Owning a dog in the Netherlands? If so, there’s a chance you’ll have to pay a dog tax. Many people who decide to move to the Netherlands wonder if moving with a dog is easy to proceed and if there are any extra costs related to having a dog in any of the Dutch municipalities. In order to keep you up-to-date with the current regulations, I have done some research to answer the question: Is there a dog tax in the Netherlands?
Yes, in most cases you have to pay a dog tax in the Netherlands. It all depends on the municipality you live in. In some places (147 municipalities) you don’t have to pay any dog tax. The tax also depends on the number of dogs – the tax is higher if you have more dogs.
Dog tax is only dependent on the place you live. It makes no difference if your dog is small or big. Also, the way you breed your furry friend is irrelevant – you even have to pay the tax if your dog doesn’t go outside. In the article, you will find some more information about the tax itself and also the amounts you have to pay in different municipalities.
Dog Tax in the Netherlands
An annual hondenbelasting (dog tax) is charged in most Dutch cities. The dog tax is one of the oldest taxes in the country. It was established to limit the number of dogs in the cities. Besides an owner’s address, the tariff also depends on the number of dogs – it usually increases with each additional dog. Of all pets, only dogs require a tax and a registration. For example, such regulations don’t concern cats. On top of paying the tax, you also have to register your dog at the local town hall and the Dutch Tax Administration. To find your local town hall address go to Google and type: “Your City Name Gemmente” Keep in mind that in most cases you have to arrange a meeting upfront, so it’s better to call them before you visit Gemmente in person. In order to register your dog, you can either apply for it in person or just fill out and send off special forms. You should declare a dog within a set period of time – it ranges from 14 days to 3 months. You can register more than one dog at once. If you miss the deadline or forget to declare your dog, you’ll receive a fine. Once your dog is officially registered, it will be given a small metal tag with some info. The dog should wear it on its collar. What is quite interesting, in some Dutch cities municipalities regularly check if people have dogs. They carry out door-to-door checks to see if there are unregistered dogs living there.
Dog Tax in Particular Dutch Municipalities
As mentioned above, dog taxes vary per municipality. The average is now 76 Euro per year (1 Euro more than in 2018). The following municipalities have the highest dog tax: Groningen (124.8 Euro for the first dog), The Hague (120.12 Euro for the first dog), Hendrik Ido Ambacht (119.64 Euro for the first dog), Nijmegen (115.16 Euro for the first dog) and Noordwijk (112.56 Euro for the first dog). If you have 3 dogs or more, the dog tax will be the highest in the following cities: Heerlen (around 755 Euro in total), Groningen (546 Euro in total), The Hague (530 Euro in total), Korendijk (520 Euro in total) and Brunssum (515 Euro in total).
In the table below, you will find current fees for dog owners in different municipalities.
