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If you run a business in the Netherlands or if you run a foreign company with a Dutch branch, you may have to pay turnover tax (VAT) in the Netherlands. This also applies if your company is established abroad, but does business in the Netherlands. In all cases, you need a VAT identification number (btw-id or btw-identificatie nummer).
Receiving a VAT number
If you set up a business in the Netherlands, you must have it registered in the Dutch Commercial Register of the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK). The KVK will then send on your details to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. They will issue your VAT tax number and VAT-ID (if applicable) by post within 10 days. If you have registered without providing all relevant details, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration will first assess if you are an entrepreneur for the purposes of VAT.
If your company is established abroad, but provides services in the Netherlands or supplies goods to Dutch-based companies, you need to register directly with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
VAT number format
All Dutch private individual businesses have a VAT identification number (btw-id) and a VAT tax number. The VAT identification number (btw-id) is composed like this: country code NL, 9 digits, the letter 'B' and 2 check digits. The 9 digits are not related to your citizen service number and the 2 check digits are random. The new VAT identification number will then look like this: NL000099998B57.
Your invoices must clearly display your VAT identification number. If you offer services or sell products via a website, you must also display your VAT identification number on the website (in Dutch). EU businesses are also required to state the VAT identification number of their Dutch clients on their invoices. EU businesses must also state the VAT identification number in the recapitulative statement for goods and services supplied from January 1, 2020.
The VAT tax number (turnover tax number) consists of either the Legal Entities and Partnerships Information Number (RSIN), or your Citizen Service Number (BSN), supplemented with a code comprising three characters between B01 and B99 (for example 123456789B01). This is the number you use in all correspondence with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
Checking validity of clients' VAT numbers
If you want to check the validity of your Dutch client's VAT identification number, or a client who has their registered office in another EU country, you can use the European Commission's VIES VAT number validation (VAT Information Exchange System). With VIES, you can also check name and address of clients from most Member States.
If you want to find out a company's VAT identification number, you should contact that company in order to receive this number directly from them. You can also check a company's VAT number on the Chamber of Commerce (KvK) website (in Dutch). To find a company and their VAT number just fill in the company's name in the frame underneath 'Zoeken', and press enter and all entries of companies bearing the name you entered will appear.
Deregistering your VAT number
If you deregister your company with KVK, deregistration with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration database follows automatically. Your VAT number(s) will then be deregistered, of which you will receive a written confirmation.