Tax credits

Partner without income

Financial advantage through tax credit for partner with the least earnings?


Last modified: 2 February 2017


Do you have a tax partner with no income or who earns less than you do? If so, under certain conditions you can apply for the general tax credit for the partner with the least earnings. Unfortunately, we see that people often forget to apply for this tax credit. Therefore, we would like to explain what your rights are and how you can apply them.


If two people are fiscal partners and one of the two has no income or earns very little (and therefore doesn’t pay taxes),  then the tax credit can be applied based on the salary of the partner who does have an income. Unlike with the transfer of the regular tax deductions to a partner, the tax credit isn’t deducted from the tax that the partner with the biggest income pays, but rather it is paid out to the lowest earner by way of a negative tax assessment.


  • You are at least 21 years of age.
  • You have had the same fiscal partner for at least 6 months. You can also be a widow or widower.
  • You have little or no income to be able to apply the maximum general tax credit.
  • The income of your fiscal partner is high enough.

How high is the general tax credit for the partner with the lowest earnings?

Not only is the amount of your income and that of your partner important, but also the birth year of the applicant.

If you were born before 1963, then you are entitled to the maximum general tax credit for the partner with the least earnings. For 2017 the amount is € 2.254 (2016: € 2.242).

If the applicant for the tax credit was born in or after 1963, then you are entitled to € 902 in 2017 (2016: 1.047).

How to apply

The general tax credit can be applied for at the same time as the yearly tax return or through a preliminary tax assessment. You can file your tax return for up to 5 years back.

Gradual phasing out of the general tax credit

Something to keep in mind is  that the tax credit is being lowered each year and will be completely phased out by the year 2024. Because of this gradual phasing out of the credit, it can be that you receive less in 2017 than you did in 2016, although this also depends on your age and the conditions of the tax authorities.