Corporate income tax (vpb)

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Checked 4 Aug 2023
2 min read
Nederlandse versie

Do you own a private or public limited company (bv or nv)? You must complete and 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 (offset losses against profits).

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.

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.

Private persons, like sole traders, pay taxes on their profit through income tax (inkomstenbelasting).

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 profits from previous years (carry back), or against future profits (carry forward). You offset losses initially against the profit from the previous year (carry back). If this is not possible you may offset your losses against future profits.

You cannot offset losses if (in Dutch):

  • there is a change of interest in the company
  • there are holding losses
  • your fiscal investment vehicle was not classified as an investment vehicle in an earlier period

You can only offset gambling tax and dividend tax (withholding taxes, voorheffingen) 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 profitable? 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 extra conditions apply (in Dutch). You must, for example, 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 and tax rate

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 tax rate depends on the taxable amount. You can find the corporate income tax rates (in Dutch) on the Netherlands Tax Administration website.

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