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Freelance and taxes: Netherlands

Rates, deadlines, and general information on the country's taxation and tax accounting

Anastasiia R avatar
Written by Anastasiia R
Updated over a week ago

Because freelancers are not our employees and we don't pay taxes on payouts, they must declare any income received via Solar Staff by themselves.

To carry on tax accounting in the Netherlands for your Solar Staff income, you need to:

Tax residence

The Netherlands taxes its residents on their worldwide income, while non-residents are taxed on income from sources in the Netherlands only.

To determine tax residence in the Netherlands, it is necessary to establish an individual's permanent place of residence. In case of a dispute, the Dutch tax courts will examine the individual's durable ties of personal (and, to a lesser extent, economic) nature with the Netherlands.

Under Dutch tax law, several criteria are used to determine the place of residence. The most important of them are as follows:

  • Where a permanent home (including leased property) is maintained

  • Where employment duties are performed

  • Where the individual's family resides

  • Where the individual is registered with the local authorities

  • Where bank accounts and other assets are maintained

  • The intended length of stay in the Netherlands

A foreign citizen is considered a tax resident of the Netherlands if:

  • As a married person, their family accompanies them to the Netherlands, or

  • As a single person, they stay in the Netherlands for more than one year

The Netherlands has double taxation treaties with a number of countries (full list), the provisions of which may override the applicable tax residence rules and other provisions of national legislation.

In the Netherlands, individuals are assigned a tax identification number (burgerservicenummer, BSN) required for the interaction with government authorities, including in the course of tax payment. The BSN consists of 9 digits in the format NNNN.NN.NNN. It is assigned to both Dutch citizens and foreign nationals upon issuance of identity documents, including a driver's license.

In the Netherlands, VAT payers are also assigned a VAT identification number (omzetbelastingnummer, BTW). It consists of 10 to 12 characters with an optional NL prefix. The BTW is issued by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) when registering a freelancer as engaged in entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurs in the Netherlands are assigned two identification numbers for VAT purposes:

  1. BTW-ID: this number is used for interactions with clients, such as invoicing

  2. ID for VAT payers (ob-nummer): this number is used for interactions with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst)

Taxes and contributions payable by freelancers

Tax obligations in the Netherlands depend on the chosen tax status and/or fulfillment of certain conditions.

The country has the following tax status options for Solar Staff freelancers to choose from:

IMPORTANT! Solar Staff does not have the option to choose a tax status for freelancers based in the Netherlands, but you can fill in your tax ID in your account.

Read on for more details.

Self-employed professionals without employees (zelfstandige zonder personeel, ZZP'ers)

Freelancers who are not registered as sole proprietors in the Netherlands pay taxes as individuals paying taxes on income from other activities (inkomsten uit overig werk). Other activities include providing services online, receiving payments from foreign (non-Dutch) customers, and so on.

A freelancer qualifies as a ZZP'er if as part of their activities they:

  • Independently determine their work schedule

  • Perform work for other clients

  • Set their own payment rates

  • Are able to delegate or subcontract work

  • Work without direction or supervision

If you are unsure about your status, we recommend that you contact the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) for clarification.

IMPORTANT! Freelancers may pay taxes on income received via Solar Staff as self-employed professionals without registering as a sole proprietor only if their activities do not fall under any of the criteria set by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK) and tax authorities that require them to register as a sole proprietor.

Self-employed professionals are required to pay the following taxes and contributions:

  • Income tax (inkomstenbelasting) on income from self-employment at a progressive rate depending on the amount of income earned (below are the rates effective in 2023):

Income, EUR

Tax, EUR

Tax on excess, %

0 – 37,149


37,149 – 73,031



over 73,031



Eligible taxpayers may use tax benefits and deductions to reduce their taxable income. See a detailed list of benefits and deductions here.

Income tax returns and payment. Income tax returns in the Netherlands must be filed based on the information sent to each individual by the tax authorities online. Individuals who have received a tax return letter from the tax authorities are required to file an income tax return before May 1 of the year following the reporting year. After that, the tax authorities will send them the final calculation of tax liabilities within 3 years starting from January 1 of the year in which the return is filed (for example, the final calculation for the 2023 return will be provided before December 31, 2026). The tax is payable after the filing of the tax return (also based on a letter from the tax authorities). Freelancers have the option to request and receive a preliminary tax assessment during the year (learn more here). If a freelancer does not receive a tax return letter from the tax authorities, they may file the income tax return before July 14 of the year following the reporting year.

IMPORTANT! No tax return is required to be filed if the taxpayer is either eligible for a tax refund of less than EUR 16 or their amount of tax due is less than EUR 51 (as per the limits effective in 2023).

  • Mandatory social insurance contributions payable by self-employed professionals. Freelancers earning income from other activities are also required to pay the following contributions:

    Mandatory social insurance contributions are payable based on the income tax returns filed, with the tax authorities sending the taxpayer an electronic letter specifying the amount of contributions due after receiving their tax return.

  • Since self-employed freelancers not registered as sole proprietors do not fall under the criteria set by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, they are not subject to being registered as value-added tax (omzetbelasting) payers.

