VAT for non-resident businesses

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
3 min read

Do you run a non-resident company doing business in the Netherlands? You may have to file a VAT return (Value Added Tax or turnover tax, in Dutch: btw) in the Netherlands. If so, you need to register for VAT purposes with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst).

You should find out if registration in your case is necessary. If so, you must use the Application for VAT identification number for foreign entrepreneurs form. Different rules apply if your company is established in the Netherlands, either with its headquarters or a branch office.

VAT and the supply of goods and services in the Netherlands

Do you (as a non-resident business) supply goods or services in the Netherlands to a Dutch company or legal entity established in the Netherlands? In principle you are required to pay Dutch VAT. However, this is often reverse-charged to the Dutch company purchasing the goods or service. In that case you do not charge VAT, but state 'VAT reverse-charged' as well as your client’s VAT identification number (btw-id) on your invoice.

Do you supply goods to private individuals or other foreign entrepreneurs in the Netherlands? Then you will have to file a VAT return in the Netherlands and pay the received VAT yourself to the Tax Administration.

VAT when purchasing goods in the Netherlands

If you (as a non-resident business) purchase goods from a supplier in the Netherlands and the goods remain in the Netherlands, your supplier will charge you VAT. If you use these goods for commercial purposes, you can include this VAT in your VAT tax return as deductible. To be able to do so, the received invoices must clearly state the amount of VAT paid.

If you purchase goods in the Netherlands and export them to another EU country (for instance to your own country), it is called intra-Community supply, to which the 0% VAT rate applies. Accordingly, your supplier will not charge you VAT. Instead, you must declare and pay the VAT in the country of destination of the goods.

If you export the goods outside of the EU, then such supplies are taxed at 0% VAT. This rate only applies if your accounts demonstrate that the goods were in fact exported from the EU. If you export goods to non-EU countries, you must complete an export declaration form for Customs.

Filing a VAT return

To file a VAT return in the Netherlands, you must be registered with the International Office (Kantoor Buitenland) of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. You will then receive tax return forms periodically to deduct the VAT you have paid. If you supply intra-Community goods and services from within the Netherlands, you must file an Intra-Community transactions declaration (ICP declaration) (Opgaaf intracommunautaire leveringen) at the end of every quarter. The ICP declaration is available from the International Office of the Tax Administration.

How to claim a VAT refund

Do you want to claim a refund of Dutch VAT and you are not liable to file a VAT tax return in the Netherlands? Then the required course of action depends on the country where your company is established.

If your company is established in an EU country, you must submit the VAT refund request to the tax administration in your own country. To be eligible, you do not have to be registered in the Netherlands.

If your company is established in a country outside of the EU, you can submit the VAT refund request in the Netherlands. To be eligible, you must first register with the International Office of the Tax Administration.

VAT and digital services

Different rules apply to VAT on digital services. The key principle is that digital services for private individuals are taxed in your customer's country of residence.

VAT and e-commerce and services for non-EU businesses

Do you supply goods in the EU to customers who do not have to submit a VAT return, such as private individuals? Or do you provide services to private individuals for which you have to pay VAT in an EU country? Then you can declare VAT in a simplified manner with the One Stop Shop scheme.

Further information

The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration offers extensive information in English about VAT with respect to the intra-Community supply of goods and services, import, export, immovable property, and online services. The website also offers detailed information about VAT rates and the conditions for a VAT refund.