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Final tax return when closing down or selling your business

This information is provided by: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

If you have a business in the Netherlands and you close down or transfer your business (or a part of your business), you have to settle with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). In case of business succession within the family, a divorce or death of your partner, this applies as well. You may want to seek expert advice or contact the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.

Closing down your business

If your business ceases trading, you must report this to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel, KVK). Next, KVK will pass on this information to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. They will send you a written confirmation. If you have not received this, you must inform them yourself. You must also:

  • close the accounts of your discontinued business
  • file the annual reports and accounts up to and including the cessation date as soon as possible
  • make a final calculation and submit a final VAT return

You must send in final tax returns with regard to all relevant taxes, such as income tax, VAT or any other type of tax. If you have built up a retirement reserve, you have must settle this with your income tax. If you withdraw goods from your business for private use, you must pay VAT on these goods.

Selling your business

If you transfer your business (or a part of your business), you must calculate the discontinuation profit (stakingswinst) and pay income tax on that amount. As well as being relevant for income tax, wage tax and VAT purposes, transferring your business may also have capital gains tax consequences or affect social insurance benefits.

Family succession

A business succession within the family involves various tax aspects, such as discontinuation relief, transfer schemes, gift tax and partial remission.

Death or divorce

If you are in the process of a divorce or your partner has died, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration assumes that the assets are transferred to you at market value. Therefore you have to calculate discontinuation profit. However, if you continue your spouse’s or partner’s share in the business, a transfer facility will apply. In that situation, calculating discontinuation profit is not necessary, which means you can continue the business with the same book values.

Business inheritance tax issues

If you inherit a business in the Netherlands, you must settle that business's tax affairs.

  • It is likely that you must pay inheritance tax. If so, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration will send you an inheritance tax return. Lower rates apply if you continue to run the business you have inherited.
  • For income tax purposes, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration will send you a copy of 'Form F'. You must use this form to declare the business income for the period from 1 January to the day of the former owner's death.
  • For VAT purposes, you will take over the deceased owner's place. This means that you will also take over all their rights and obligations with regard to VAT.

Moving your company to a foreign country

If you move your company to a different EU Member State, you can select the moment at which to settle with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration: settle immediately, or defer your payment. If you want to pay the final tax return (exit taxation) at a later stage, you will have to supply a bank guarantee. You will also pay interest on overdue tax. You can choose to pay this in 10 equal, annual installments.

This information is provided by:

Netherlands Enterprise Agency