In the Netherlands you are legally required to keep accounting records and retain these for seven years. The accounting records form the basis of your tax returns. Proper accounting records show what is happening in your business, allowing you to maintain an overview of the situation, track developments and make decisions in good time.
Invoices must contain assorted basic data, e.g. VAT number, VAT amount, invoice date. Invoices must be numbered consecutively. If an invoice fails to comply with these requirements, a recipient loses any entitlement to deduct VAT.
All data about your business must be recorded on paper or in electronic format. These data are part of your accounting records. Examples of these include:
- administration of ready cash and receipts;
- a purchase and sales journal;
- invoice receipts and copies of sent invoices;
- bank and giro statements;
- contracts, conventions and other agreements;
- diaries and appointment overviews;
- software and databases.
Depending on the legal form of your business you are expected to file your accounts each year with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK). The nature of the data to be filed in your annual accounts will depend on the size of your company.
You must file your annual accounts by 31 July in the year following the relevant financial year. In some cases you are entitled to a deferral (maximum 7 months).
The Antwoordvoorbedrijven.nl website makes it easier for business owners to access the information provided by the Dutch government. The website shows all the various dos and don'ts on issues such as licences and requirements, laws, regulations, taxes and subsidies.