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Bank savings and 30% ruling. Foreign bank accounts. What to declare?


Dear Arjan, I've been living in the Netherlands for almost 6 years, and worked for the same company since my arrival. I qualify for the 30% ruling, and my employer informed me that there will be no change to my 30% status. I've built up some savings here since arriving, and kept this amount in my Dutch bank account. I therefore pay tax in the Netherlands on this each year. If I now send some of the savings abroad, do I still have to declare the sent abroad amount in the annual tax return?
Since you are already benefiting from the 30% ruling for more than 5 years the changes in the ruling as of January 1, 2012 will indeed not affect you.

Benefit of the 30% ruling is that in the annual income tax return you can opt to be treated as partial non-resident for tax purposes. This means that you can declare your income as if you are a non resident but on the other hand still claim tax deductions as if you are resident. Benefit of this option is that you will not have to declare all your savings and investments in Box 3. Bank savings for example will not have to be declared in your Dutch tax return. The "assumption" is that you will declare these in another country but this will not be checked and is not a requirement at all. So if you did declare your Dutch savings in the past you will have paid too much tax in these years if the savings where higher than the threshold. If the tax return has not been processed by the tax authorities or 6 weeks have not passed  yet since you received the final tax assessment it is still possible to request the tax authorities to adjust the tax return or to object against the tax assessment. If this period has passed already it is still possible to kindly request the tax authorities to reconsider the assessment which is most of the times accepted.

