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If you have a business or a permanent site in the Netherlands and you purchase goods or services from another EU country, you usually need to pay VAT (turnover tax) in the Netherlands regarding these purchases. You calculate the VAT yourself in this case and you specify it in your VAT return. You can deduct the VAT as input tax insofar as you use the goods or services for business activities that are taxed with VAT.
VAT on goods from other EU countries
If you have purchased goods in another EU country and they are delivered to an address in the Netherlands, you will normally receive an invoice with 0% VAT. You must then pay the VAT in the Netherlands. This is referred to as intra-Community acquisition. If the goods are delivered to another EU country, you only need to pay VAT in the Netherlands if:
- you have used your VAT registration number when making the purchase, and
- you cannot prove that the VAT is paid in the EU country where the goods have arrived
VAT on services from other EU countries
If you purchase services from other EU countries, you will normally receive an invoice that states 'VAT deferred'. This means that you should pay the VAT in the Netherlands. This, however, does not apply to the following services:
- Services that are related to immovable property.
- Some services in the area of culture, the arts, sports, the sciences, leisure or education.
- Rental of a vehicle for short periods of time.
- Conveyance of people.
- Restaurant and/or catering services.
These services are taxed in the country of the business that supplies the service. They will charge VAT. If you use the services for business activities that are VAT taxed, you can request for a VAT refund in the Netherlands.
If you wish to find out for sure whether you must pay VAT in the Netherlands for foreign services, consult the (Dutch language) Services in and from abroad tool from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
Proposed changes in legislation
The government has announced simplified rules on VAT for goods imported and exported within the EU (intra-community supply). As of 1 January 2020, regulations with regard to paying VAT will be the same for all EU countries. This new regulation will reduce problems currently experienced by entrepreneurs and combat VAT fraud.This measure is due to be introduced on 1 January 2020. This depends on its acceptance by the upper and lower houses of parliament.
Please note: As of 1 January 2020 there will be some changes in VAT numbers. Self-employed professionals will automatically receive a new VAT number and will then have 2 VAT numbers: a VAT identification number (btw-id) and a VAT tax number.