Dutch VAT on vouchers and coupons
January 1, 2019, changes to the VAT on vouchers and coupons will go into effect. What this entails, is outlined here.
Dutch tax Authorities consider vouchers and coupons as the obligation to perform the service or delivery for which the voucher is the compensation. Such obligations not only include vouchers for events, but coupons, stamps or even phone cards as well.
However, vouchers are no general means of payment. This is already indicated by the statement of the delivery or service due and the accompanying conditions. These should always be mentioned on the voucher or in the complementary documentation. A voucher thus only applies to a specific selection of services or deliveries. The identity of the possible providers is therefore known in advance. This is not the case for general means of payment. These can purchase any good or service from any provider, although warehouse money credit cards are also included in this category.
Since these vouchers are no common method of payment, they are subject to VAT. When to file this VAT might change starting January 1, 2019. Tax authorities have allocated 2 filing moments, depending on the singular or repeated use of the voucher in question.
For singularly usable vouchers, for example tickets granting access or transport, where and how much VAT is due is known in advance. Hence, VAT should be filed at the moment the vouchers are published. In addition, VAT will be levied for every resale of those vouchers.
On the other hand, some vouchers, such as multipurpose phone cards, may be used repeatedly. Where en when VAT filing is due, is unknown at the moment these vouchers are published or soled. VAT should thus be filed when the vouchers are exchanged.
Not exchanging vouchers for the goods or services they entitle the customer to, does not affect the VAT declaration. However, this entails that VAT declared for vouchers with a singular use shall not be returned. VAT return is thus only possible if those vouchers are taken back and reimbursed by the seller.
These adaptations concern (online or physical) vouchers that grant you the right to goods or services. They do not apply to vouchers that solely grant a discount to the purchase price of certain goods or services, since their exchange require an additional payment.
Whether free stamps, granting the right to certain goods or money, are excluded as well, remains under debate. Gift coupons, on the other hand, will be considered vouchers and thus be subject to VAT. The provider of these vouchers is entitled to VAT return. Since it concerns vouchers, when to file VAT is stipulated in the aforementioned rules.
Please contact us for further information on VAT filing or taxes in general.