If you are thinking of expanding to the Netherlands, there are several steps which need to be taken. The small country in the northern region of Western Europe is with its population of 17 million an economic powerhouse that offers many ways of commencing business there.
Antonia KlattLast Updated on 22 October 2021
For conducting business in the Netherlands, you must however be in possession of a legal Dutch VAT number. If you want to expand there or store goods in the Netherlands, you must register for VAT. The following article explains everything about how to acquire a Dutch VAT number.
How does a Dutch VAT number look like? Number and Format
The Dutch VAT number is called “BTW-identificatienummer” or short “BTW-nummer”. The number consists of the country code “NL” which is followed by 12 character. These can be digits and letters. The symbols + and * can be parts of the VAT number as well. This new structure has been introduced in January 2020.
|Format of the Dutch VAT Number:|
|Format||NL + 12 characters|
Why do I have to register for VAT in the Netherlands?
If you are a non-resident trader, you need to be in possession of a Dutch VAT number. This has two reasons. Exceeding the threshold limit of 100,000 EUR per annum is the first reason while storing your goods in the Netherlands also demands a registered VAT number.
To register for VAT threshold in the Netherlands
Being a non-resident trader and exceeding the delivery threshold of 100,000 EUR with importing goods into the Netherlands leads to VAT liability there. This means you must register for a Dutch VAT number in order to declare and pay your tax there. If you do not exceed the delivery threshold, you are only taxed in your country of residence, the country you are selling from.
Be sure to register in time. The application process may take some time so if you want to avoid falling behind your schedule, apply in advance.
Careful: The thresholds within the EU will be set to 10,000 EUR as from 1 July 2021. The delivery threshold of 100,000 EUR for the Netherlands will then be obsolete and for the new 10,000 EUR threshold, all sales within the EU are taken into account. This means, once having exported goods worth 10K within a year, you need to register for VAT in every country you are selling to!
Storage of goods in the Netherlands
The VAT number is also mandatory if you want to store goods in the Netherlands. Shipments to the Netherlands as a non-resident trader are NOT excluded of the VAT. These intra-community shipments are not taxed in the other EU-country but in the Netherlands, so you need a VAT number as well.
Where do I register for a Dutch VAT number?
In the events mentioned above you must apply for a Dutch VAT number. Apply as early as possible for your VAT number to not interrupt your trading or expansion plans.
You register for VAT at the Dutch tax office, the so called “belastingdienst”. They provide an online form which you have to fill in online, print it, sign it and send it to the office’s address. You can find it >here<.
In case of an urgent registration, you can apply for a temporary VAT number.
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Dutch VAT return – When do I have to file it?
In the Netherlands, you usually file a quarterly VAT return. You receive the VAT return form for periods up to 2013. After completing and signing the form, you must return it within two months after the end of the relevant period. Even without conducting business in the Netherlands during a certain period of time, filing a VAT return is mandatory.
Can I find a Dutch VAT number online?
The European commission provides a tool to find VAT numbers online. This tool is called VIES. It allows you to find any VAT number within the European Union. VIES proves useful if you want to check a VAT number of a company you intend to cooperate for example. You can easily check whether the company is in possession of a legal VAT number. Cooperating with a company without a legal VAT number might backfire to yourself and compromise your own business.
To access the tool, you simply visit the website of the European Commission your follow this link: VIES VAT number validation.
If you check a VAT number and it is not displayed as present or correct, this can have several reasons:
- The VAT number does not exist
- The completion of the registry has not been finished yet
- The activation has not been done yet
It takes a couple of weeks to active your VAT number. Do not worry at first. In case your number has still not been activated after some time, contact the Dutch tax and revenue office.
A VAT number in the Netherlands is mandatory if your sales exceed the threshold limit of 100,000 EUR, if you want to store goods in the Netherlands or for intra-community shipments. Apply in time to avoid problems with your business schedule or the Dutch authorities.
Register for VAT in Netherlands
Submit VAT Return in Netherlands
You need a Dutch VAT number to declare your tax when exceeding the threshold limit of 100,000 EUR with imports into the Netherlands or when storing goods there.
The VAT number in the Netherlands consists of the country code NL followed by 12 characters , e.g. NL123456789B01.