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I have not lived or worked in the Netherlands the whole year. Can I claim a refund?

Tax refund if you were not in the Netherlands the entire year

The fact that you arrived in or left the Netherlands during the year will almost always lead to a refund. The same if you were not living in the Netherlands at all but only worked here for a short period.

The following reasons can be given:


  1. 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.
  2. In the payroll administration the tax credits may not have been calculated for the correct amount. 
  3. The (maximum) premium income which is the basis for the calculation of premiums social security will be reduced pro rate 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.
  4. Sometimes the 30% ruling has not yet been calculated in the monthly salary since the statement was not received by the employer from the tax authorities before the end of the year. It may then be possible to claim the ruling in the tax return, although this will lead to discussions with the tax authorities who can argue that it is the employer's responsibility to adjust the payroll administration. There have been situations where the Court accepted the deduction in the tax return.

The above doesn't mean that you automatically receive back all the paid wage tax. But the refund can be considerable. Expatax can of course help you claim the tax refund you are entitled to.
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Comments (14)
Comment by anitha on Tue, Mar 13th, 2012 at 3:48 PM
In my salary 33% of premium industrial tax is cutting, and I came from India for 89 days working in the Netherlands, so that tax return is eligible for us or not.
Comment by arjan enneman on Wed, Mar 14th, 2012 at 11:08 AM
since you did not work in the netherlands the entire year you should be able to claim back (part of) the premiums social security which were withheld. this can be done by filing a tax return.
Comment by geronimo on Fri, Mar 22nd, 2013 at 9:25 AM
during my tax returns, do i add the z.v.w to the loonheffing stated on my payslip, if i am staying on a short term contract until january 2014. ? or this is the social security which will not be returned until i become unemployed.
Comment by arjan enneman on Sat, Mar 23rd, 2013 at 1:05 PM
the zvw premium on your payslip/year end statement is the premium which is paid by your employer to the tax authorities. this is the income related health insurance premium besides the nominal premium which you pay directly to an insurance company every month. so don‘t add it to the loonheffing.
Comment by vj on Wed, Feb 12th, 2014 at 7:05 PM
How is the tax back on the M form calculated? Does it depend only on number of days worked in NL or does it also include my work days in other countries?
Comment by arjan enneman on Fri, Feb 21st, 2014 at 5:51 PM
VJ, during the period you are living in the Netherlands you have to report your world wide income in your Dutch tax return, including foreign work days. This is the standard rule. In this situation you did not pay tax on the income in another country where you worked. If you have the U.S. nationality or U.S. greencard and the 30% ruling is granted to you, foreign work days will be exempted though.
Comment by rasha on Mon, Jun 16th, 2014 at 8:56 PM
i arrived to the netherlands in 18-3-2013 but i started to work on 1-8-2013 and till now, my gross salary is 2700, and i pay 741 as tax monthly. so 5 months worked in amsterdam in 2013, i am doing my tax return, do i get money back from the day i arrived or i worked?
Comment by mariana on Wed, Sep 17th, 2014 at 5:18 PM
I lived and was registered during the full year of 2013 in the Netherlands.However I did not work or had an income for 5 months. I submitted my tax declaration online via the ‘Online aangifteprogramma 2013‘ using my Digid code.Am I entitled to a tax return?Do I have to fill in another tax form for that?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Fri, Sep 26th, 2014 at 11:29 AM
@mariana. Since you did no??t work in the Netherlands the whole year you may indeed be entitled to a tax refund. Since you lived in the Netherlands the whole year, you are tax resident for the entire year and the online program can indeed be used. You do not have to do anything else.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Thu, Oct 15th, 2015 at 10:50 AM
In the tax return the period of stay in the Netherlands will be declared. Based on that the premiums social security are calculated. The fact that you worked for a shorter period than the period of stay will be of influence too.
Comment by Neil Rivington on Sun, May 29th, 2016 at 11:07 AM
Hi. I start working September in Amsterdam. I will be leaving in July, since it isnt a full 12 months. Would i be considered for a sizeable return? What do you get back, obvious tax/deductions. Anything from your health insurance company? Is it just a case of filling the M form or is it a visit to the town hall recommended?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, May 30th, 2016 at 5:53 PM
Since you didn‘t work in the Netherlands in both years you can file a tax return for 2015 and 2016 and claim some money back (assuming that wage tax was withheld on the salary you earned). How high the refund will be depends the salary you received and the tax which was paid. It could be a sizeable amount. An M form will indeed have to be filed for both years. Expatax can help, see The health insurance premiums have to be paid for the period you are insured. There should not be a refund for that.
Comment by John Wu on Fri, Mar 3rd, 2017 at 5:14 AM
Hello. I am foreign citizen, working in the Netherlands during 2016 with 30% ruling, registered as resident there. I emigrated in July but still received my Dutch salary up until January 2017. Will there be a case of tax refund in my case?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Sep 19th, 2017 at 2:16 PM
@John, your Dutch salary will have been related to the period you worked in the Netherlands which means that the salary is still taxed in the netherlands. But only tax, no premiums social security. If premiums were withheld it is good to file a tax return. For the rest it depends on the quality of the payroll administration of your Dutch employer.
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