What are collection costs?
Collection costs are the costs that the government has laid down in the Decree on the Collection of Costs Act (WIK: Act of 15 March 2012 amending Book 6 of the Dutch Civil Code and the Code of Civil Procedure). The extrajudicial collection costs may be charged to your customer if timely payment of your invoice(s) is not forthcoming.
Collection Costs Act (WIK) 2020
The amount of the costs to your customer is limited for claims that can be collected since 1 July 2012, fall under the Decree on compensation for extrajudicial collection costs. This is to protect debtors against very high collection costs. The amount of these costs can never exceed € 6,775 and is calculated as follows;
See the scale below:
|Over de eerste € 2.500,00||15% (with a min. € 40.00)|
|About the next € 2,500.00||10%|
|Over the next € 5,000.00||5%|
|Over the next € 190.000,00||1%|
|Anything above €200,000.00||0,5% (max. € 6.775,00)|
Minimum collection costs: There is a legal minimum amount of € 40 for collection costs. The collection agency may always claim this amount. Is your bill, for example, € 300? In that case, the debt collection agency may request 15% over €300 = €45.
Calculate the collection costs yourself here
Calculate the statutory collection costs yourself ( WIK ) here with the collection calculator, enter the amount to be claimed;
Do you have a claim against a consumer or a company?
For the liability of the collection costs and the associated preliminary process, it is important to see whether you have a claim on a company or on a private person.
When do companies owe collection costs?
As a guideline, you can keep in mind that if your invoice is not paid within 30 days, a company will owe automatic collection costs. You do not have to send another reminder to be able to claim the collection costs. In fact, you do not even have to have transferred the claim to a collection agency to charge collection costs to the non-payer!
Article 6:96 paragraph 4 of the Dutch Civil Code describes:
‘In the case of a trade agreement (…) , the reimbursement of costs referred to in paragraph 2 under c consists of at least an amount of 40 euros. This amount is due without notice from the day following the day on which the statutory or agreed payment deadline has passed. It is not possible to deviate from this to the detriment of the creditor.’
Note: The article states that it does not matter whether payment is made before or after reading the demand from the collection agency. The legislator has done this because the legislator believes that the risk of relinquishing a claim because payment has not been made on time should be entirely at the risk of the non-payer.
When do consumers owe collection costs?
In the case of a claim against a consumer, the law (Article 6:96 paragraph 6 of the Dutch Civil Code):
‘If the debtor is a natural person who is not acting in the exercise of a profession or business, the compensation in accordance with the detailed rules can only become due after the debtor, after the default referred to in Section 81, Section 81 of the Dutch Civil Code, has occurred. 6, stating the consequences of the non-payment, including the compensation that is claimed in accordance with the detailed rules, has been demanded of payment within a period of fourteen days, commencing the day after the reminder.’
In normal words: Once a consumer has received the so-called 14-day letter, if payment is not made within the specified period, the consumer owes collection costs. The legislator has done this because the legislator believes that a consumer deserves extra protection and is not simply saddled with extra costs. The legislation for consumers is therefore stricter than for companies.
For more information about the requirements that such a 14-day letter/final reminder must meet, see our separate page about the Final notice
VAT on the collection costs, yes or no?
If you as a client are not liable for VAT, we may pass on the VAT on the collection costs to your customer. If you are subject to VAT yourself, we will pass the VAT on to you. The VAT has been settled as a withholding tax and must be added to the net result. (Of course you can reclaim the VAT charged from the tax authorities, so on balance you pay nothing.)
Are you liable for VAT: then no VAT on the collection costs
Are you not liable for VAT: or VAT on the collection costs?