Next event in:

  • 00 DAYS
  • 00 HR
  • 00 MIN
  • 00 SEC

Dutch Citizens Rally Against Sweeping VAT Increases

Categories: Latest News,Tax

 A nationwide campaign has surged across the country in opposition to the proposed Dutch VAT increase from 9% to 21% on cultural, sports, and media services. Set to take effect in 2026, this tax hike is part of a strategy by the coalition government, which includes the PVV, VVD, NSC, and BBB parties, to generate 1.2 billion euros annually. The planned VAT hike will impact a wide range of sectors, including accommodations, books, concerts, museums, theatre performances, and sports activities. However, cinemas and campsites will continue to enjoy the lower 9% rate due to pre-existing agreements.

a clock next to a jar of coins that says VAT


The campaign, named #geenhogerebtw (no higher VAT), is backed by an alliance of influential associations. Key supporters include the Dutch Olympic Committee, the football association KNVB, Koninklijke Horeca Nederland, and Kunsten ’92. The book publishing industry, Federatie Cultuur, and NDP Nieuwsmedia have also joined the effort. The book industry’s petition to maintain affordable book prices has already secured over 230,000 signatures.

men playing football

Affected Cultural and Sports Activities

The increase in VAT is seen as a significant threat to the accessibility of cultural and sports activities. The Platform for Entrepreneurial Sports Providers (POS) has cautioned that higher costs could dissuade people from engaging in fitness and sports, harming public health.

The Dutch Association of Theatrical Producers (VVTP) and the Event Organizers’ Association (VVEM) are concerned that higher ticket prices for concerts, festivals, and theatre performances will decrease public attendance.

The media sector is equally worried, with over 30 newspapers and news outlets calling the VAT hike a “threat to diversity.” Editors from major publications like Volkskrant, NRC, Trouw, AD, and Telegraaf argue that higher costs could reduce subscriptions and limit access to investigative journalism, especially for lower-income individuals.

Booksellers and publishers fear that the VAT hike will raise book prices, reduce sales, and set back literacy promotion.

The inside of the Tuchinski Cinema in Amsterdam

Cinemas Exempt From Dutch VAT Increase

Cinemas, however, are exempt from the VAT hike due to an earlier agreement that preserves the lower rate in exchange for investments in Dutch film productions. This agreement, involving contributions from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Netherlands Film Fund, and film distributors, ensures that cinema tickets stay affordable.

For all your Dutch tax related questions, including on VAT, consult our Tax Advisors listing.