VAT rates in the Netherlands

Quick overview

Standard Rate Other Rates
21% 9%

The local name for VAT in the Netherlands is Belasting over de toegevoegde waarde (btw) or Omzetbelasting.

Most recently, there has been some talk about applying the reduced rate to online concerts (no), on silicone wound contact layers (yes), and there was a court case about whether a beach pavilion could apply the reduced rate for sport events (yes). There was also a petition for a lower VAT rate for fruit and vegetables. Further, as a temporary Covid-19 measure, a zero VAT rate applies to face masks, outsourcing of healthcare workers and COVID-19 vaccines and testing kits, which has recently been extended till June 30, 2021.

For more information about (recent) rate change developments in the Netherlands, please click here.

Standard rate: 21%
This is in place since 1-10-2012. Before that, the standard rate was 19%. This rate applies for all transactions that take place in the Netherlands, unless an exception applies (such as a reduced rate, the zero rate or an exemption, or a reason to treat the transaction as outside scope of VAT – for example for a transfer of a going concern or a sale within VAT group).

Zero rate (0%)
The Netherlands apply various exemptions with a refund of tax paid at preceding stages (zero rates), such as intra-Community and international transport, intra-Community supplies of goods, exports of goods (and related services) to non-EU countries, supplies to international organizations, sea vessels and aircraft and related goods/services, services to goods and goods under customs control, and supplies of monetary gold to central banks.

Reduced rate 1: 9%
The reduced rate was increased from 6% to 9% on 1-1-2019. Examples: Foodstuffs (except if for animal consumption), water supplies, pharmaceutical products  (as defined in Article 1, paragraph b of the Medicines Act, contraception, infusion and inhaled gases intended for medical purposes; veterinary medicine, with the exception of veterinary medicinal products), certain medical equipment for disabled persons, certain transport of passengers, books (including electronically supplied publications), certain books on other physical means of support, newspapers (including electronic newspapers), certain periodicals (including electronic versions), admission to cultural services (shows, cinema, theatre), admission to amusement parks, certain services by writers, composers, etc. (if not exempt), renovation and repairing of private dwellings (introduction of energy-saving materials and painting and plastering of private dwellings that are in use for more than 2 years), window cleaning and cleaning in private households, hotel accommodation, restaurant and catering services, admission to sporting events, use of sporting facilities (if not exempt), minor repairing (including mending and alteration) of: bicycles, shoes and leather goods, clothing and household linen, and hairdressing.

For a description of how the VAT rates are structured in the European Union, please see here.  The European Commission has also made an EU VAT rate database available where you can find the applicable VAT rate by entering the CN/CPA code of the goods respectively services (you can find more information here).

A global VAT/GST rate overview can be found here (note this is a work in progress).

This post was last updated on 3 April 2021.



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