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Standard VAT rate: 21% (Oct 2012)

Reduced VAT rates: 6% foodstuffs, books, pharmaceuticals, medical, passenger transport, admission to cultural and amusement events, hotels, accommodation

The standard Dutch Value Added Tax VAT rate is to rise from 19% to 21% on the 1st October 2012.

The increase is part of a package of austerity measures brought forward by the collation government as its attempts to keep the Netherlands deficit to within 3% of GDP.  This is a key criteria of countries using the Euro.

Should you register for Dutch VAT?

There are a number of trading situations which typically require a foreign business to register with the Dutch tax authorities.  These follow the broad EU VAT rules, and include:

  • Importing into the EU through the Netherlands, although there are some limited liability fiscal representation schemes which can be used instead
  • Buying and selling goods in Netherlands if the customer is not Dutch VAT registered (if they are, then reverse charge applies, and no registrations is required).
  • Holding goods in consignment in the Netherlands – special licenses may be used instead.
  • Selling goods on the internet to Dutch private individuals
  • Holding live exhibitions, events or training in Netherlands.
  • If a company is otherwise a non-VAT trader, but is receiving services in Netherlands under the reverse charge rule.
  • The self supply of goods.
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