Do you have debtors who cannot pay their outstanding invoices? Then you can submit a request to the tax authorities for a rebate of the VAT you have already remitted on those unpaid invoices.

Change from 1 January 2017

In the past you could only make this request once it became clear that the debt was not recoverable. This led to discussions with the tax authorities about when that is precisely: when can you be sure that an invoice will never be paid? Therefore the scheme was simplified from 1 January 2017. Even if you are not entirely sure whether or not your invoice will eventually be paid, you can still reclaim the VAT (btw) if a period of exactly one year has elapsed since the final date on which the invoice was payable.

For example:

You issued an invoice on 1 January 2017 which has never been paid. You can reclaim the VAT on this in your VAT return for the first quarter of 2018.
PLEASE NOTE: this is available only once. Therefore you cannot request a rebate of the VAT in a later return!

Transition arrangements

There are transition arrangements in place for invoices issued before 1 January 2017. If an older invoice of this type has still not been paid by 1 January 2018, the VAT can also be reclaimed in the VAT return for the first quarter of 2018.

Consequences for the debtor

The client who failed to pay the invoice must repay the deducted VAT to the Tax and Customs Administration. Again a period of one year applies, i.e. if the invoice remains open for more than a year, the VAT still has to be remitted either with the next VAT return or by submitting a supplementary tax return.