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Government information for entrepreneurs

Payroll tax and employer registration

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Before you can employ staff, you must register as an employerExternal link with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. You will then receive a payroll tax number and a number of forms you have to fill in. You use the payroll tax number for submitting payroll tax returns and for contact with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. If your company has been involved in fraud or illegal workers, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration may require from you to submit so-called first-day notifications for new employees for a period of 3 years. If you hire someone from abroad, always make sure they are entitled to work in the Netherlands.

Foreign companies: payroll tax and registration

As a foreign company in the Netherlands, you are obliged to register as an employer and deduct payroll tax from your employees' wages if:

In some cases, you are obliged to deduct payroll tax even if your company has its registered office in another countryExternal link.

Payroll tax elements

Payroll tax consists of:


With regard to the employee and national insurance contributions you pay various premiums: for unemployment, occupational disability and sickness. You also pay a sector fund premium: a contribution towards unemployment costs in the sector you are affiliated withExternal link. When you register with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration as a start-up employer, they determine the sector to which they think you belong. However, you can appeal against this decision, since the choice of sector determines the premium you have to pay.

Payroll records

You must keep your employees' data, such as their contract of employment, in your personnel records. You use part of this data for your payroll recordsExternal link. You determine the elements of the employee’s wage, calculateExternal link the correct contributions and taxes, fileExternal link a tax return and pay what you owe by the due date. For this, you may want to use payroll software or hire a payroll office, accountant or financial advisor.

The Payroll Taxes HandbookExternal link (in Dutch), issued by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, provides you with everything you need to know about payroll tax. For instance, the handbook contains payroll tax and national insurance rates tables as well as a guide on how to calculate payroll tax (step 7 Handbook).

Check your employee's identity

Your employee provides you with a signed statementExternal link that includes data such as name, address, date of birth and citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN) or tax and social insurance number (sofinummer). You verify and record each employee’s identity. If verification of the employee’s identity is not, or not completely, possible, you will have to apply the so-called anonymous rateExternal link (anoniementarief). In the case of a foreign worker, you must also check whether they are permitted to work in the Netherlands. Do make sure you have all the necessary information before they start working for you.

Setting off VAT payment against payroll tax declaration

Under specific conditions, it is possible to set off a VAT payment against a payroll tax declaration. To do so, you must use the (Dutch-language) form Request setting off VAT refund against payroll taxExternal link (Loonheffingen verrekening met teruggaaf btw).

Payroll tax temporary staff or subcontracted work

If you hire temporary staff through an intermediary or subcontract work to a contractor/subcontractor, the intermediary or contractor/subcontractor must pay the payroll tax for these staff. If they fail to do so, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration may hold you liable.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO