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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 (e.g. 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 (in Dutch).
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 offset 50% of your profits over €1 million with losses from previous years (carry forward).
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 big 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 give examples on how to use the innovation box (in Dutch).
Depreciation of business premises
Since 2019, companies are no longer allowed to use buildings in company use for depreciation in their corporate income tax return. An exception is when these buildings are in the company books for a value that exceeds the Valuation of Immovable Property (WOZ) value. There is a transition measure for companies which started using the building before 1 January 2019 and have not used the depreciation in their corporate tax returns over 3 years. This brings this measure into line with the regulation for buildings used as investment property.
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. The rates for the lower tariff are lowered in stages in the years 2019 through 2021.