All EU member states have a fixed format for their VAT numbers. In the Netherlands, it includes the prefix NL, 9 digits, then letter B and then 2-digit company index (e.g., NL012345678B01).
The standard VAT rate in the Netherlands is 21%, with a reduced rate of 9% on certain goods and services. Some services are exempt from the Dutch VAT, such as education, health care, childcare, insurance, and banking services.
All businesses with a Dutch VAT number must submit periodic VAT reports and payments.
For all companies that operate in the Netherlands, VAT returns must be submitted monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on the amount of VAT that the business entity must pay.
In the case of the late filing of VAT returns and payments, the Dutch government prescribed the penalties as follows:
If a VAT return is not submitted within the legal deadline, the tax authorities may impose a penalty with a maximum of EUR 131.
Invoices issued in the Netherlands must contain the following information:
In case of failure to comply with various invoicing obligations, the tax authorities may impose a penalty with a maximum of EUR 5,278.)
From 2017, all suppliers billing the Government will be obliged to submit their invoices electronically.
For B2B and B2C transactions, issuance of invoices electronically is permitted, but still not mandatory.
Every entrepreneur that operates in the Netherlands has to deal with an annual audit by the Dutch Tax Authorities.
The Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) has developed an XML Audit file for this purpose, which contains most of the data necessary for the audit. The XML Auditfile Financieel has been developed in collaboration with SRA, software suppliers, and the tax authorities. The XML audit file is currently supported by most accounting packages in the Netherlands.
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