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If a private or public limited company (BV or NV) is profitable, they can distribute some of these profits to shareholders. This usually takes the form of a dividend. The company that issues the dividend withholds the dividend tax and pays this to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. If you live or are established in a country other than the Netherlands and you have shares in a Dutch company, you may be exempt from or receive a refund for the Dutch dividend tax.
Filing a dividend tax return
The company that pays the dividend must file the return for dividend tax. For this, they have to use the Dividend tax return form (in Dutch). They must file their return within one month of the dividend being issued. On the return, they enter the amount of tax that the company deducted from the dividends issued.
If you receive a dividend, you may offset the dividend tax against income tax (or corporate income tax, e.g. if the shareholder receiving the dividend is a private or public limited company). In this case, you must indicate on your return how much you received as a dividend and how much dividend tax was deducted.
Changes to dividend tax
As part of the Tax Plan 2019, the Dutch government wants to scrap dividend tax in order to ensure the Netherlands maintains its competitive position. The tax is due to be scrapped as of 2020. This measure was announced on Prinsjesdag (Budget Day) 2018. It is, of course, subject to the measure passing through the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament.