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File a tax return in the Netherlands as a couple or individually


Question:
 
My wife works in the Netherlands and receives the 30% ruling and will continue to receive it for the next 6 years.  I moved to the Netherlands in April, but am not working here.  I receive income from the US: pension from ca state univ, income from working, rent and income from sale of farm goods. Should we file separate returns or as a couple?
 
Answer:
 
In the Netherlands tax returns are filed individually. But if you are fiscal partners it is possible to divide certain shared income and tax deductions over both tax returns the way it is most beneficial to you.
 
Be aware that in your case you will have to report your world wide income in the Dutch tax return, including all US income, since you are living in the Netherlands. For certain income you can claim an exemption again to prevent double taxation since the US has a higher right to tax the income based on the tax treaty between the Netherlands and the US. For tax paid in the Netherlands you may claim a foreign tax credit in your US tax return. By dividing income from savings and investments to your wifes tax return, you can also benefit from the 30% ruling which is granted to your wife, since she will not have to pay tax on these savings and investments (as long as she has the 30% ruling and opted in her tax return to be treated as partial non resident for tax purposes).
 
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