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The Netherlands and Germany Amend Tax Treaty


On March 24, 2021, the Netherlands and Germany signed a protocol to amend the tax treaty between the two states (the Protocol). The tax treaty prevents, on the one hand, double taxation by companies or citizens and, on the other hand, non-taxation. The Protocol contains agreements on the right to levy taxes on (short-term) social security benefits and clauses to prevent tax avoidance.

The Protocol has not yet entered into force, but it will take effect once parliamentary ratification and the exchange of ratification instruments between the contracting states occurs. This GT Alert summarizes the content of the Protocol.

Social Security Benefits

The Protocol amends the distribution of taxing rights over certain social security benefits, which include the so-called “Krankengeld” (sickness benefit) and “Elterngeld” (benefit for parents of young children). This ensures that in all cases the country providing the social security benefit may also tax it. Amongst other things, this provision ensures that German net social security benefits are not taxed in the Netherlands if they would be exempt in Germany. 

Tax Avoidance

The Protocol contains agreements between the states that prevent the benefits of the treaty from being used solely to avoid taxation. These anti-abuse provisions are in-line with the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project. The treaty now meets the minimum standards of the BEPS project.


The provisions of the Protocol will enter into force once both contracting states have ratified it in accordance with national constitutional procedures. Subsequently, the provisions of the Protocol will take effect on the first day of January in the following calendar year.

©2021 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 104



About this Author

Paul Schouten Tax Attorney Greenberg Traurig Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Associate

Paul Schouten is a tax lawyer and attorney-at-law. He focuses his practice on national and international tax structures.


  • Group reorganizations
  • International tax structuring
  • International and national corporate taxation
  • Mergers and acquisitions
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Reinier van de Steenoven  Shareholder Tax

Reinier van de Steenoven is a business-focused tax lawyer who has vast experience in providing practical tax advice to clients ranging from listed multinational corporations to high-net-worth individuals. He counsels his clients in a wide range of corporate transactions, with a particular focus on real estate. Reinier has experience with many different aspects of international taxation, including planning of complex cross-border tax structures, VAT and transfer tax optimization, application of tax treaties and tax litigation. He also writes articles for the Dutch Documentation for Tax Law...

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