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Cross Border Freelancing

If you would like to know more about cross-border business as a freelancer, or as a DGA because you work abroad or if you would like us to do your accounting, please contact us.

MFFA Belastingadvies | Tax Advice

Grensoverschrijdend werken zzp-ers / freelancers

Zelfstandige beroepsbeoefenaars, ZZP’ers of freelancers die werken in het buitenland kunnen in veel gevallen te maken krijgen met buitenlandse en internationale belastingregels. Dit kan al het geval zijn als een afnemer of opdrachtgever net aan de andere kant van de Nederlandse grens woont. Omdat deze regels een grote impact kunnen hebben op de ondernemer en zijn of haar onderneming, hebben wij hieronder een kort overzicht van de mogelijke internationale fiscale aspecten opgesteld. Doel hiervan is de ondernemer te informeren, zodat er vroegtijdig op fiscale problemen ingespeeld kan worden.

In practice, with cross border freelancing the following questions may occur:

  • Do I have a permanent establishment abroad?
  • In which country or countries do I have to pay taxes?
  • How to prevent double taxation?
  • Do I have to register abroad?
  • Moet ik me in het buitenland registreren?
  • How to recharge VAT?
  • How to make use of tax benefits for entrepreneurs?

Preventing double taxation for cross border freelancing

A Dutch resident is taxed on his or her worldwide income. This includes profits gained by entrepreneurs like, freelancers, independent contractors and self-employed professionals. However, performing more than incidental and short-term activities abroad may trigger income tax in that country.

Permanent establishment for freelancers

Practically explained, a permanent establishment is the foreign part of the business separated from the Dutch business for tax purposes in order to split the profit. This practice needs to be done in accordance with rules that are recognized by the concerning countries. Otherwise, you may risk more than 100% of the profit is taxed.

Important aspects to determine whether a permanent establishment is present:

  • A fixed place of business: like a store, office or plant, but may also me a car.
  • This place should be at the disposal of the business: it is not required this place is rented or bought.
  • This place should be durable: in general a period of 6 months and more.
  • This place should be equipped for business activities: like a dentist chair in a dentist practice.

Cross border entrepreneurship – VAT

Oftentimes an entrepreneur states the VAT separately on an invoice and charge the total amount to the customer. With international transactions it has to be determined where the transaction is taxed and at what rate. In case sales to a certain country or to certain countries are more than incidental it might be necessary to register for VAT purposes.

Please be aware that the above aspects heavily depend on the facts and circumstances and therefore should be examined on a case by case basis. In addition, tax rules and regulations may vary depending on the applicable international tax treaty.

To prevent different interpretations of the implementation of tax rules it is may be preferable to get an advance opinion of the tax authorities (tax ruling).

Would you like more information about Cross border Freelancing

If you would like to know more about cross-border business as a freelancer, or as a DGA because you work abroad or if you would like us to do your accounting, please contact us via the contact form or call us 085 00 30140.


Do you have any questions or would you like to know more about our prices?


In The Netherlands: +31 (0)85 0030140
From abroad: +31 (0)20 2615615


Amsterdam: Keizersgracht 62, 1015 CS
Amstelveen: Laan van Kronenburg 14, 1183 AS
Bovensmilde (Assen): Witterweg 2, 9421 PG
The Hague: Schenkkade 50, 2595 AR
Eindhoven: Hurksestraat 64, 5652 AL

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Specialist in: Expats | International Companies , MFFA Belastingadvies | Tax Advice
Jeroen Mijlof graduated in economics and tax law at the University of Groningen. He has + 15 years’ experience in National and International Tax Law for both individuals and companies. Before MFFA he worked at the Dutch tax authorities, KPMG Meijburg and RSM International Tax Services .