Meeting with the Dutch Authorities

Hilde Blontrock, one of the members of the Board, and Marja van den Oetelaar have been very active on behalf of the Association to ensure that refunds of Dutch VAT under the Directive 2008/9/EC ('8th Directive') continue to be effected in the most efficient manner for both clients and members. I have great pleasure in attaching below their notes of the meeting with the Dutch authorities.

Many thanks to Hilde and to Marja for all of the hard work here.

On 21/10/2014 a meeting took place at the Central VAT office in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands with the follow participants:

  • Ms C. Nijkamp – Director Belastingdienst/Centrale Administratie
  • Ms M.C.J. Kop – National co-ordinator Collection
  • Mr P.S.W. Geurten – Belastingdienst Buitenland/Heerlen
  • Mr A.K. Teitsma – Ministry of Finances
  • Mr M. Liefering – Belastingdienst/Centrale Administratie – Refunds
  • Ms Marja van den Oetelaar on behalf of the IVA
  • Ms Hilde Blontrock on behalf of the IVA

The invitation of the Ministry of Finance and of the Belastingdienst was in fact made to discuss the problems with the refund of the claimed VAT via the Refund procedure (Directive 2008/9/EC). Ms Kop clarified immediately that the decision nr 25440 of 08/09/2014 was issued only for the sake of the refunds of the VAT credits of the submitted VAT returns (ie under Directive 2006/112/EC ('6th Directive')), i.e. for companies that are registered for VAT purposes in the Netherlands. For the Refund procedure (former 8th Directive) the decision that the claimed VAT can be refunded to the account of an intermediary was taken at the end of 2013 and is still valid. The decision of 08/09/2014 should consequently not be taken into account for the Refund procedure and was not further discussed.

It goes without saying that a lot of intermediaries have experienced problems with the refunds of this VAT despite the before mentioned decision. Belastingdienst/Heerlen wishes to solve these problems and they are under the impression that most of the problems have been solved over the few last months. In any case, there should not be any problems with recent refund claims.

There are some issues with the correspondence between Belastingdienst and the intermediary. Belastingdienst will make sure that in the case where a refund claim is handed in by an intermediary all correspondence will be sent to the intermediary. In case you experience that correspondence is still sent directly to your customer Belastingdienst should be informed and they will investigate why correspondence is still going directly to the customer.

Please be aware of the fact that all official documents must be sent by post, this is stipulated by the Dutch law. Correspondence regarding additional inquiries, information, etc. can be done by e-mail.

Belastingdienst deals with the submitted claims within the stipulated delays (within 4 months). If by then you have not received a "Beschikking" (decision) you can contact the Belastingtelefoon and inquire about the claim(s).

Once a "Beschikking" is received the refunds should happen within 3 to 4 weeks. If it takes longer you should send a copy of this decision to Heerlen asking what happened with the refund.

If you are still dealing with delayed refunds that is probably because letters asking for the bank details are sent directly to the customer. The customer has either provided his bank account details and the refund has already taken place or the customer has not responded to the letters and the VAT is still with the Belastingdienst.

For the refunds Belastingdienst uses the bank account that is indicated in the last VAT refund claim. When your customer hands in a refund claim with his bank details after your claim which is not yet refunded then all outstanding refunds go to the customer. Belastingdienst is working on its central database of the refunding department to make it possible that 2 bank accounts are visible so that the first bank account is no longer "overwritten".

It is agreed with Belastingdienst/Heerlen that in case you encounter whatever problem with the VAT refund procedure this is sent to the IVA at, and this will then be bundled and sent to Belastingdienst/Heerlen. It is only in this way that Belastingdienst/Heerlen will be able to establish where the remaining problems are situated and need to be solved. Of course the IVA and its staff will fully respect client confidentiality.

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Disclaimer:  The information contained in the present page is general and does not constitute legal advice. Before taking any decision or action on the above information you should take the appropriate professional advice.