|Municipality||Dog Tax (to the nearest ten)|
|The Hague||120 Euro for 1 dog, 310 Euro for 2 dogs, 550 Euro for 3 dogs|
|Groningen||120 Euro for 1 dog, 180 Euro for the second dog|
|Hendrik Ido Ambacht||120 Euro for 1 dog, 320 Euro for 2 dogs, 510 Euro for 3 dogs, 710 Euro for a kennel|
|Nijmegen||115 Euro for 1 dog, 170 Euro for each next dog|
|Noordwijk||110 Euro for 1dog, 170 Euro for the second dog, 220 Euro for each next dog, 480 Euro for a kennel|
|Breda||100 Euro for 1 dog, 180 Euro for each next dog, 710 Euro for a kennel|
|Den Bosch||80 Euro for 1 dog, 130 Euro for 2 dogs, 170 Euro for each next dog|
|Eindhoven||80 Euro for 1 dog, 150 Euro for the second dog, 380 Euro for dogs kept in kennels|
|Maastricht||80 Euro for 1 dog, 120 Euro for the second dog, 150 Euro for each next dog, 340 Euro for dogs kept in kennels|
|Oegstgeest||90 Euro for 1 dog, 120 Euro for the second dog, 140 Euro for each next dog, 530 Euro for dogs kept in kennels|
|Tilburg||110 Euro for 1 dog, 260 Euro for 2 dogs, 180 Euro for each next dog, 340 Euro for dogs kept in kennels|
|Voorschoten||90 Euro for 1 dog, 130 Euro for the second dog, 170 Euro for each next dog, 180 Euro for dogs kept in kennels|
|Wassenaar||90 Euro for 1 dog, 13 Euro for the second dog, 170 Euro for each next dog, 180 Euro for dogs kept in kennels|
|Katwijk||110 Euro for each dog, 460 Euro for a kennel|
|Heerlen||85 Euro for 1 dog, 230 Euro for the second dog, 450 Euro for each next dog, 1,220 Euro for a kennel|
|Korendijk||85 Euro for 1 dog, 85 Euro for each next dog, 430 Euro for a kennel|
|Brunssum||75 Euro for 1 dog, 150 Euro for the second dog, 300 Euro for each next dog, 1,000 Euro for a kennel|
|Hilversum||100 Euro for 1 dog, 170 Euro for the second dog, 240 Euro for each next dog, 270 Euro for a kennel|
|De Bilt||100 Euro for 1 dog, 200 Euro for the second dog|
In most regions, the dog tax must be paid in full in 1 installment. The deadline is usually around 2 months. Very often you can also choose to pay by direct debit with payments spread out over the year. If you are unable to pay the tax on time, you can request a payment scheme (it doesn’t concern people who own their own company or are self-employed though). There is also an option for a tax waiver for those who are unable to pay the tax at all. However, this only applies to the tax amount for the first dog. What is more, people who have a guide or service dog can apply for a dog tax exemption.
Are There Municipalities That Have No Dog Tax?
Yes. 147 municipalities are free from dog taxes. Also, some cities have recently abolished the dog tax, even if it existed for a long time. For example, the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Leiden, Almere, Zeist and Delft do not charge the dog tax. In March, 2019 thirty additional Dutch municipalities decided to scrap the dog tax. The main reason is that the tax is very difficult to collect. Besides, it might seem unfair for other pets’ owners (cats etc.). However, around 200 municipalities still have the dog tax.
Some More Info About Pet Regulation in the Netherlands
Most of the latest regulations on pet were introduced in 2017. Among the others, an official list of dangerous or high-risk dogs was presented. The list includes 20 breeds that are considered to be potentially dangerous: rottweilers, bull mastiffs, akitas, Caucasian shepherds and several varieties of pitbull and bull terriers. All owners of those particular breeds are required to attend a special course in order to learn how to deal with their dogs properly and, in consequence, to reduce dog attacks in the country. There was also a plan to introduce a ban on import and breed some of the abovementioned breeds. Together with the list, another regulation was implemented – from 2017 animals are only allowed to be kept as pets if they are listed on the government’s positive list. If you are a dog owner, you should also check, where your dog is free to walk without a leash and where it is allowed to relieve itself. Otherwise, you can get a heavy fine.
And What About Other Taxes?
The dog tax is not the only one increasing each year. In general, taxes paid by homeowners have increased by approximately 2.7% when compared to the year 2018. Municipal taxes have increased by around 3.5%, water board taxes by 2.3% and provincial taxes by 0.3%. In 2019, the average household has to pay around 1,264 Euros in taxes. When it comes to taxes, the most expensive place to live is Bloemendaal (2,051 Euro) and the cheapest is Gilze en Rijen (995 Euro).
The Final Word
As you can see, owning a dog is not cheap in the Netherlands. However, the Netherlands is one of the most expensive European countries when it comes to costs of living so I am not very surprised. The good this is, some municipalities decide to give up on the dog tax. This is a great info for those who love pets but couldn’t afford owning them before. On the other hand, such tax is useful – in a certain sense it limits the number of dogs in 1 household which means that the risk of illegal breeding might be a bit lower.