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Netherlands: New VAT rules for vouchers, stamps, tokens

Netherlands: New VAT rules for vouchers, stamps, tokens

New value added tax (VAT) rules apply to vouchers, stamps, and tokens, effective 1 January 2019.

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The new VAT rules are a result of the EU Voucher Directive that is designed to harmonize the VAT treatment of vouchers within the EU. Until recently, there were no specific rules for the VAT treatment of vouchers in certain EU Member States including the Netherlands. This meant that double taxation or double non-taxation arose in cross-border situations. 

A voucher is an instrument (in paper or electronic form) that can be redeemed or used as (partial) consideration for the supply of goods and services. The goods or services to be supplied or the identity of the potential providers of the supply and the conditions for use are stated on the voucher or in the accompanying documentation (such as the general terms and conditions). The new rules distinguish between single purpose vouchers (SPVs) and multiple purpose vouchers (MPVs). 

  • In the case of an SPV, the place of supply of the good or the service and the VAT amount are known at the time the voucher is issued or transferred. 
  • In the case of an MPV, at least one of these two elements is still unknown.

Each transfer of an SPV by an entrepreneur acting in its own name and for its own account is regarded as a supply of a good or a service that is subject to VAT. The transfer of an MPV is not subject to VAT. Accordingly, the qualification as SPV or MPV is important to determine when and from whom the VAT is due.

The new VAT rules apply to vouchers issued after 31 December 2018. The old rules still apply to vouchers issued before 1 January 2019. Because it is not easy for entrepreneurs to maintain two systems, the Deputy Minister of Finance of the Netherlands provided guidance in a policy statement (December 2018).


Read a January 2019 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in the Netherlands

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