costs. This page lists measures for businesses in general and employers in particular, and gives information on the consequences of the corona crisis on Customs matters.

For businesses

Payment extension for several taxes extended

Until 1 October 2021 it was possible to request a special tax payment extension from the Tax and Customs Administration. From 1 October 2021, you will have to meet your tax obligations again. This means that you have to pay your assessments on time again.

Temporary additional allowance

The Tax and Customs Administration assists entrepreneurs for whom it remains difficult to pay on time after 1 October 2021. You can then be granted an extension until 31 January 2022 (in Dutch), subject to certain conditions.

Payment arrangement for tax debt

You can repay the tax debt you have accrued during the special extension of payment from 1 October 2022. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration offers payment arrangements.

Hours criterion relaxed

Some tax deduction schemes such as private business ownership allowance, working partner's abatement and retirement reserve require a minimum number of 1,225 hours spent working in your company per year, or approximately 24 hours per week. The corona crisis may make it impossible for businesses to meet this criterion. For that reason, you are allowed to claim you have spent 24 hours a week on your business during the period 1 January - 1 July 2021, even if you have not.

Applying the hours criterion

You may only apply the hours criterion relaxation for the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2021. The relaxation does not apply to the the second half of 2021. As of 1 July, you will be assessed based on the actual hours you worked.

No tax on TOGS, TVL, or TONK

No tax will be levied on the funds you have received under the schemes Reimbursement for businesses affected by the corona measures (TOGS), Reimbursement for Fixed Costs SMEs (TVL), or Temporary support for essential costs (TONK).

NOW scheme is taxed

Have you applied for the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW) scheme? You will have to pay tax over the money you have received.

VAT rules

Until 1 October 2021, special rules for VAT applied:
  • No VAT on corona vaccines and corona test kits
  • Temporary lending of healthcare staff outside the scope of VAT
  • No VAT on face masks

Lower tax interest rates

The tax collection interest rate and tax interest rate for corporate income tax (vennootschapsbelasting, vpb) have temporarily been lowered.

Tax collection interest temporarily 0.01%

You must pay tax collection interest if you do not pay a tax assessment on time. The collection interest has been lowered from 4% to 0.01% until 31 December 2021. Afterwards, it will be gradually increased with 1% increments, until it reaches its former level. On 1 January 2024 it will be up to 4% again.

Tax interest for corporate income tax temporarily 4%

You pay tax interest for corporate income tax if the Tax and Customs Administration is unable to issue an assessment on time. For example, because you filed your company's tax return too late or for an incorrect amount. This interest has been reduced from 8% to 4% until 31 December.

Read more about the temporary reduction of collection interest and tax interest (in Dutch).

For employers

No tax on reimbursement for face masks

You may reimburse your employees for the costs of face masks free of tax. As face masks are mandatory in public transport, the costs are part of the travel allowance.

Extension of discretionary scope work-related cost scheme

The work-related cost scheme enables you to use part of the fiscal wages for tax-free allowances, benefits in kind, and provisions for your employees. The percentage you can use (the discretionary scope or ‘vrije ruimte’) is increased from 1.7% to 3% for wages of up to €400,000. For fiscal wages of over €400,000 the scope remains 1.2%. You can use the extension to award your employees a courtesy gift, or home working equipment. The extension applies for 2020 and 2021.

Customary salary for DGA’s lowered

If you are a director or major shareholder (DGA) in your company, you have to meet a so-called customary salary (‘gebruikelijk loon’), over which your company levies payroll taxes. For 2020 and 2021, you may lower your customary salary proportionate to your company’s turnover loss. This means you will have to levy less payroll tax. Read more about the 'gebruikelijk loon' rule relaxation (in Dutch) on the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration website.

Measures to ensure low unemployment benefit premiums

Measures have been taken to prevent you as an employer from having to pay the high unemployment insurance premium due to the corona crisis. The retention of the low overtime premium applies for 2020 and 2021.

Payroll taxes and travel allowance rules eased

These rules have been temporarily eased:
  • Payroll taxes for employees who live or work across the Belgian or German border; you may continue to levy Dutch payroll taxes for employees who work from home in Belgium or Germany;
  • Travel allowances for employees who have to work from home; you may continue to reimburse travel costs, even if the employees work from home;
  • Payroll tax administration: if you are unable to meet administrative payroll tax requirements due to corona restrictions, you may postpone these until 1 October 2021.
Read more in this Q&A (in Dutch) on the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration website.

More information

See the Dutch Tax Administration website (in Dutch).

Customs and corona

When importing and exporting products, you must take customs measures into account. For example, when importing face masks. Check the Corona - consequences for your customs affairs page regularly for updates.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst

This information is provided by

Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst