Internet consultation on draft bill VAT adjustment on services to immovable property

March 7, 2024
Internet consultation on draft bill VAT adjustment on services to immovable property

As the government previously announced in a letter accompanying the 2024 Tax Plan, the Ministry of Finance has published a draft bill for consultation on the adjustment of VAT on services to immovable property such as buildings. This includes, for example, investments such as renovations, repairs and (major) maintenance. Under the current VAT adjustment rules, the VAT recovery applied for such immovable property services is in principle final at the end of the financial year in which use was first made of the services. If, for example, a renovated building (the renovation of which does not result in a new immovable property for VAT purposes) is put into use on July 1, the VAT recovery on the renovation service is in principle final at the end of the financial year of first use. A changed VAT use in a later financial year does not lead to an adjustment of the previous VAT recovery. Based on the proposed draft bill, a VAT adjustment period of approximately five years will apply, during which changes in the VAT use of the renovated immovable property may lead to an obligation to partially repay VAT previously recovered or to an additional VAT recovery right.

The proposal

The Ministry of Finance intends to extend the current VAT adjustment scheme to services to immovable property of at least EUR 30,000, such as renovations and major maintenance. A VAT adjustment period of four financial years following the financial year in which the services are first put into use will apply to such immovable property services. Including the year of first use, an entrepreneur must therefore annually (re)assess 20% of the initial VAT recovery for five financial years on the basis of the VAT use of the service (for VAT-taxed or VAT-exempt services) in the relevant financial year. If the VAT use in the relevant financial year deviates from the VAT use in the financial year of first use, the initial VAT recovery must in principle be adjusted.  

The intention is for the measure to come into effect on January 1, 2026. This means that the new adjustment scheme applies to the intended services to immovable property that are put into use after this date. The proposed change has a significant impact in practice. Because investments must be monitored for a period of five financial years, the administrative burden increases.

Background to measure and impact in practice

The background of the measure lies in combating situations in which, according to the government, undesired VAT savings are made by temporarily subjecting homes to VAT (for example, by means of ‘short stay’) after an investment such as a renovation, and then subsequently renting out these homes as residential spaces exempt from VAT after VAT recovery is final. In addition, the government believes, more generally, that the measure creates a more level playing field between entrepreneurs who rent immovable property. However, the proposed measure has a broader scope than simply combating tax savings. After all, for each individual immovable property service(s) provided to that immovable property, an annual record must be kept of whether the use of the service(s) corresponds to the VAT recovery previously received. Fluctuations in use for VAT-taxed or VAT-exempt services may require an annual VAT adjustment. This means that the VAT must be repaid in whole or in part or, on the other hand, can be additionally reclaimed. When selling immovable property, possible adjustment of VAT on purchased services in the preceding years must also be taken into account.

An internet consultation on a similar bill took place in 2017. At the time, the proposal was not pursued, partly as a result of the responses to the consultation. Criticism then mainly concerned the enormous complexity and broad scope of operation. For this reason, the Ministry of Finance has focused the new proposed measure on services to immovable property above a threshold amount of EUR 30,000.

The Ministry of Finance offers interested parties the opportunity to respond to the proposed amendment via this internet consultation, which closes on April 2, 2024. Following the internet consultation, a stakeholder meeting is planned for April 12, 2024, after which the input and interests of the various parties will be assessed. You can respond to the internet consultation via the following link:

The tax advisors of KPMG Meijburg & Co’s Real Estate Indirect Tax Group would be pleased to help you identify the possible impact of the proposed amendment on your business. Our advisors can also be of assistance during the internet consultation. Feel free to contact one of them or your regular contact for more information.

© 2024 Meijburg & Co is a partnership of limited liability companies under Dutch law, is registered in the Trade Register under number 53753348
and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee.
All rights reserved.