Dutch administrative VAT requirements

Dutch administrative VAT requirements and VAT representation

Companies doing business in the Netherlands have to comply to various VAT obligations. This can be due to the import of goods into Europe via the Netherlands and/or selling products to Dutch customers.

Why the Netherlands

The VAT system is harmonized across Europe. There are however certain differences that make the Netherlands a very popular choice as a hub for doing business in Europe.

Benefits of the Netherlands:

  • VAT on imports can be deferred resulting in cash flow advantages
  • Europe’s largest harbor Port of Rotterdam and 4th largest harbor Port of Amsterdam.
  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is ranked the number one airport in Europe for direct connectivity, with over 320 direct destinations.
  • Highly educated population.
  • The Dutch are ranked first at English as second language.
  • One of the best infrastructures in the world.

VAT requirements

Importing or selling goods or services in the Netherlands brings certain VAT requirements. These requirements are for example:

  • Registration as a business for a VAT number
  • VAT return monthly or quarterly
  • European Sales listing quarterly
  • Applying the reverse charge mechanism on imports

An alternative is a VAT representative.

VAT representative

A VAT representative takes care of all dealings with the tax authorities and customs on behalf of the company. This way the company doesn’t need to register in the Netherlands and other requirements such as VAT filings are taken care off by the representative. A VAT representative needs to be established in the Netherlands and requires certain permits as well as financial guarantees for VAT liabilities.