Article

E-Invoicing in the Netherlands

27 April 2023

Ensuring Compliance

Electronic invoicing in The Netherlands is anchored on several European norms.

In this post, Unimaze explores the state of sending and receiving e-invoices in The Netherlands and what you need to do to comply with the Dutch e-invoicing regulations.

Unimaze is an authorized Peppol Access Point provider for e-invoicing services in The Netherlands, endorsed by the Dutch Peppol Authority.

E-invoicing in The Netherlands

A Quick Overview

E-Invoicing/CTC Model

  • B2G: Peppol
  • B2B: Post-Audit

Mandatory Infrastructure

  • B2G: Digipoort/Peppol
  • B2B: Not Applicable

Mandatory e-Invoice Format

  • B2G: Peppol BIS, NL CIUS, SI-UBL
  • B2B: Not Applicable

Issuing Mandate

  • B2G: Suppliers to the Dutch central government
  • B2B: No explicit requirements

Receiving Mandate

  • B2G: All contracting authorities
  • B2B: Buyer’s consent is required

Digital Signature

Not Required

Archiving Abroad

Allowed under specific conditions

Archiving Period

  • 7 years
  • 10 years for immovable property

E-invoicing in The Netherlands - The Timeline

2011

Electronic invoicing in The Netherlands dates back to January 1st, 2011.

Then, the Dutch authorities mandated central government agencies to receive and process e-invoices via Digipoort, the government’s central hub for handling message traffic.

2017

On January 1st, 2017, the e-invoicing mandate in The Netherlands was extended to central government suppliers. The directive, however, was voluntary until August 2019.

2019

The Dutch electronic invoicing implementation was extended to cover sub-central governments, organizations, and other contracting authorities. The mandate meant public authorities were obligated to start receiving and processing supplier e-invoices as per the European standard format.

By December 2019, up to 95% of all government entities in The Netherlands had implemented e-invoicing.

Today B2G e-invoicing in The Netherlands is mandatory and voluntary for B2B transactions.

Dutch E-Invoicing Standards

There are several standards for electronic invoicing in The Netherlands. These include:

UBL – OHNL

This standard is anchored on the international standard (Universal Business Language) UBL. It is used by the Dutch government when procuring goods or services. It is, however, not used for hiring personnel. The NLCIUS format has replaced OHNL and is less common.

SETU (HR-XML)-OHNL

SETU is an XML-based standard and extension of the NLCIUS.

The government uses this standard for hiring personnel, and it is the most popular for B2G e-invoicing in The Netherlands.

Basis Invoice Rijk (BFR)

This standard is used for electronic invoices issued and processed within the central government.

Peppol BIS

The Peppol BIS standard offers a set of specifications that allow communication of e-procurement info via the Peppol network.

It enables cross-border interoperability for entities using the Peppol network.

NLCIUS

NCLIUS is an additional standard to EN 16931 applicable only in The Netherlands. The Dutch government has since set up the NCLIUS on the Peppol BIS, replacing the UBL-OHNL.

The NLCIUS can also be used for B2B transactions.

How To Send E-Invoices in The Netherlands

All government entities in The Netherlands are integrated into Peppol. Using Peppol isn’t mandatory for sub-central contracting bodies, but the government recommends it.

Non-central public bodies and suppliers can send e-invoices through the following channels:

  • Peppol: You can send and receive invoices through Peppol by partnering with an authorized access point provider in The Netherlands like Unimaze.
  • E-mail: If your accounting software or ERP can create XML e-invoices, you may consider sending them as attachments. Still, sending e-invoices via email can be a time-consuming and laborious process.

Are you still sending PDF invoices? See how Unimaze can help.

  • Online Portal: You can input data on online portals if you’re not working with an e-invoicing service provider or don’t have EDI infrastructure.

If you’re a supplier to Dutch central public bodies, you can send e-invoices as follows:

  • Through Peppol as described above.
  • Through an Online Portal: You can access the portal via the government or a service provider.
  • Through Digipoort: A direct integration to Digipoort is viable if your business has a comprehensive IT infrastructure that allows you to exchange high-volume invoices with Dutch public bodies.

The Future Of E-Invoicing in The Netherlands

Electronic invoicing in The Netherlands is widespread, and the government is implementing more measures to ensure digitalization.

The country is getting closer to rolling out a solution to digitalize procurement workflow from start to finish.

The government recently launched the e-orders pilot through Peppol for the public procurement sector.

While this is a pilot project, it allows suppliers to convert government e-orders to e-invoices and resend them error-free in real time.

The project aims to improve information exchange between the government and suppliers since the channel goes beyond electronic invoices and e-orders. Further, the transaction messages will include status and data reports.

According to project manager Wouter Scholten, digitalization will help streamline the government's and suppliers' trade. As a result, involved parties will experience fewer invoice errors, improved efficiency, and decreased costs.

As The Netherlands continues to embrace digitalization, the country will likely follow in the footsteps of nations such as Belgium and Italy regarding e-Ordering regulations.

