Deduction guide for companies

Sometimes it can be quite difficult to know whether a particular purchase or expense counts as a business expense.

What principles should be taken into account?

What is and what is not allowed?

Are there any exceptions?

To answer all these questions, we have created a guide for you.

Scroll through the page or use the point navigation on the right.


These costs (phone and subscription) are tax deductible if the phone is used at least 10% of the time for business purposes. Do you also use your phone for personal use (e.g. 15%)? Then you only deduct the business-related part (i.e. 85%).

A fixed telephone line at a home address is not a deductible expense.

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Renting a workspace is fully tax deductible. If you use the space in your home at least 90% for business purposes, it is sometimes possible to deduct costs. You can find out exactly how it works here: (in Dutch)

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Public transportsubscription

Do you travel a lot by public transport? Then a subscription may be smart. It’s a good idea to have a card just for business trips, then it’s clearer. Do you use a season ticket for both personal and business travel? Then calculate how many of these trips were for business purposes (or estimate). The print can be made at By the way: public transport is subject to a low VAT rate!

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Online servicesand software

The cost of digital products such as Microsoft Word and Adobe are also deductible. Note: sometimes these are foreign companies, so you should look at the invoices carefully before deducting VAT.

Do you also use the service privately, for example half the time? Then 50% should be deducted.

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Insurancesand bank charges

Company insurance and bank charges can be deducted, but note that no VAT is charged on insurance in the Netherlands (note: insurance tax is 21%, but not VAT!). The cost of taking out an insurance policy often includes VAT, so check the invoice carefully.

Disability insurance and bread fund expenses are not treated as business expenses.

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Equipmentand inventory

Products you buy to do your job and decorate your workplace, such as desks, plants, lamps… are deductible.

If you work from home, the deduction is only possible if the workplace meets all the requirements. Explanation on: (in Dutch).

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For example, paints (for the painter) and digital products (for the manufacturer)

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Clothingfor work

Clothing is business if you can wear it (almost) exclusively in the context of your business, for example overalls or gloves. See also: (in Dutch)

If the clothing can also be used outside work (e.g. a t-shirt), it is only deductible if it has a logo of at least 70 cm2.

Fancy clothes, such as a tailor-made suit, are not tax deductible (“booth expense”).

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Post stampsand shipment cost

The purchase of postage stamps and parcel postage can be deducted. Note that PostNL does NOT charge VAT. UPS, DHL, GLS, DPD – yes.

BUT: do you charge your customer for shipping? VAT must then be added. VAT is charged on the full invoice amount, so also, for example, on packaging costs. The VAT rate is the same as the rate for the products on the invoice. Do products have different VAT rates? A factor must then be calculated and applied to the shipping costs.

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Are you buying from a private individual? Use the purchase declaration or contact (e-mail). Are you buying from a company? Only then will the VAT be deducted and the receipt or invoice can simply be posted.

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The low VAT rate applies to public transport. Make sure you can combine business trips with appointments in your calendar!

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Private caror bicycle

You can deduct €0.19 for every kilometre you travel (including parking costs). Even if you ride a bike! Make sure you can combine business trips with appointments in your calendar!

For costs such as maintenance, calculate the proportion between business and private travel using closed mileage records. Is it for example 30/70 then 30% of the costs can be deducted. More info:

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Company caror bicycle

All costs can be deducted. Do you privately drive more than 500 km in a fiscal year? In this case, an additional taxable benefit for the private use of the car must be reckoned with:
Is it less than 500 km per year? You must keep a record of your kilometres.

Do you need an additional driving licence for your business (e.g. a C or D truck licence)? These costs are then tax deductible.

fines and penalties are not deductible.

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Airplaneboat, rental

These costs can be deducted, but it is important to remember that VAT is not deductible on everything (e.g. flights). The cost of refuelling a hire car is also deductible.

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Overnightat hotel

Only when necessary due to a business meeting or assignment. For food and drink in the hotel: see GASTRONOMY

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Business: food and drink with a customer, bought in a supermarket or taken from a restaurant.

Also business: if you have to work long hours and for that reason you order food.

Non-business: ordinary food (for example, daily coffee or lunch). Because you have to eat anyway, even when you’re not working.

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Eatingon the go

Occasional eating and drinking on the road – for example on public transport or at a petrol station – is an economic activity. But you must be able to prove that it was a takeaway and not in a catering establishment.

Do you regularly travel to clients, e.g. daily? Then these expenses again count as personal (then they fall under commuting).

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Gastronomyand catering

A business dinner or, for example, a business reception at the place where the service is provided is deductible. This also applies to food/drinks where catering is present. See also: (in Dutch)

Do you run the course and do you organise food and drink for participants? This is then 100% tax deductible.

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Think about the cost of your website and social media promotion

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In other words: gifts for existing customers. Do you spend less than €227 (excluding VAT) per customer per year? Then it is simply a deductible expense. A self-serve drink in your own office also falls under €227.

Do you spend more than €227 per customer per year? Then check whether, if he had bought the gift himself, he could have deducted the VAT on it. If not, you cannot deduct VAT. So if you are buying a hammer for a carpenter: then yes. If you give him a football: no.

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Print, adsand recruiting gifts

In other words, spending on attracting new customers and promoting brand awareness.

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This is a contribution of e.g. money, clothing or food in exchange for advertising. See also: (in Dutch)

It must be logical that your company advertises at this event or location.

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Books and magazines with content related to your work

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Congresses, seminarsand study trips

These count as mixed costs (including travel and accommodation), provided the content is related to your work.

You can deduct the costs 100% if your participation in the conference was necessary from a business point of view (because, for example, you are giving a lecture yourself).

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If the course or workshop is relevant to your business – to update your professional knowledge – then the costs can be deducted. Think also about registration fees, travel and accommodation costs and materials you need to purchase.

TIP: include these hours in your time records!

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