Tax return Netherlands

Doing your income tax return in the Netherlands

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The start of the year is a signal to begin your tax return in the Netherlands. Expatica explains the Dutch income tax, tax refunds and how to file a Dutch tax return.

The start of the year doesn’t just bring New Year’s resolutions, but also the need to settle your income tax return. In the Netherlands, the fiscal year runs from 1 January to 31 December. Around the first week of February the tax authorities start sending invitations to submit your income tax return. In general, the tax return has to be submitted before 1 May. However, if you submit your return before 1 April, the tax authorities will assess your return before 1 July.

If you receive the tax form much later than February, a different submission date will be applicable. This date will be mentioned on the form.

Types of Dutch tax return

The Dutch tax authority issues five different types of Dutch tax returns forms.

> P form: Most common tax form for those who are in a regular employment situation and have resided in the Netherlands the entire year.

> M form: For those who arrived in the Netherlands during the year and became a resident or for those who were a resident and left the Netherlands during the year.

> C form: For non-residents who have had Dutch-sourced income during the year.

> W form: For those who have had income from self-employment.

> F form: For relatives of a deceased person.

Calculating your Dutch income tax

If you work in an employment situation, payroll tax is withheld from your salary. The Dutch income tax calculation would be as follows:

  • Salary – EUR 100,000
  • Dutch income tax due on salary – EUR 42,000
  • Less payroll tax on salary – EUR 42,000
  • Balance – 0

This means that if you work in an employment situation the full year, you will most likely not have to pay any additional Dutch income income tax. If you are in such a situation, you will probably not even receive an invitation from the Dutch tax authority to file a tax declaration in the Netherlands.

If you haven’t received an invitation to submit your Dutch tax return, you can request the Dutch tax authority to issue a tax form on your behalf. If you know you have to report Dutch income tax to the authorities that hasn’t yet been taxed, you are obliged to request a form and submit your Dutch tax return. On the other hand, if you had tax deductible expenses, you may want to submit your return to get a tax refund in the Netherlands.

However, even in case you do not have anything to declare other than your regular employment income, it can still be worthwhile to submit a Dutch tax return. For instance, if you and your partner both work and have a child under the age of 12, you may be entitled to the income-depending combination tax credit, which is maximum EUR 2,769.

Dutch income tax

How to file your Dutch tax return

If you do not use the service of a financial advisor, you can also file your Dutch tax return yourself. Your tax declaration has to be submitted electronically, for which you must first download the software program from the website Once completed, you can then submit your Dutch tax return electronically by using your DigiD. In case you do not yet have a DigiD, you can you request one through

Paying Dutch income tax

After you have submitted your tax return in the Netherlands, you will receive a preliminary assessment from the Dutch tax authority. In cases where you were invited by the tax authorities to submit your return before 1 May, and you filed your return before 1 April, you will receive a notice after 10 to 12 weeks about paying Dutch income tax. If your tax return was submitted with either a C or an M form, it may take up to 24 weeks or more.

Initially you will receive a preliminary assessment from the tax authorities, which is based on your tax return but without being checked by the Dutch tax authority. Once they have checked the return, a final assessment on your Dutch income tax will follow.

Extensions for your tax declaration

If you cannot meet the deadline for filing the return, you can request for an extension. The tax authorities will impose a penalty for late filing, so it is important to keep a close eye on the deadline.

Filing your first year’s return with an M form

If you came to live or work in the Netherlands in the course of the year or left the Netherlands in the course of the year, then filing a Dutch tax return as an expat may well be advantageous for you.

Dutch income tax and wage is calculated on the basis of four progressive tax brackets. The higher your income, the higher your tax bracket. The wage tax that is withheld at source from your salary is levied on the basis of your estimated annual salary, which is then calculated back to a monthly amount. Therefore, if you have only worked for half a year in the Netherlands, your gross annual salary will be lower than estimated. The amount of wage tax withheld will therefore be too high. A Dutch tax return can result in a rebate of this wage tax.

Retrospective Dutch income tax

Should you have just found out you were probably entitled to a rebate for previous years, but you never filed a tax return, no worries! You can file your Dutch tax returns retrospective for five years. So, for example, it is still possible to file your 2013 tax returns until 31 December 2017.

In short, it can be worthwhile to consider filing a Dutch tax return and pay Dutch income taxes, even if you have not received an invitation yet.


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3 Comments To This Article

  • Derek posted:

    on 24th March 2017, 09:00:14 - Reply

    I've used the services of Finsens (now Broadstreet) since losing my '30%' entitlement in 2011. In filing a joint return for my wife and I, both of us being full time employees of different multinational corporations, I've never been disatisfied with their professional service, nor the result of their actions as seen by the tax rebates. They even uncovered errors in previous tax filings by KPMG that returned to me a large sum of overpaid tax.
  • Anon posted:

    on 22nd March 2017, 16:15:02 - Reply

    To add here, I also had problems with Orange Tax consultancy who tried to get me to have them file my taxes when there was no need (I am taxed directly at source). They created uncertainty - that they could then of course solve for a fee. Fortunately, a friend helped check my tax liability and as I suspected, this company was stirring up trouble for no reason, other than to potentially financially benefit them. I do NOT recommend them!
  • Brian posted:

    on 25th March 2015, 16:42:34 - Reply

    Just a note for everybody to watch out - I see adverts all over expatica for Blue Umbrella's tax service that suggest they are experts in international taxes. For me, they made errors in the law and in judgment which could have cost me thousands of euros. If you choose to go with them, make sure you understand the details of what they're doing because their advice is completely wrong.

    I don't have experience with finsens - it seems like their advice above is quite good. But I do suggest avoiding the Blue Umbrella.