THE NETHERLANDS: EXEMPTION OF NETHERLANDS WITHHOLDING TAX FOR TAX TREATY RESIDENT SPORTSPERSONS AND ENTERTAINERS

THE NETHERLANDS: EXEMPTION OF NETHERLANDS WITHHOLDING TAX FOR TAX TREATY RESIDENT SPORTSPERSONS AND ENTERTAINERS

In an unprecedented move the Netherlands tax authorities have decided to allow an exemption from the withholding on payments in relation to sports- and entertainment performances in the Netherlands. Also the non-resident income tax liability is to be abolished. The discussion on the effectiveness of the withholding tax was started by Dr. Dick Molenaar, tax advisor of sportspersons and in particular artists. In his 2006 doctoral thesis (The Taxation of International Performing Artistes, published by IBFD, Amsterdam) he showed that the revenue collected through the withholding tax is very limited, in particular in relation to the work needed to collect the money. Moreover, for the majority of artists the withholding taxes are very burdensome and often lead through various mechanism to (much too) high effective marginal tax rates.

The Netherlands tax authorities have accepted that the special treatment of non-resident entertainers and sportsmen in comparison with the treatment of other employee should per 1 January 2007 no longer be continued. The exemption is included in the 2007 Tax Bill, which still needs to be enacted by Parliament. Upon enactment we will publish a more detailed report.