Further, B2B electronic invoicing in Belgium may become mandatory in the future.

Besides, as many Dutch organizations and businesses realize the benefits of electronic invoicing, the next logical digitalization step is implementing e-invoicing.

A significant percentage of B2B businesses in The Netherlands have fully automated their procure-to-pay processes and are exchanging business documents electronically.

How Do I Get Started With e-Invoicing in The Netherlands?

As outlined above, there are several ways you can send e-invoices in The Netherlands if you’re a supplier.

So, the first thing is determining which works best for your particular needs or system. You can figure this out by calculating how many invoices you send monthly or annually and your number of customers. Then, evaluate your IT infrastructure’s capacity.

The process is the same if you’re a buyer, only that you’ll consider how many e-invoices you receive monthly or yearly this time.

It is crucial to know that the Dutch government is connected to the secure Peppol network, especially if you’re just starting with B2G e-invoicing in The Netherlands.

That said, it would be best to choose a certified service provider like Unimaze as your Peppol Access Point where you’re doing B2G or B2B transactions.

Why Choose Unimaze as Your Peppol Access Point in The Netherlands?

Unimaze is a trusted e-invoicing and EDI services provider with 20+ years of industry experience.

Choosing us as your Peppol Access Point in the Netherlands offers several benefits:

Compliance and Expertise

Unimaze ensures your business complies with the Netherlands' latest Peppol standards and regulations. We have the necessary knowledge and expertise to guide you through adopting e-invoicing and EDI solutions in line with Peppol requirements.

Global Connectivity

As a certified Peppol Access Point provider, Unimaze enables you to send and receive electronic business documents, such as e-invoices, across the entire Peppol network. This global connectivity is crucial for businesses engaged in cross-border transactions.

Seamless Integration

Unimaze's solutions can be easily integrated with your existing ERP or accounting systems. Our technical support team ensures smooth implementation and provides ongoing assistance to help you make the most of your e-invoicing and EDI capabilities.

Secure Data Exchange

We prioritize data security and ensure that all electronic transactions are carried out securely. We implement advanced encryption and secure data storage methods to protect sensitive business information.

Scalability

Unimaze's e-invoicing and EDI solutions are scalable, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes. As your business grows, our services can be easily expanded to accommodate your changing needs.

Reliable Customer Support

Unimaze offers dedicated customer support to address technical issues, answer questions, and guide optimizing your e-invoicing and EDI processes.

By choosing Unimaze as your Peppol Access Point in the Netherlands, you can leverage our proficiency, global connectivity, seamless integration, data security, scalability, and customer support to improve your business's overall efficiency and compliance in e-invoicing and EDI.

Ready to get started? Book a meeting for a free consultation session with one of our e-invoicing experts to discuss your specific business and how Unimaze’s e-invoicing solutions can streamline your operations.

E-Invoicing in the Netherlands - FAQs

What Needs to be on an Invoice in The Netherlands?

Essential elements that should be included on an invoice in the Netherlands include the following:

  • Invoice header
  • Invoice date
  • Invoice number
  • Supplier information: Provide the full name, address, and VAT identification number of the supplier or service provider issuing the invoice.
  • Customer information: Include the full name, address, and VAT identification number (if applicable) of the customer or recipient of the goods/services.
  • Description of goods/services: Offer a detailed description of the products or services provided, including quantities and any applicable product codes.
  • Date of supply: Mention the date of delivery or performance of the goods/services if different from the invoice date.
  • VAT taxable
  • VAT rate
  • VAT amount
  • Total amount due
  • Payment terms

If the invoice involves intra-Community transactions within the EU or any specific exemptions, additional information may be required, such as relevant reference numbers, customs documentation, or exemption details.

How much is the Netherlands Invoice Tax?

VAT rates in the Netherlands are as follows:

  • Standard rate: 21% - This rate applies to most goods and services, including electronics, clothing, and professional services.
  • Reduced rate: 9% - This lower rate applies to specific goods and services, such as food, medicines, books, and hotel accommodations.
  • Zero rate: 0% - Some goods and services are subject to a zero VAT rate, primarily those involving international trade, such as exports or certain services provided to non-EU customers.

No VAT is charged on the invoice, but the business can still claim input VAT deductions.

  • Exemptions: The Netherlands excludes certain goods and services from VAT. Examples include financial services, education, health care services, and real estate transactions.

In these cases, no VAT is charged, and the business cannot claim input VAT deductions.

Please note that tax regulations and rates can change over time, so it's essential to consult the Dutch tax authorities or a tax professional to obtain the most up-to-date information.

Related content

Benelux is well on its way to becoming a fully digitized economy.
24 August 2023 | Article

E-Invoicing in Benelux: A Quick Overview

22 August 2023 | Article

Mandatory e-Invoicing in Finland: What it Means for Your Business

1 August 2023 | Article

What is an EDI Payment?