Submit your VAT return in the Netherlands

Published by:
Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst
Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst
Checked 13 Mar 2024
7 min read
Nederlandse versie

In the Netherlands, entrepreneurs must file Value Added Tax returns (btw aangifte) with the Netherlands Tax Administration. In the VAT return, you declare the VAT you have charged your customers. You deduct the VAT that your suppliers have charged you. You must submit your VAT returns digitally and on time, to avoid an extra or assessment or fine.

Who submits a VAT return?

Is your business registered with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK? And have you been issued with a VAT identification and VAT number? You most likely have to file VAT returns. There are some exceptions. For example, if you participate in the small businesses scheme KOR (see below). Or if the goods or services you provide are exempt from VAT. Such as childcare and the services of funeral directors. You do not charge VAT on these goods or services. This usually means deduction of paid VAT is not possible.

Non-resident businesses

Non-resident businesses doing business in the Netherlands may have to file a VAT return as well. Read more about VAT for foreign entrepreneurs to find out if registration in your situation is necessary. If so, you must use the registration form for foreign companies.

Filing your first VAT return

If you register your business in KVK's Business Register, KVK will pass on your details to the Tax Administration. You do not have to register your business separately with the Tax Administration. The Tax Administration assesses whether you are a VAT entrepreneur. If so, you will automatically receive your:

  • VAT number — to use for your dealings with the Tax Administration
  • VAT identification number (VAT ID) — to use for correspondence and invoices for your customers

You will also receive a letter from the Tax Administration explaining how and when you must submit your VAT return. Usually, you must submit your VAT return online. Sometimes you must submit your first VAT return by post. You will also receive letters with your username and a password for filing digitally.

Read more about filing your first VAT return.

Statement startup company

Are you unable to register your company with KVK? For example, because KVK does not see you as an entrepreneur. In some cases, (in Dutch) you will have to register with the Tax Administration yourself. You can do this using the form Opgaaf Startende onderneming (pdf, in Dutch).

Filing your VAT return online

You file your VAT returns digitally online. There are several ways of doing this:

  • you can log in at Mijn Belastingdienst Zakelijk (in Dutch) on the Tax Administration website. If you log in as a legal entity, you need eHerkenning to do so;
  • you can also file your return using software applications from commercial parties. Be aware that the software must comply with Standard Business Reporting (SBR);
  • you can also hire the services of a tax representative, who will conduct all your dealings with the Tax Administration on your behalf.

Monthly, quarterly, or yearly?

The Tax Administration will notify you how often you have to file a VAT return: monthly, quarterly, or yearly. The Belastingdienst will also inform you of the ultimate filing date. The most common frequency is quarterly. If you want to file your returns on a monthly or yearly basis, it is possible under certain conditions. Send a letter to the Tax Administration to arrange this.

Make sure to submit the VAT return and pay on time

Always make sure to file your return on time. You need to keep an eye on the filing and payment deadlines (in Dutch) yourself.

If you fail to file or pay a tax return or pay on time, you will receive an additional tax assessment. Read more about additional VAT assessments.

Always file a return: zero declaration

You must always file a VAT return (in Dutch). Even if you had no turnover in a period. Or if you did not receive or pay VAT. This is called a zero return or 0 return (nihilaangifte).

Filling out the VAT return

You use the VAT return to declare the VAT you have charged to your customers. You also declare the amount of VAT you have paid to your suppliers. Has another entrepreneur reverse-charged VAT to you? You also state this in the tax return. Calculate the amount you have to pay or receive in your tax return form. If you have to pay, you have to transfer the money directly, before the VAT return due date. You will not receive a tax assessment from your VAT return.

For instructions on how to fill out the VAT form, you can use the explanatory notes on the Tax Administration website. The notes are available in Dutch, English, and German.

You calculate the VAT using cash accounting (kasstelsel) or invoice accounting (factuurstelsel). Are your customers mainly entrepreneurs and legal entities, such as foundations and associations? Then you use invoice accounting. You then state the VAT that you have charged to your customers. Even if a customer has not yet paid his bill during the declaration period.

Cash accounting is for entrepreneurs who mainly supply private individuals. You declare the VAT on the income that has been credited to your bank account. Or that you received in cash.

Read more about calculating VAT with cash accounting (in Dutch) or invoice accounting (in Dutch).

There are different rates for VAT. Many goods and services are subject to 21% VAT. Sometimes the 9% rate applies. And sometimes you do not have to charge VAT at all. Then the 0% rate applies. Some industries and activities are exempt from VAT.

You usually pay VAT on goods or services that you purchase for your business. You may deduct this VAT as input tax in your VAT return (in Dutch). However, there are conditions. For example, that you use the purchases for turnover on which you charge VAT. And that you receive an invoice with VAT. For some expenses, you may not deduct VAT. Find out when you are not allowed to deduct VAT (in Dutch).

In the last VAT return of the year, you also state the VAT for private use of:

  • company car
  • gas, water, electricity, and telephone
  • business assets

Find out more about VAT and private use (in Dutch). You can also read more about calculating VAT in the Explanatory notes to the sales tax return (in Dutch) on

Are you eligible for the small businesses scheme (KOR)?

Entrepreneurs with an annual turnover that does not exceed €20,000 can participate in the small businesses scheme (kleineondernemersregeling, KOR). When you participate in the KOR, you do not charge VAT to your customers or pay VAT to the Tax Administration. On the other hand, you cannot deduct VAT on business expenses and investments. With a few exceptions, you no longer have to file a VAT return.

Exempt from VAT requirements

Are you exempt from administrative VAT requirements (in Dutch)? Then you participate in the small businesses scheme automatically. If you want to stop participating, you must notify the Tax Administration. You can do so at any time.

Find out if you are eligible for special VAT arrangements

Sometimes special rules apply when calculating VAT. For example, if you sell second-hand goods or arrange travel services. Or if you provide services in healthcare or education. You should therefore check if you are covered by special VAT schemes, lower VAT rates, or other exemptions.

VAT return for international trade

Do you supply services to a foreign country or purchase services from abroad? You may have to declare part of the VAT paid or charged for these services in the Netherlands, and part in the country you are doing business with. Check the Tax Administration's tool for services and from abroad (in Dutch). It shows who must declare the VAT on these services: you or your supplier. And in which country this is required. Do you provide goods abroad? Find out more about international trade and VAT (in Dutch).

Correct mistakes in your next VAT return

Have you made a mistake in a VAT return? If the difference in the amount you have to pay or are due to receive is less than €1,000, you can correct the mistake in your next VAT return. If it is more, you have to file an additional return. This is a so-called Suppletie-aangifte (in Dutch). You can find the form in the Mijn Belastingdienst Zakelijk online portal.

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Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst