The corporation tax rate in the Netherlands depends on the taxable amount.
The taxable amount is the taxable profit less deductible losses.
The tax rate is 20% if the taxable amount is less than €200,000.
The tax rate is 25% if the taxable amount is equal to €200,000 or higher. (government.nl, 2018)
A parent company can form a tax group, a so-called fiscal unity, with one
or more of its subsidiaries, which allows the group to deduct a loss incurred
by one company from the profits generated by another.
The establishment of a tax group is only possible under certain conditions, the
main on being that the parent company holds at least 95% of the shares in the
Aside from this, all potential group members must have the same financial
year, apply the same accounting policies and be established in the Netherlands.
Asset Investment Tax
Investments in certain types of assets can qualify for
a special deduction in calculating taxable profits. This relief is in addition
to the usual depreciation and is computed as a percentage of the qualifying
The available deductions fall into the three
Small-scale investment deduction
This deduction applies to investments in business
assets of 2,300€ up to
calendar year. The deduction amounts to 28% for investments from 2,300€ up to 56,024€. The maximum possible deduction is 15,687€ for investments of 56,024€ up to 103,748€. The relief gradually decreases to zero when
the investment reaches 311,242€
Energy investment allowance (EIA)
This deduction applies to investments in qualifying
new energy-saving assets. The maximum investment qualifying for relief is 120
million Euros. The relief amounts to 58% of the investment if it exceeds 2,500€ per calendar year.
Environmental investment allowance (MIA)
This deduction applies to investments in qualifying
new assets contributing to environment protection. The relief provided is 36%,
27%, or 13.5%, depending on the type of asset and whether the investment
exceeds 2,500€ per
calendar year. (Investinholland.com, 2018)
Research and Development
Certain R&D activities (development of technically new physical products,
production processes, or software) qualify
for a payroll tax reduction (WBSO).
The reduction amounts to 32% (40 percent for
start-ups) of the relevant payroll costs relating to R&D (R&D payroll
costs, but also other R&D costs and R&D investment expenditures), up to
a maximum of 350,000€, and 16% for any excess. (English.rvo.nl, 2018)
The Innovation Box
So as to stimulate R&D activity in the
Netherlands, a special elective regime, the so-called “Innovation Box” can be chosen
to be applied to income from self-produced qualifying intangible assets.
Qualifying income falling in this innovation box will be
subject to an effective tax rate of 5%.
Generally, intangible assets qualify for the innovation
box in case they are patented or generated from R&D activities that fall under
Under certain conditions, this favourable tax rate also
applies to certain software, production methods, product development or
improvement. It can, on the other hand, not be applied to marketing intangibles
such as trademarks and logos.
The 5% tax rate covers all income derived from the
qualifying assets, including capital gains.
In the case of patents, the regime does not only apply
to the actual licensing income generated, but also to the income generated from
the sale of goods and services that arose from the innovations. All income derived
from the elected assets are pooled.
The income that can be covered by the innovation box is
essentially without a cap, but it usually only covers income exceeding the associated
development costs in the pool.
Losses incurred by assets falling in the innovation
box are also deductible against corporate income at the standard tax rate. (Investinholland.com, 2018)
In general, all expenses incurred for the purposes of
carrying on a business are deductible when calculating taxable profits.
Non-deductible expenses include:
• Dutch corporate income tax and, in case a double
taxation relief or an exemption from Dutch tax applies, foreign taxes on income
• boats used for business entertainment, such as
• certain penalties and fines imposed under Dutch or
European law (including traffic fines and tax penalties).
Also non-deductible is 0.4 percent of the total wage
bill, with a minimum amount of 4,500€. Alternatively, 26.5% of certain expenses
• food and drink
• business entertainment
• conferences, staff excursions, and similar
Corporate income tax deductions for equity-settled
awards such as shares, stock options, warrants, restricted shares, and
restricted share units are generally not applicable in the Netherlands.
The costs related to cash settled awards can be
deducted upon payment unless the employee is obligated to convert the cash
payment into company shares.
Stock appreciation rights are only deductible if given
to employees with an annual salary below 556,000€.
The development costs for in-house developed
intangible assets may be deductible provided it is done so in the year costs
A number of other provisions specifically restrict the
deduction of certain expenses, including interest. (Investinholland.com, 2018)
Tax Treatment upon
Cessation of Business
Should a business go into liquidation, there is no
longer a corporate income tax liability. The company is obligated to prepare a
final balance sheet for tax purposes at the time of liquidation, in which assets
and liabilities are presented at their fair market value.
This ensures that all benefits not yet reported for
tax purposes are included in the profit for the final financial year.
Any distribution above and beyond average paid-in
capital is regarded as a dividend distribution subject to 15% withholding tax.
Exemptions or applicable double tax treaties may
reduce this withholding tax.
It is unlikely that bankruptcy leads to a corporate
income tax charge.
However, one has to consider specific case law
regarding liabilities the company’s directors have to adhere to special
reporting requirements to circumvent personal liability, particularly concerning
VAT and wage tax.
Emigration and cross-border asset transfers
Should the company relocate abroad, an exit tax might
be due unless assets of the company are kept with a Dutch permanent
In the same vein, an exit tax will arise in case of a
transfer of assets to a foreign head office or closure of a permanent
In both cases, the exit tax is computed by taking the
gain of the assets transferred, including any untaxed gains and reserves and
However, exit tax is not usually payable when assets
are transferred from a Dutch head office to a foreign permanent establishment.
Businesses established in and resident of an EU Member
State or a European Economic Area Member State might not be obligated to pay
the entire exit tax burden in one go.
The exit tax rules allow taxpayers to choose between
immediate taxation, a deferral until subsequent realization and payment in ten
Should the taxpayer choose for a deferral, it will
entail interest payments on the deferred tax plus a collateral, which will
usually be a bank guarantee of solvency. (Investinholland.com, 2018)