Introduction of a dividend withholding tax exemption

As of 1 January 2018, new legislation eliminates dividend withholding tax on distributions to entities resident in the EU/EEA or in a state with which the Netherlands has concluded a tax treaty that includes a dividend article. The exemption is subject to targeted anti-abuse rules, but should make the Netherlands tax climate more attractive.


16 Feb. '18
Patrick T.F. Schrievers

The new legislation aims to eliminate the difference between holding cooperatives and BV’s/NV’s by (i) introducing a dividend withholding tax obligation for holding cooperatives and (ii) provide a withholding tax exemption for BV’s/NV’s. Under the anti-abuse rules, which have to be assessed when applying the exemption, the interest in the Dutch entity distributing the dividend should not be held with the main purpose to avoid dividend withholding tax abroad. In addition, the structure should not be considered as an artificial arrangement. In practice, this often means that the intermediate shareholder needs to carry-on an active business and that it has to satisfy the Dutch substance requirements. Please see our blogs on the dividend withholding tax exemption and on substance for our takeaways on these topics.


Patrick T.F. Schrievers

Patrick T.F. Schrievers is a tax lawyer and member of the Dutch Association of Tax Advisers (NOB) and the International Fiscal Association (IFA).

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