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Corporate income tax (vpb)

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVOLast updated on Nederlandse versie

If you own a private or public limited company (bv or nv), you must file a corporate income tax return (vpb) for your company.

What is corporate income tax (vennootschapsbelasting)?

The corporate income tax (vennootschapsbelasting or vpb) is a tax on the taxable profit. Your company pays corporate income tax on the taxable profit in a single financial year. You can reduce the taxable profit if your company has deductible losses. Often a financial year is the same as a calendar year. However, a 'broken' financial year (for example from May to April) is also permitted. The financial year for the corporate income tax return must be the same as the financial year in the company’s articles of association.

Who has to file corporate income tax return

Legal entities like a private limited company (bv) or public limited company (nv) always have to file their corporate income tax return. Private persons, like sole traders, pay taxes on their profit through income tax (inkomstenbelasting). Foundations or associations only have to file corporation tax returns in specific circumstances. Depending on the level of profit, they may be exempt from corporate income tax.

Offsetting losses or profits

To calculate the profit for corporate income tax, you can apply more or less the same rules as apply to income tax. You may offset losses against profits. You can offset losses against future profits (carry forward) or against profits from previous years (carry back). You offset losses initially against the profit from the previous year. Is this not possible? You may offset your losses against future profits.

Do you make a profit of more than €1 million? Then you are only allowed to carry forward 50% of your profits over €1 million.

You can only offset withholding taxes (gambling tax and dividend tax) up to at most the amount payable in corporate income tax. Your company cannot deduct more than you must pay in corporate income tax.

Pay less tax with the innovation box

Are your activities innovative? And are you making a profit? Then you may be able to put the profit from these activities in a special tariff box on your corporate income tax return: the innovation box (innovatiebox). You then pay less tax. This is possible if you apply for the R&D payroll tax allowance (WBSO). Do you have a large company? Then you must also have a Dutch patent or a foreign patent. You can check if your company is considered a small or large taxpayer. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration gives an example on how to use the innovation box (in Dutch).

Filing your corporate income tax return

You file the corporate income tax return each year, at the end of the company’s financial year. You have to file your corporate income tax return digitally. The corporate income tax rates (in Dutch) are quoted on the Tax and Customs Administration website.

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