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VAT rates and exemptions

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

The Dutch VAT regime (btw, omzetbelasting) has 3 rates : 0%, 9% and 21%. In some instances businesses are exempt from VAT and in some cases there are special arrangements regarding VAT.

VAT rates

0% rate

If you are based in the Netherlands and you do business in other countries, the 0% VAT rate may apply. The 0% rate also applies to services related to cross-border transactions. For instance to services for the international carriage of goods. Or work on goods, such as repairs, that are exported to non-EU countries. The 0% rate applies to the international air or water transport of passengers as well.

9% rate

The 9% rate, or low tariff, applies to a number of products and services, such as food products, medicines, books (also e-books), newspapers, magazines, online publications, and paint and plaster work on homes.

21 % rate

The 21 % rate is also called the general tariff. This is the most common rate. The 21 % applies to all other products and services, unless there is a reason for exemption or reverse charging VAT.

View the extensive Dutch-language list of goods and services for which the different tariffs apply.

Exemption from VAT

Businesses in certain sectors and businesses that perform certain activities are exempt from VAT. This means that their customers pay no VAT. The following activities are some of those exempt from charging VAT:

See the website of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) for a full list of tax exemptions (in Dutch).

Tax-free shopping

Do you sell goods to non-EU residents who want to shop tax-free (in Dutch)? First of all, you need to establish that they live outside the EU by checking their passport or ID. Making a copy of the customer's passport is allowed only when you cover the passport photo and the citizen service number (BSN). Another condition is that the goods leave the EU. You do charge the VAT, but you can return it to your customer later on. You supply your customer with an invoice (on which you state the customer’s ID number) that they need to have signed for export by customs. After that they send the invoice back to you and you can refund them the VAT.

Special VAT arrangements

There are also a number of special VAT arrangements (in Dutch), including:

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