Everything you need to know about VAT returns

March 20, 2023

Everything you need to know about VAT returns

The VAT return for the first quarter is coming up. In this article, we will tell you everything about VAT returns so that you know exactly what a VAT return is, when and how to submit your VAT return, and how to correct a VAT return.

What is a VAT return?

The VAT return is the declaration of VAT: value added tax. In this declaration, you indicate how much VAT you have charged to your customers and how much VAT you have paid on your expenses. The latter is also known as input tax. The difference between these amounts must be paid or refunded to you if your input tax is higher than the VAT on your turnover. The VAT return is also known as a turnover tax return.

When and how do you need to submit your VAT return?

When you register as an entrepreneur, you will receive a letter stating how often you need to submit your VAT return. Most entrepreneurs must submit their VAT return quarterly. You must submit your VAT return no later than the last day of the month following the quarter for which you are making a declaration. For 2023, the VAT return deadlines are: April 30, 2023, July 31, 2023, October 31, 2023, and January 31, 2024. In some cases, you can also request to submit your VAT return monthly or annually from the tax authorities. You can submit your VAT return in three ways: through "Mijn Belastingdienst Zakelijk" (My Tax Office Business), through accounting software, or through an administrative office.

My VAT return indicates that I will receive money back, what now?

If you indicate in your VAT return that you are entitled to a VAT refund, you will receive a letter from the tax authorities within 8 weeks stating that they have received your return. The money will then be deposited into your account within a week of the date of this letter.

My VAT return indicates that I have to pay, what now?

If you have to pay VAT, you will not receive a letter, and you must transfer the amount owed to the tax authorities.

How do I correct my VAT return?

If you need to correct small amounts, you can do so in the next declaration. The rule is that you may correct a VAT return with the next VAT return if the amount to be paid or refunded changes by less than €1000 euros as a result of these corrections. If it is above €1000 euros, you can only correct it by means of a "supplementary turnover tax return".

For example: You have submitted the declaration for the first quarter. Later, you realize that you forgot to include some expenses from February, where you paid €300 euros in input tax, in the first quarter declaration. €300 euros is less than €1000 euros, so you do not need to submit a supplementary declaration, and you can correct this in the VAT return for the second quarter. You can include an additional €300 euros in input tax in this declaration.

Hopefully, everything about VAT returns is now clear to you. Are you curious about how to submit the best VAT return? Then we have 10 tips for you!