How does a foreign company apply for a VAT number in the Netherlands?

‘VAT, also known as sales tax, stands for Value Added Tax. This means that it is a tax that is levied on the value that an entrepreneur adds to a product or service. In other words: the difference between his purchase price plus expenses and the selling price.

Unless he is exempt for this, every entrepreneur must charge this VAT on his sales, or his turnover, and pay it to the tax authorities. On the other hand, the entrepreneur may deduct the VAT that he himself has paid as input tax.

This is done in every link of the production chain, from manufacturer to wholesaler to store. Ultimately, it is the consumer who has to pay the entire VAT amount.

And with that, we have arrived at what the VAT really is: a consumption tax.’

When and how to apply for a VAT number in The Netherlands?

Obtaining a VAT number in the Netherlands can be complicated, if your Dutch company is not yet fully operational in the Netherlands, or has no local board members or staff yet.

In a standard situation, in which a Dutch company is incorporated by a Dutch national, a new starting company will receive the VAT number about a week after registering with the Chamber of Commerce. He does not have to go to the Tax Authorities for this or file a separate application form.

For non-Dutch entrepreneurs, there can be extra requirements, even if the company is managed by EU nationals. The following questions should be asked:

  • Are you an entrepreneur who is not established in The Netherlands?

  • Do you supply goods or services to The Netherlands?

When these questions are answered with “yes” then you are an entrepreneur in terms of VAT. In this case, you need to file a tax return and you may also be required to pay VAT.

This can create complications because, for many businesses, a VAT number is essential. Without VAT number, they are not able to ‘reverse charge’ VAT on European sales and purchases, or claim back any paid VAT on purchases. 

After the above-mentioned questions are answered with “yes” we can conclude that you are a foreign entrepreneur involved with VAT in The Netherlands. This means that you are required to register with the Dutch tax authorities.
The form that must be used can be found on: https://download.belastingdienst.nl/belastingdienst/dl/rekenhulpen/registratie_buitenlandse_ondernemers/appl_vat_id_for_foreign_enterpr_ob0711z3foleng.pdf 

 

When the form is filled out, it has to be sent to:

Belastingdienst Buitenland

Afdeling klantenregistratie

Postbus 2865

6401 DJ HEERLEN

Nederland

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YOUR BUSINESS TOOLKIT

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YOUR BUSINESS TOOLKIT

FREE ACCESS TO ALL THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Our experts have combined their knowledge and strengths to create a tool we call the Business Toolkit. 

The Business Toolkit will help you and entrepreneurs from around the globe to truly understand the Dutch market, regulations and laws. And will enable you to take a deep-dive into the topics displayed below. 

This way you will easily get up to speed with our Company formation process, Dutch Tax & Accounting and our corporate services. 

Make sure to check out our handy checklists, explainer video's and extensively written Whitepapers too!

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