Dutch Tax

Do I need to file a tax return. Even if I haven’t received a blue envelope from the belastingdienst?

The tax authorities will normally send you a tax return when you are in ‘the system’ and the wage tax you paid in the past year did not cover the income tax which means you may have to pay extra income tax or claim a refund. If you have received a provisional refund then you will always receive a tax return.

There are several reasons why the wage tax may not cover the income tax:

Freelance or business income, provisional refund for interest on a mortgage; negative income like education costs, alimony, interest on a mortgage, other costs related to buying a property;child credits are not included in the salary etc.

If you can claim a refund and you haven’t received an invitation from the tax authorities to file a tax return then you can still file a tax return. Expatax can assist you with this and prepare a tax return for you. A tax return can be filed for the last 5 years.

The fact that you arrived in the Netherlands (or left of course) during the year will almost always lead to a refund.

The calculation of the wage tax is based on an (estimated) annual salary. This is your monthly salary times 12 plus holiday allowance. The payroll administration will use the tax rate which is applicable for the annual salary. This tax rate may be lower if you worked in the Netherlands less than 12 months. In the income tax return the real salary will be the basis for the tax calculations.

In the payroll administration the tax credits may not have been calculated for the correct amount.

The (maximum) premium income which is the basis for the calculation of premiums social security will be reduced pro rata according to the period of stay in the Netherlands. In the payroll administration this pro rata reduction can’t be claimed, so it will have to be done in the income tax return.

If you would like to know whether you can (still) claim a refund please contact us. If you know that you (officially) have to pay extra income tax then you have to request a tax return yourself if you haven’t received one before July 1st of the year after the tax year.

The above means that not everybody in the Netherlands needs to file a tax return. Especially for individuals without children who are in the Netherlands for the whole year and have a regular paid job with no other (negative) income the wage tax is the only tax they pay. If you however earn an income which has not been taxed yet, like freelance income, you may have to pay tax and thus file a tax return.

What different types of tax forms are there?

There are different types of forms:

  • P form: tax return for private individuals;
  • form: for foreign residents with income from or certain assets in the Netherlands;
  • M form: for the year of migration;
  • O form: tax return for business owners and freelancers.
  • There are also (online) forms which are used to request a provisional refund or a tax allowance.

What is the deadline for filing a tax return?

The tax authorities send out the invitations to file a tax return from January each year. The invitation can be sent later though. If you have received an invitation to file a tax return a deadline will be applicable. The deadline is mentioned on the invitation. It is important that you check your personal details which are mentioned on the invitation.

The tax authorities determine based on the information they already have about you for the applicable tax year and previous tax years whether you will receive an invitation. The tax authorities receive information from different sources like your employer, banks, mortgage providers, municipality etc. This means that not everybody will receive an invitation.

The standard deadline to file a tax return is May 1 (before 2014 the deadline was April 1). If a foreign period is involved the standard deadline is July 1. The deadline must at least be a month from the moment you receive the invitation. The deadline can be extended by filing a request for a time extension. If Expatax will prepare the tax return we will put your tax return on the special time extension agreement we have with the tax authorities. This way the deadline is extended to May 1 of the following year. But whether you file before May 1 or not, it is important to take action.

If you haven’t received an invitation to file a tax return you don’t have to worry about the May 1 or July 1 deadline. In that case a deadline is not applicable. However, if you know that you will have to pay additional income tax, for example in case you earned income which was not yet taxed at source in the Netherlands, like freelance income or income from abroad, you will have to request a tax return if you did not receive an invitation before August 1.

If you believe you can claim a refund and haven’t received an invitation you can still file a tax return without the invitation. A tax return can be filed for the past 5 years.

30% Ruling

Am I eligible for the 30% ruling?

You can check this yourself by answering a few questions in our simple online tool.

US Tax

I am a US citizen, but I haven’t lived in the US for many years. Do I still need to file my US tax return?

Yes, you do, if you meet the income threshold. Not only are you liable for a Dutch tax return if you live and work in the Netherlands, but you are also still under the obligation to file your 1040 in the States. Your income, filing status and age generally determine whether you must file a return. You can find these income thresholds online.

If you are the dependent of another taxpayer, see the instructions for Form 1040 for more information on whether you must file a return.

The IRS is taking enforcement steps for those who repeatedly choose not to comply with the law. IRS employees will prepare returns when taxpayers do not file. The returns prepared by the IRS might not give credit for deductions and exemptions a taxpayer may be entitled to receive. Bills will be sent to those taxpayers for the tax due, plus penalties and interest.

People who repeatedly don’t comply with the law are subject to additional enforcement measures.

To prevent problems with the IRS we suggest that your US tax return is filed as soon as possible.


I am a contractor who has been hired by a company outside of the Netherlands, can Expatax do my payroll?

Expatax can only set up payrolls for companies, it would not be cost effective for a contractor to set up a payroll in this way. A single contractor who needs payroll services would be best off contacting a so-called Umbrella Company to do this.


What are Expatax’s fees?

Please refer to our pricing section for a list of all our fees.

Do I need to come tot the Expatax office in person?

Almost all of our services can be provided remotely, so this means you do not need to come to our office, unless of course you would like to. We can prepare your taxes digitally using our secure online Client Portal to gather the information and documents we need from you. Our tax advisors will be happy to communicate via email and telephone.

If you would like to come by our office for a face to face meeting with one of our advisors, then of course you are welcome too, however, we ask you to make an appointment first to ensure that the advisor best suited to you is available at that time.

There are a couple of exceptions when you will need to come by in person. For example, if you want to set up a limited company, you will need to sign certain documents at our notaries office.

Disclaimer: The information on our website, FAQ and Knowledge Base are for informational purposes only. For help with your specific situation, please contact us to make an appointment with one of our advisors.