Corporate - Other taxesLast reviewed - 28 December 2022
Value-added tax (VAT)
VAT, known in Dutch as the Belasting over de Toegevoegde Waarde or btw, is payable on the supply of goods and services rendered in the Netherlands as well as on the importation of goods and on the ‘intra-European’ acquisition of goods. There are three VAT rates, which are 21, 9, and 0 per cent.
The standard VAT rate is 21 per cent.
The reduced 9 per cent VAT rate is applicable on certain prime necessities, on certain energy-saving insulation activities on houses and also on certain e-publications.
The special 0 per cent VAT rate is applicable mainly to intra-EU supplies, supplies of goods exported to outside the EU, supplies of goods placed in bonded warehouses, services rendered in connection with the above, and certain international services.
The following domestic transactions are exempt from VAT:
- The supply of immovable property two years after putting it into use and lease. However, if the lessee’s use of the immovable property is 90 per cent or more for input VAT-deductible purposes, the lessor and lessee may opt to be subject to VAT on rent, in which case the lessee may deduct the VAT charged in respect of the property.
- Medical, cultural, social, and educational services.
- Services provided by banks and other financial institutions in connection with payment transactions and the granting of credit facilities.
- Insurance transactions.
- Certain transactions in shares by controlling active parent companies and transactions by commercial share dealers.
Effective 1 January 2020, the Netherlands implemented the ‘EU four Quick Fixes’ aiming to improve the day-to-day functioning of the VAT system for EU cross-border B2B trade. These Quick Fixes concern: the use of the VAT identification number, call-off stock, proof of transport and chain transactions. The changes have consequences for the administrative systems, VAT registrations, contracts, (electronic) documents and invoices of entrepreneurs.
Effective 1 July 2021, the Netherlands implemented the EU VAT rules applicable to cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce activities.
Due to the international energy situation, the Netherlands lowered the VAT rate on natural gas, electricity and district heating from 21 per cent to 9 per cent as of 1 July 2022. This scheme will expire on 1 January 2023.
As of 2023 the zero VAT rate applies to the supply and installation of solar panels and solar panels used as roofing materials. The zero VAT rate only applies if the solar panels are intended to be installed on or in the immediate vicinity of private dwellings or housing.
Customs and excise tax
Many goods imported to the Netherlands from outside the European Union are subject to customs and excise duties. The tariffs and rates that apply to the different goods vary widely and change regularly.
An excise tax is levied on certain consumer goods (e.g. cigarettes, cigars, mineral oils, alcoholic products). If the goods are used solely as raw materials, no excise tax is levied. The excise tax is refundable if the article is exported.
Extension of the reduced tax on unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG
As of 1 April 2022 the government reduced the tax on unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG in order to mitigate the increase in energy prices. The tax reduction is to be extended until 30 June 2023. The rate will slowly increase again during the second half of 2023.
Reduced energy tax rate for charging stations
To prolong the current favourable tax regime for charging stations in 2023 and 2024, it has been proposed (subject to European Commission approval) that there will be separate energy tax rates for each of the four brackets for consumption of electricity via public charging stations.
CO2 levy for industry
A Dutch national CO2 levy is in place as of 1 January 2021 for certain industrial production and waste incineration. This levy is introduced alongside the existing system for the pricing of CO2 at EU level (EU-ETS). Companies will be eligible for an exemption of the CO2 levy (which will decrease over time) on part of their emissions (dispensation rights and ETS-discount) so that they can change their operations in order to reduce their CO2 emissions. There are possibilities for using a surplus of dispensation rights for transfer purposes.
CO₂ minimum price for industry
The current minimum price for emissions which are not covered by a dispensation right increases every year. A CO₂ minimum price will be introduced for the emissions of industrial companies which are covered by dispensation rights.
The CO₂ minimum price has been set at the same amount as the minimum CO₂ price for electricity generation and will increase on a linear basis. The CO₂ minimum price is only applicable if the EU ETS forward rate is lower than the CO₂ minimum price for that year.
The rate of the special levy that oil and gas operators pay, will be temporarily increased. The levy will be 65 per cent for 2023 and 2024, on the turnover insofar as realised with the sale of natural gas at an average price higher than 50 eurocents per m3. The tax-free base and regular rates will remain the same, so that the position of licence holders will not deteriorate and the infringement of property rights (ECHR) will be limited.
Temporary solidarity contribution for fossil companies with activities in crude oil, natural gas, coal and petroleum refining
This contribution is designed in line with the EC Regulation (on emergency intervention due to high energy prices (Regulation 2022/1854) as a levy on excess profits in 2022. The way the excess profit is calculated is also in line with the regulation. Those excess profits are taxed at a rate of 33 per cent.
Temporary mandatory cap on market revenues of electricity generators
The EU Regulation requires Member States to cap market revenues of producers generating electricity from sources listed in the Regulation for seven months from 1 December 2022. For the Netherlands, this includes electricity generated from wind, solar, hydro, biomass, biogas, waste and nuclear power. The government wants to introduce the levy by 1 December 2022, as required by the Regulation. As the seven-month levy period starts earlier than the implementation law will be in force, the law will have to work back to 1 December 2022.
The Netherlands opts for a ceiling of euro 130/MWh. Above this, revenue from electricity producers will be skimmed off.
The cap on market revenues only applies to 90 per cent of market revenues that exceed the set cap on market revenues.
The Netherlands makes an exception for the production plants covered by the levy and for which an ‘SDE decision’ has been issued with a base amount higher than euro 130/MWh.
The Netherlands chooses to apply the levy to production installations with an installed capacity from 1 MW onwards.
Aviation Tax Act
As of 1 January 2021, a national aviation tax has been introduced. In the case of passenger flights departing from the Netherlands, a levy of EUR 26.43 euro (2023) per departing passenger will be imposed. The levy will not be imposed on transit passengers and children under the age of 2 years old.
Immovable property tax
Municipalities impose an annual immovable property tax on the owners of immovable property. The rates depend on the municipality. The taxable basis is the market value of the immovable property. Please note that the (assessment of the) value is also of importance for CIT, as depreciation might be limited based on this value (see Limited depreciation of immovable property in the Deductions section).
Transfer tax on immovable property
Acquisition of economic or legal ownership of immovable property in the Netherlands is subject to a transfer tax over its market value. The general tax rate of the transfer tax increased from 8 to 10.4 per cent as of 1 January 2022. Furthermore, as of 2021 there is a new differentiation in the tax rate: it is relevant whether the buyer will actually live in the property on a long-term basis (so no holiday homes or buy-to-let properties) to be eligible for the lower tax rate of 2 per cent or the tax exemption for starters under 35. Otherwise, the general transfer tax rate of 10.4 per cent will be applicable. Before 2021, the requirement was whether the property could serve as a house to apply for the lower tax rate.
Young first-time buyers on the housing market are eligible for a transfer tax exemption once. Someone will qualify as a first-time buyer if they are at least 18 years old but under the age of 35 when they purchase their first house. Buyers aged 35 and over, and buyers younger than 35 who already used the exemption once, will pay the transfer tax at the reduced rate of 2 per cent when buying a home. From 1 April 2021 there is a maximum housing value limit of 400,000 euro for the one-off exemption, which will be indexed annually. This limit applies to the entire dwelling and not to the value of the part of the dwelling acquired. Starters who buy a more expensive house pay 2 per cent transfer tax on the entire amount of the property just like other home buyers.
Transfer tax on acquisition of shares in a real estate entity
The acquisition of shares in an entity that owns real estate may also be subject to transfer tax if that entity is characterised as a so-called real estate entity. The threshold for qualifying as a real estate entity is met if more than 50 per cent of the assets of the entity consist of real estate and at least 30 per cent consist of Dutch immovable property.
There are no stamp duties in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands do not levy capital tax on capital transactions (e.g. issue or increase of capital).
Employers must withhold wage tax from the employee’s gross salary and transfer the amount to the tax authorities. Employees treat the withheld wage tax as an advance levy of income tax. The income tax due is settled with the withheld wage tax. The tax tables applicable to individuals are provided in the ’Taxes on personal income’ section of the Netherlands Individual tax summary.
Social security contributions
Employers must withhold national insurance contributions from the employee’s salary at an aggregate rate of 27.65 per cent calculated on the first EUR 37,149 (2023) of each employee’s gross salary and transfer the amount to the tax authorities. The employer bears the burden of the employee’s insurance contributions, which are also calculated by reference to the employee’s salary. Under circumstances, it may be required to pay or withhold a contribution based on the Health Care Insurance Act.
An insurance tax is payable on insurance premiums if the insured is a resident of the Netherlands or if the insured object is in the Netherlands. The insurance tax rate is 21 per cent (2023). Several exemptions are available (e.g. insurances of ships and aircraft operated in international traffic are exempt from insurance tax). In certain situations, an insurer outside the European Union may be required to take on a tax representative in the Netherlands.
Waste management contribution
Companies annually bringing 50,000 or more kilograms of packing material on the market must pay a ‘waste management contribution’ (Afvalbeheersbijdrage). The amount payable varies according to the total weight and type of packaging. The contribution aims to cover the costs of recycling package materials. Companies that are not resident in the Netherlands but sell to Dutch consumers, are also liable to the waste management contribution, subject to the threshold of 50,000 or more kilograms.
Producers and importers of packaging expecting to exceed the threshold must register with the Packaging Waste Fund (Afvalfonds Verpakkingen) upfront. In the current year, they must file an estimation of the expected total volume of packing material. The contribution is then provisionally calculated. Before 1 April of the next calendar year, the actual amount and type of packaging must be reported. The actual contribution payable is recalculated accordingly.
Note that there are changes for 2022 (implementation European SUP decree regarding single use plastic) and 2023 (definitions “producer” and “importer”).