New Protocol to Netherlands – Poland tax treaty introduces 0% dividend withholding tax for pension funds


header - dividend withholding tax reclaims in the Netherlands

On 29 October, the Netherlands and Poland concluded a Protocol to their double tax treaty. The Protocol introduces amendments to the treaty. One of them is a 0% dividend withholding tax rate for “recognized pension funds generally exempt from tax”. Under the current version of the treaty, the rate is still 15%. This Protocol fits within the Dutch tax treaty policy. One of its objectives is to achieve 0% dividend withholding tax for pension funds.

The Netherlands and Poland already have an exemption from dividend withholding tax under domestic tax law . These exemptions are also applied to foreign pension funds under certain conditions. In addition, pension funds may also be eligible for 0% dividend withholding tax under the EU treaty (free movement of capital).

Pension funds may have difficulties obtaining the 0% rate under the exemption in domestic tax law or under the free movement of capital. If so, they will now have an extra possibility to claim 0% under the tax treaty. The benefit of a tax treaty claim is that it often refers to the recognition of pension funds in their residence country. The domestic tax law exemption and the free movement of capital look at the conditions and qualifications in the source country. The latter conditions and qualifications can be more difficult to meet. From this perspective, the introduction of a 0% rate under the double tax treaty is still a welcome improvement. The Protocol will enter into effect on or after 1 January after the year in which both countries have fulfilled constitutional approval. When that will be depends entirely on the approval process. At the very soonest it could be 1 January 2022. But it could also be 2023. Or even later.