VAT Returns in the Netherlands: Complete Guide

In this guide, we'll explore the nuances of VAT returns in the Netherlands, covering everything from registration to submission. Let's embark on a journey to demystify VAT returns and empower your business for success.


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    vat returns in the netherlands


    When it comes to doing business in the Netherlands, understanding Value Added Tax (VAT) returns is crucial. VAT is a consumption tax that is applied to products and services in many countries around the world, including the Netherlands. Whether you’re a local entrepreneur or an international company venturing into Dutch markets, comprehending VAT returns is essential for maintaining compliance and managing finances effectively.

    In this guide, we’ll explore the nuances of VAT returns in the Netherlands, covering everything from registration to submission. Let’s embark on a journey to demystify VAT returns and empower your business for success.

    Who is Required to Register for VAT in the Netherlands?

    Not all businesses in the Netherlands need to register for VAT. The required VAT registration threshold is presently set at €20,000 in turnover per year. In other words, you have to register for VAT if your company expects to exceed this threshold in the next 12 months.  Voluntary registration is also an option, even if your turnover is less than the required amount. This can be beneficial if you expect to claim significant VAT deductions on business purchases.

    VAT Return Frequency: Quarterly, Monthly, or Annual?

    The frequency of VAT return filing in the Netherlands depends on your business’s VAT liability. Here’s a breakdown:

    • Quarterly Returns: This is the standard filing frequency for most businesses. By the final working day of the month that follows the end of the quarter, you must file your VAT return and make any unpaid VAT payments.
    • Monthly Returns: If your anticipated VAT liability exceeds €15,000 per quarter, you’ll be switched to monthly VAT returns. The final working day of the month after the reporting period is still the deadline for filing and making payments.
    • Annual Returns: Businesses with a low VAT liability (less than €1,883 in VAT due annually and an intra-community supply and acquisition value below €10,000) may qualify for annual VAT return filing. The deadline for annual returns is generally March 31st of the following year.

    Important Note for Foreign Businesses: Foreign companies without a permanent establishment in the Netherlands may have extended deadlines for filing and paying VAT.

    What Details Do I Need for My Dutch VAT Return?

    Your VAT return will typically include details such as:


    • Sales: The total value of goods and services you supplied, including the VAT amount charged to your customers.
    • Purchases: The total value of goods and services you purchased for your business, along with the VAT you paid to your suppliers.
    • VAT Due: The difference between the VAT you charged on sales and the VAT you paid on purchases. You may either owe VAT to the tax authorities or be eligible for a VAT refund.

    Maintaining accurate and comprehensive records of your sales and purchases is essential for completing your VAT return accurately.

    How to File Your VAT Return?

    The Dutch Tax Administration (Belastingdienst) encourages the electronic filing of VAT returns. Here are three ways to submit your VAT return electronically:

    • Mijn Belastingdienst Zakelijk: This is the online portal of the Belastingdienst. You’ll need a digital signature to log in and access your VAT return forms.
    • Commercial Software Applications: Several commercial software programs integrate with the Belastingdienst system, allowing you to file your VAT return directly from your accounting software. Ensure the software complies with Standard Business Reporting (SBR) for seamless integration.


    Navigating VAT returns in the Netherlands can seem daunting, but with the right knowledge and resources, businesses can streamline their compliance efforts and thrive in the Dutch market. From understanding VAT rates to filing digital returns, staying knowledgeable and proactive is key to success.

    If you’re considering expanding your business into the Netherlands and need assistance with VAT registration and compliance, OnDemand International is here to assist. Our team of experts specializes in international business services, including company formation, tax advisory, and regulatory compliance. 


    In the Netherlands, VAT returns are normally filed quarterly, while some companies may be eligible for annual reporting based on their turnover and other considerations.

    Consequences resulting from non-compliance with VAT regulations in the Netherlands can vary based on the type and seriousness of the offence. However, they may include fines, interest charges, and legal consequences.

    Indeed, companies that have registered for VAT in the Netherlands are able to claim back the VAT they have paid on approved business expenses, like purchases of products and services utilized for operations. This is done by offsetting input VAT against output VAT when filing VAT returns.