Preventing liability for payroll tax and VAT for temporary staff

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO | Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst

If you run a company in the Netherlands and you need temporary staff, you can hire them via an intermediary such as a temporary employment or secondment agency. You can also subcontract work to a contractor/subcontractor. In both cases the intermediary or contractor/subcontractor must pay the payroll tax for these temporary staff.

If this company fails to pay the payroll tax, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) may charge a fine to you. If you hire staff via an intermediary, they may also hold you liable for the VAT (turnover tax) owed by this intermediary on the work carried out.

Preventing liability

You can prevent any liability by complying with the following conditions, among other things:

  • The temporary employment agency from which you hire workers has an SNA quality mark from the Dutch Labour Standards Foundation (Stichting Normering Arbeid, SNA). You can find the certified agencies in the SNA register (in Dutch).
  • You pay 25% of the invoice amount (including VAT) into the G account of the temporary employment agency.

All conditions are set out in the (Dutch-language) brochure Liability for payroll tax and VAT when hiring in staff (Aansprakelijkheid voor loonheffingen en btw bij inlening van personeel) and Liability for payroll tax when using a subcontractor (Aansprakelijkheid voor loonheffingen bij onderaanneming) from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.

Limiting liability

  • You ask your intermediary or (sub)contractor for a payment history report from the Tax and Customs Administration (in Dutch). This report will show whether your intermediary or (sub)contractor had paid his payroll tax at the time when the report was compiled.
  • You include a perpetual clause in the contract with your (sub)contractor. This states that he may not contract out the work without your permission.
  • You keep proper records, including records of the wages paid to your staff. If you are still held liable by the Tax and Customs Administration, they can more accurately fix the amount that you owe in payroll tax, so you do not pay too much.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst