The model agreement
Since the introduction of a new law called Wet deregulering beoordeling arbeidsrelaties (DBA) in May 2016, both contractor and client may be held responsible for payroll taxes and contributions if in retrospect regular employment is involved instead of just an assignment. This means the end of the VAR and the introduction of model agreements.
Using a model agreement
With the model agreements the Dutch Tax Administration wants to determine the difference between employment or an assignment. If you work with a model agreement approved by the Tax Administration, it is clear that the work is considered an assignment and that the client is not responsible for payroll taxes and contributions.
You can make use of model agreements approved by the Tax Administration for any commission but this is not compulsory by law. If the client agrees, you are also alowed to send invoices for your work without a signed model agreement.
- There is no point in a model agreement unless you are not in ‘normal’ paid employment and are not paid by payrolling.
- You obviously have to work according to what is agreed upon in the model agreement, if not, the model agreement is not valid.
- A signed model agreement does not mean that the Tax Office automatically recognises you as a self-employed entrepreneur.
- You can send an invoice if you have a signed agreement, but you can only apply VAT if you also have a VAT registration number.
Approved model agreements
The Tax Administration published several approved model agreements on their website. General and individual model agreements are available per sector and profession. You can find them on the website of the Tax Administration.
See below for weblinks to model agreements in the arts and cultural sector. Most of the agreements were drawn up in 2016 and had a term of five years. An extension is required to be valid. The drafter of the model agreement can request this. After a while expired agreements are removed from the website of the Tax Administration.
Transitional period until 2025
Since the new law does not work as well as planned, there will be no strict enforcement. The Dutch government is looking for alternatives to implement in the future.