Sole proprietors (eenmanszaak)

To operate as a sole proprietor, one needs to meet the requirements of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK / kamer van koophandel). The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) also checks if one is a sole proprietor for VAT and income tax purposes (learn more here).

The main criteria set by the KVK to determine if a freelancer's activity qualifies as sole proprietorship are:

  • The freelancer supplies goods and/or services

  • The activity is not symbolic or gratis, that is, it brings economic benefits to the freelancer

  • The services are provided to third parties (not just to close relatives) and are competitive

The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) uses its own criteria for determining whether a freelancer is a sole proprietor for tax purposes:

  • Planned investments of money and/or time to start or grow the business

  • Regularity of the freelancer's activities

  • Decision-making authority regarding the timing and manner of the service provision and delivery of goods

  • Having more than one client

If the above criteria are met in relation to the freelancer's activities, then they are eligible to register as a sole proprietor. Registration of sole proprietors is carried out by the KVK, and it is possible to initiate the process online. Separate registration of sole proprietors with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration is not required, since the KVK transfers all relevant information to the tax authorities electronically, and the notice of registration specifying the type of activity as per the Standard Business Classification (Standaard Bedrijfsindeling) (learn more here) and the tax number is sent to the sole proprietor in approximately 10 business days.

Learn more about the registration process and see FAQs here.

IMPORTANT! According to Dutch law, a sole proprietor is not a legal entity, so you may receive payments from Solar Staff as a sole proprietor. In this case, your business name as a sole proprietor must match your full name as a freelancer used for receiving payments.

Sole proprietors in the Netherlands can apply one of two tax systems:

The only difference between these two systems is that when applying KOR, the sole proprietor does not pay and is not able to deduct VAT.

General tax system

The general tax system applies to all types of activities without restrictions and is selected automatically when a sole proprietor is registered with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. It requires the payment of the following taxes and contributions:

  • Income tax (inkomstenbelasting) payable similarly to that payable by self-employed professionals. The requirements for filing income tax returns are also similar (learn more about tax returns filed by sole proprietors here). The only difference lies in the expenses that sole proprietors can deduct when calculating their income tax. Unlike self-employed professionals, sole proprietors are entitled to tax benefits and deductions only if certain conditions are met:

    • If they work at least 1,225 hours per year (or 800 hours in case of long-term occupational disability)

    • If they spend more than 50% of their work time working for their own company (i.e., working as a sole proprietor)

    Learn more about the benefits and deductions available to sole proprietors here.

  • Mandatory social insurance requirements applicable to sole proprietors are similar to those applicable to self-employed professionals. In addition, the KVK recommends several types of insurance for newly established sole proprietorships, including business liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and disability insurance.

  • Value added tax / VAT (omzetbelasting) levied at the following rates: 0%, 9%, and 21% (learn more here). Certain services are exempt from VAT, such as the provision of banking and insurance services (see a more detailed list here). Sole proprietors are also eligible for various tax benefits under the VAT legislation.
    VAT reporting and payment. The reporting period for VAT may be a month, quarter, or year. Once a sole proprietor is registered with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration as a VAT payer, they will be sent a letter specifying the reporting period applicable to their activities. The sole proprietor may change their reporting period by sending a letter in free form to the tax authorities. However, to change the tax period to a calendar year, the following criteria must be met:

    If all the above conditions are met, the sole proprietor may file tax returns annually.
    The deadlines for filing VAT returns and paying VAT depend on the selected reporting period. Learn more about the deadlines for filing VAT returns and paying VAT here. If VAT tax returns are filed annually, the VAT due shall be paid before April 1 of the year following the reporting year. Learn more about VAT payments here. The filing deadlines for VAT tax returns to be submitted by foreign sole proprietors who provide services in the Netherlands, but are registered in a foreign jurisdiction, are different (learn more here).
    Sole proprietors are required to file their VAT tax returns online using the services provided by tax authorities or commercial apps (learn more about the filing of VAT tax returns here).
    Useful links: tips for filing the first VAT tax return as a sole proprietor.

Simplified tax system (Small Business Scheme, Kleine Ondernemersregeling)

The Small Business Scheme (KOR) can be used by sole proprietors whose annual turnover does not exceed EUR 20,000. Under this tax system, sole proprietors are exempt from paying VAT. However, it is important to note that they are also not eligible to deduct any VAT expenses. You can check the eligibility for applying this tax system here.

IMPORTANT! If a sole proprietor's turnover does not exceed EUR 1,800 per year, they are automatically considered a taxpayer under the Small Business Scheme (KOR).

To apply this tax regime, freelancers are required to submit an application. Upon submission, they can expect to receive confirmation from the tax authorities within 6 weeks, indicating a successful transition to the new tax regime. Freelancers who opt for this regime shall maintain it for a minimum period of 3 years.

Sole proprietors shall report on income tax and mandatory social insurance contributions and make corresponding payments similarly to self-employed professionals.

Accounting requirements. Sole proprietors are not required to prepare financial statements. However, they must retain their business records for at least 7 years, including:

  • Invoices

  • Transaction statements

  • Cash flow records

  • Business contracts and correspondence

  • Time and attendance records

  • Travel / business trip records

Records may be kept either electronically and in hard copy.

Additional information

If you have any questions, get in touch via the chat in your Solar Staff account or email us at [email protected].

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