Withholding tax exemption or refund

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you run a business in the Netherlands and do you receive interest, royalties or dividend from abroad? Often withholding tax (bronbelasting) is deducted on payment of these sources of income.

Refund or exemption

You may be entitled to a full or partial exemption or refund of the tax withheld. In that case you pay less or no withholding tax. Or you get a refund of withholding tax you have paid. This only applies if the Netherlands has a tax treaty with the country from which the income originates. You can submit a request for an exemption or refund to the tax and customs administration of the country in question.

If you are not established in the Netherlands but you do have shares in a Dutch company, you may be entitled to a refund or exemption of dividend tax. You apply for a refund or exemption to the Dutch tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst)

The amount of the refund or the exemption depends on the arrangements between the Netherlands and the treaty country. The amount of time you have to apply for an exemption or refund before expiration is also part of the treaty arrangements. You should consult the tax arrangements with the country in question.

Certificate of Residence

If you request a full or partial exemption or refund of foreign tax withheld, the treaty country may ask for a certificate of residence (woonplaatsverklaring). You can apply for a certificate of residence in writing to:

Belastingdienst/kantoor Heerlen


Postbus 2519

6401 DA Heerlen

When do you pay withholding tax?

As an entrepreneur, you have to pay withholding tax on outgoing flows of interest and royalties, and on dividend flows (in Dutch) if you pay these to companies within the same corporation that are established in countries with low tax rates (below 9%). A list of countries with low tariffs is compiled every year (in Dutch).

With this measure the government wants to combat tax avoidance and prevent the Netherlands from being used as a gateway to low tax jurisdictions.