When trading in the EU, it might be profitable or even legally obliged for non-Dutch resident companies to appoint a fiscal representative for VAT purposes in the Netherlands. The conditions to appoint a fiscal representative vary between EU Member States and also depend on the type of transaction.
Fiscal representation for VAT in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands fiscal representation is mandatory in only a few situations, e.g. when a VAT taxable person, established outside the EU, performs distance sales in the Netherlands. Distance sales are supplies by mail-order firms and online retailers to private consumers based in another EU Member States where goods are transported or sent by the seller.
Appointing a fiscal representative may also be beneficial for companies that want to purchase certain goods free of VAT (under an excise warehouse regime or a VAT warehouse regime). By appointing a fiscal representative, instead of 21% Dutch VAT, a 0% Dutch VAT rate may be applied on the purchase and sale of those goods when certain conditions are met.
Nevertheless, most companies do not legally require to appoint a fiscal representative, but would like to profit from the Dutch import facility preventing prepayment of VAT at the time that the company imports goods into the Netherlands.
Apply the VAT deferment license
Importing without paying VAT is possible because a fiscal representative may, on behalf of its client, apply for a so-called VAT deferment license as referred to in article 23 of the Dutch VAT Act. Due to this license, a suspension of payment of the import VAT can be made until the VAT return must be filed. Since this import VAT may be deducted in the same VAT return, effectively, no import VAT will have to be paid.
Mazars VAT-assist B.V.
Mazars VAT-assist B.V. is a subsidiary of and wholly owned by Mazars. Mazars VAT-assist B.V. has been acting as fiscal representative since 1993 for many companies from all over the world, ensuring the quality of the Mazars VAT advisors.
Mazars VAT-assist B.V. offers assistance on all kinds of European VAT issues but mainly focusses on VAT fiscal representation services.
As fiscal representative VAT-assist B.V. (amongst others) takes care of:
- representing non-Dutch resident companies towards the Dutch tax authorities.
- registration of non-Dutch resident companies for VAT in the Netherlands.
- applying for the VAT deferment license (also known as Article 23 license) to prevent non-Dutch resident companies to pay import VAT at the time of customs clearance.
- applying for a VAT or customs warehouse license, that allows non-Dutch resident companies to trade certain goods such as minerals and oil with use of the Dutch 0% VAT rate.
- compiling and submitting VAT-returns, European Sales Lists (also known as the recapitulative statement) and statistics declarations on behalf of the represented company.
- record keeping with regard to these services.