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How not to import a car free of BPM

In the Netherlands we have taxation on cars. The name for this tax is BPM and the reason why we pay this tax can be various. Environmental or simply cash for the Government. The system has changed over the years from a simple 45,2% tax on the Dutch import value. So many wreaks were imported with zero value, hence zero BPM, and then those wreaks were ‘unwreaked’ in Eastern Europe, filled with all kinds of luxury accessories and sold for a good price. I know, as I bought one. A wreak remains a wreak with our without accessories.

The system of BPM changed to a CO2 emission taxation. It goes without saying that zero emission cars pay no BPM and dirty cars pay the max. It goes without saying as well that the Dutch imported in high volumes zero emission cars, which resulted in low BPM income for the Government, with the result that zero emission cars pay now BPM as well. From an environmental point of view not a firm policy. It is again a matter of green in the pockets instead of green in the air.

BPM on import cars

Importing a car BPM free

If you are an immigrant into the Netherlands, and you have owned a vehicle in your name for at least 6 months abroad, then you can request with the Dutch customs to import the car within the house hold goods free from BPM.

We have experienced that person terminated their job abroad and took over the company car because it was a nice car, then they moved to the Netherlands and had to pay BPM over the car, even though they have driven the car for a long time, it was owned by them less than six months.

How not to import a car free of BPM

A Dutch resident tax payer took on a job in Germany in 2012 and migrated to Germany. In May 2012 he purchased an Audi S5 from 2009. The employment was terminated April 2013 and this person returned to the Netherlands.

At the border he claimed that the car should be imported BPM free, as he owned the car for more than six months and he claimed to import it in the household goods.

The customs rejected his request. The cause of the rejections was multiple. This Dutch person might have claimed to have moved to Germany, but in fact he had not registered himself in Germany, neither did he pay Germany tax and social premiums over his German income, he was still insured for health care in the Netherland, had a Dutch doctor and dentist. Moreover, he remained registered with city hall in the Netherlands.

All points for the Dutch tax office to determine this person never moved his central point of life from the Netherlands to Germany. Which implies you cannot move it back, thus cannot claim to import the car free of BPM.

GB import?

I do not want to state the obvious, but importing a car from Great Britain, Australia or Japan is also not recommended. No tax related reason, but having a Dutch license plated car with the steering wheel on the side we consider being wrong, will result great difficulty when you would like to sell this car.

Orange Tax Services

We do not assist with the import of cars and BPM tax filings, for that you have specialists. What we do, basically every day, is determining where you  or your company has its residence. You might have the opinion not to be a Dutch tax resident, but if the facts and circumstances proof otherwise, you need to act on that. Here we an assist you.

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