Expats should be aware of the various taxes there are in the Netherlands, including the ‘belasting op toegevoegde waarde’ (value-added sales tax), ‘motorrijtuigenbelasting’ (road tax), ‘waterschapsbelasting’ (water board tax) and the ‘hondenbelasting’ (dog tax)…
Aside from Dutch personal income tax, there are several other taxes or charges you will come across when you live in Holland. Below is a brief overview of what each tax is, where the charge comes from and when you see it.
Belasting op Toegevoegde Waarde or BTW is the value-added tax that is charged when you purchase a product or service in the Netherlands. BTW is applied at one of three rates:
21% – this tax rate applies to the majority of products and services purchased.
6% – this lower rate applies to select categories of products (such as medicines, certain foods and drinks, books, newspapers and magazines) and services (such as bike repair, hairdressing, camping facilities and swimming pools).
0% – a handful of product categories (for example, wholesale fish or goods in an excise warehouse) and services (such as education classes, healthcare services, childcare and sports activities) are completely exempt from BTW sales tax.
Motorrijtuigenbelasting or MRB is the Dutch road tax (i.e. the charge for using public roads to drive on). This amount varies based on the vehicles size, weight and other factors. It needs to be paid every 3 months.
Belasting van Personenauto’s en Motorrijwielen or BPM is the Dutch personal motor vehicle tax and is a one-time tax that needs to be paid when you purchase a car or import a foreign vehicle. The amount varies based on factors like the size of the engine.
Hondenbelasting is the Dutch dog tax. It is charged annually to owners of dogs by the local municipality. The amount varies by city. Some smaller towns do not charge hondenbelasting but all mid and large size cities do. This bill usually comes in February.
Waterschapsbelasting is the Dutch water board tax. It is charged to all homeowners whose use the city’s main sewer line (which is nearly every house). It is assessed by the municipality once a year on behalf of the local water board. A property owner that is a landlord will usually in turn charge the tenant the full amount or a percentage (depending on whether the tenant rents the full property or one of several units in the property. The tax is assessed once for the entire property).
Afvalbelasting is the Dutch garbage/refuse tax and is assessed on homeowners by the local municipality for trash collection and recycling services.