Exemption from VAT

Businesses in certain sectors and businesses that perform certain activities are exempt from VAT. This means that customers are not charged VAT.

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Tax-free shopping

If you sell goods to non-EU residents, you need not charge any VAT (tax-free shopping). A condition is that the goods leave the EU. You can use a copy of the sales invoice or a cheque stating the buyer's name to demonstrate this. You can also make a copy of the customer's passport. In that case, however, you must cover the passport photo and the citizen service number (BSN).

Exemption from VAT for agriculture, horticulture, forestry and livestock breeding

Farmers, market gardeners, foresters and livestock breeders in the Netherlands are eligible for a special VAT exemption for certain supplies of goods and services under the agriculture scheme (landbouwregeling) and the livestock trading scheme (veehandelsregeling). If you use these schemes, you must not specify VAT on your invoice. Your customers may deduct 5.1% of the invoice amount as input tax (agricultural flat rate). You must issue your customer with an agriculture statement (landbouwverklaring) or a livestock trading statement (veehandelsverklaring).

Exemption from VAT for healthcare

Medical consultations which focus on healthcare for individuals are exempted from VAT. This applies to doctors, paramedics, psychologists, dentists and care homes, for example. The exemption applies to professions that fall under the Individual Health Care Professions Act (Wet op de Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg, BIG) and is only applicable to services in the area of expertise of these professions.

However, if you operate a temporary work agency that provides health care professionals to their clients, you do have to charge VAT (21%). That also applies to personnel that is registered in the BIG register.

VAT on digital services

If you supply telecommunications, broadcasting and e-services, the place of supply determines where VAT may be charged and paid. If your customer is a business that is not established in the Netherlands, but within the EU, they will be charged and pay VAT in their own country. However, if your EU customer is a consumer, it is you who will be charged VAT according to their country's regulations. Finally, if your customer belongs to a non-EU country, you do not pay EU VAT at all.

VAT rate performing arts and art and collectors’ items

The VAT rate for performing arts and art and collectors' items has been reduced from 19% to 6% as from 1 July 2012.

VAT rate labour costs renovation and landscaping

The VAT rate for renovation, repairs and garden maintenance of existing houses older than 2 years has since 1 March 2013 been lowered from 21% to 6%. The reduced rate only applies to labour costs, not to the materials used and expires as of 1 July 2015.

VAT rate leasing berths for houseboats

The VAT rate for the leasing of berths for houseboats has been reduced from 19% to 0% as from 1 July 2011.

Exemptions from VAT for vocational education

Do you run a private school or do you work as an independent teacher? Do you provide vocational training and are you registered in the Central Register of Short Professional Training Courses (Centraal Register Kort Beroepsonderwijs, CRKBO)? Than you may use the VAT exemption for vocational schools.


Contact the Tax and Customs Administration via our Information Desk
Call +31 55 538 53 85
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