So in this light it doesn't make a difference whether you keep your savings on a Dutch bank account or on a foreign bank account. It doesn't have to be reported in both situations. On the other hand, if you would not opt for partial non residence for tax purposes but choose to be treated as a normal tax resident you would have to report your worldwide savings, so no matter where the bank account would be held.
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Comments (26)
Comment by subbu on Tue, Mar 20th, 2012 at 9:27 AM
how to know our current tax status and how to change the status to partial resident tax payer. in the aangifte software nothing we can do for this and tax is calculated for box2 en box3. so any idea.
Comment by arjan enneman on Thu, Mar 29th, 2012 at 1:42 PM
the tax authorities do not provide a statement anymore showing your tax status. instead the choice can be made each year in the tax return. there is no box to tick. if you choose for partial non residence you just don‘t declare your savings and investments in box 3 with the exeption of a second property in the netherlands and for box 2 a substantial interest in a dutch company.
Comment by subbu on Thu, Mar 29th, 2012 at 1:47 PM
i donno which version is i talked to tax office they said for box we need to declare the savings in nederlands and foreign savings can be if you have income more than taxable i.e 44,000 then we need to declare. which one is correct.if possible can you clarify.
Comment by arjan enneman on Thu, Mar 29th, 2012 at 2:09 PM
the tax authorities are wrong. art. 7.7-2 income tax law: taxed in box 3 (for a (partial) non resident) is income related to properties based in the netherlands (which are not part of box 1 already) and rights related to such properties and certain claims on business profits. other savings or investments are not mentioned and therefore not taxed in case of partial non residence status. so don‘t declare any bank accounts not even if the amount is above ? 44,000 like the tax authorities tried to make you believe. that is why expatax is assisting expats, to defend them against wrong information or actions from the tax authorities...
Comment by Enright on Thu, Sep 18th, 2014 at 6:04 PM
What is the consequence of opting to be partial non-resident? (Apart from being excempted from box 3) Will we lose some rights?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Sat, Feb 28th, 2015 at 6:58 PM
There is in principle no disadvantage if you opt for partial non residency. You don
Comment by Nick Hamm on Sun, Mar 13th, 2016 at 5:58 PM
This is useful information. Can I find this written down somewhere? Is there a weblink or a document?
Comment by Roman Gaehwiler on Sun, Mar 27th, 2016 at 2:03 PM
Hi, I do have the 30% ruling, therefore I will not declare anything on my savings. My question is, what happens with the savings of my wife, as we are fiscal partners. Does she have to declare her savings or can we leave it blank too? If we need to declare her savings, can I move the amount of her savings on to my side or can we split this amount? Thanks, Roman
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Fri, Apr 15th, 2016 at 11:15 AM
@ Nick This is based on article 2.6 of the Income Tax Law. See also the website of the tax authorities. Search for "partiele buitenlandse belastingplicht"
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Fri, Apr 15th, 2016 at 11:43 AM
@Roman SInce you are married you are automatically fiscal partners. In the tax returns your wifes assets can be divided to you and since you have the 30% ruling you don‘t have to declare them. So in this way your wife also benefits of your 30% ruling.
Comment by intan on Thu, Apr 21st, 2016 at 8:59 PM
Hi Arjan Do you have any readings/explanation about calculation of saving tax in (my) dutch bank accounts. I have been saving for almost 3 years and suspect about high tax on it if it passes certain threshold. I guess its the 44K you mentioned in comments here. in another forum says tax exempt for saving is only 21K. So which one is true, and how big is the tax on saving. With my 30% ruling, how much can i exempt from dutch tax for saving in Dutch bank? I hope you can clarify my confusion.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Thu, Apr 21st, 2016 at 11:01 PM
The tax free amount was € 21,139 per person (so double if you have a fiscal partner) till 2016. From 2016 the tax free amount is € 24,437 per person. See also If you have the 30% ruling you don‘t have to declare the savings at all.
Comment by Sabina on Mon, May 2nd, 2016 at 8:35 PM
Hello, I have a fiscal partner who has 30% ruling , but I do no˜t have it. We together own a home in India .. Should this be declared in my tax return in box 3? What about the income in Dutch savings account? We have a joint account?
Comment by K on Tue, May 3rd, 2016 at 10:12 PM
I am living in the Netherlands since mid 2011. I have the 30% ruling since I came to the Netherlands. I changed my job and moved to another company in January 2014 but I kept my 30% ruling. I have exceeding amount in my savings account. I have never sent any decleration to tax authorities so far or never applied for tax return. I never received any letter from them either. Am I in deep trouble? Do I need to pay any tax over my savings or submit any declaration what so ever?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Fri, May 27th, 2016 at 11:42 AM
@Sabina SInce you are fiscal partners the 30% ruling can also be a benefit for you in Box 3. This means that the home in India and the joint account won‘t have to be declared by you either.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Fri, May 27th, 2016 at 11:45 AM
@K, No you are not in trouble. You don‘t need to declare the savings account. The tax authorities are aware of your savings account, so if they were in doubt they would have contacted you. But since you have the 30% ruling you can opt to be treated as partial non resident for tax purposes and thus dont have to declare the savings account. Don‘t worry :)
Comment by Alex on Fri, Jun 10th, 2016 at 8:12 PM
Hi, I just bought a house in the Netherlands and I ha€˜ve the 30 % ruling. Will it be any main differences in my tax declaration next year (besides the normal declaration when you have a house of course)? Anything particular I need to think about? Thanks! Alex
Comment by NP on Fri, Aug 12th, 2016 at 8:55 AM
Hi Arjan, my 30% ruling will end on 31-mar-2017. I have a few questions about it. Q1. Since I had 30% ruling for the whole of 2016, I can safely blank out all the savings, etc amounts from my 2016 tax return Box3 (due to be filed in Apr-2017), right? Q2. For my 2017 tax return (due to be filed in Apr-2018), how do I pro-rata the fact that I had 30% benefit for a quarter of the year? This gets a little more confusing since the 1,2% tax rate for Box3 will become tax slabs from 2017 onwards. Q3. In order to reduce my Box3 taxes in 2017, I plan to use a significant chunk of my savings to prepay my home loan on 30-dec-2016. This will bring down my Box3 tax amount as well as reduce my monthly home loan payments. Do you think this is wise? Cheers, NP
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Aug 17th, 2016 at 2:43 PM
In your annual tax return you will have to declare the house. If it is your principal residence then you can also deduct the interest you paid on the house loan and the costs related to the loan. There is nothing extra you need to do in your tax return with respect to the house since you have the 30% ruling. Expatax can of course assist with the tax return.
Comment by Zaid on Wed, Oct 5th, 2016 at 9:02 PM
Hi, I still have my 30% rulling although i have got my Dutch passport last year, can i opt still to be treated as a partial non resident for tax purposes? In other world should i declare my saving?
Comment by AK on Tue, Oct 18th, 2016 at 8:51 PM
Dear Arjan, I have a question on savings account in NL. Recently, I had to lend money to a relative in India and now I am supposed to get back the money as a bank transfer in my Dutch bank account. Would this attract tax in NL? Thank you.
Comment by Jannis on Sat, Nov 5th, 2016 at 9:34 AM
Hi Arjan, just a quick related follow-up question: I am a German citizen who recently moved to the Netherlands. I benefit from the 30% ruling and I will probably declare my taxes as a partial non-resident taxpayer. Now, I still have a German savings account that generates some interest. If I do not pay taxes on this here in the Netherlands due to my partial non-resident status, does this mean that the right of taxation for my (German) savings account interest automatically reverts back to the German state? In other words, in which country will this be taxed -- or will it even be taxed at all? (According to German tax law, I would normally only pay tax on most kinds of capital interest if I have a residence in Germany, which I do not). I appreciate your help!
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Nov 7th, 2016 at 4:15 PM
@NP: as long as you have the 30% ruling you don‘t have to declare your savings in your Dutch tax return. So for 2016 nothing needs to be declared. For 2017 the applicable percentage can be reduced pro rata based on the number of months you don‘t have the 30% ruling. We haven‘t worked out yet how this will be done with the brackets in 2017. You can indeed use your savings to pay of the house loan. You will save tax in Box 3 but on the other hand lose a tax deduction if the loan was used to buy your principal residence. But you the gross interest you will pay on the loan will also go down. So you will have to calculate whether paying off the loan is beneficial.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Nov 7th, 2016 at 4:16 PM
@Zaid: as long as you have the 30% ruling you can opt to be treated as partial non resident. Your Dutch passport doesn‘t affect this option.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Nov 7th, 2016 at 4:18 PM
@AK: the bank transfer itself doesn‘t attract tax. Also your box 3 total assets didn‘t change. You just get back the money to which you were already entitled to.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Nov 7th, 2016 at 4:21 PM
@Jannis: as a partial non resident you don‘t have to declare the German bank account. That is where it ends for the Dutch tax authorities. They don‘t check or care whether you have to pay tax for this account in another country. They just say that you don‘t pay any tax on this account in the Netherlands and that it is irrelevant whether you pay tax on it somewhere else.
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