How to apply for VAT 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 from 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 here.
The completed form has to be sent to:
6401 DJ HEERLEN
How to apply for an EORI Number in The Netherlands
In order to process the import of goods at customs (port or airport in The Netherlands), it can be required to have an EORI number (customs ID number).
In most cases, you would apply for an EORI number, once your VAT number is active. A business can only have one active EORI number within the EU unless the business has also registered for a separate VAT number.
It takes approximately 3-5 working days to activate the EORI number, in case your company’s VAT number is already active.
Claiming refund of VAT
When an entrepreneur purchases goods for the company in The Netherlands, VAT is levied over these purchases. This VAT usually can be deducted. For foreign companies there are two types of situations when they want to claim a refund of VAT:
The company is established in an EU country;
The company is established in a non-EU country.
In both scenarios, VAT can be claimed. For more information see our article about 'How to claim back VAT from the Dutch Tax Authorities'.
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