A Guide for Expats: How do I file my tax return in the Netherlands?

If you’ve recently relocated, the prospect of filing a tax return for the first time in the new country can be mystifying. Rest assured, the process can be straightforward if you know what to look for and get started in time. Below is a starter guide to give you some direction on what to look out for and where to find it.

Understanding Your Obligations

In the Netherlands, residents are obligated to pay income tax, which is automatically deducted from their salaries. Filing a tax return is up to the individual, but it’s not mandatory in all cases. As a starting point, you can check your Mijn Belastingdienst portal which will already be partially populated by the Tax Authorities.  However, if you receive a letter from the Tax Authorities you’re obligated to file a tax return. It’s advisable to always file a tax return to ensure you don’t miss out on any entitlements and have a clear knowledge of your tax situation.

Getting Prepared

At this link you can follow a step-by-step guide to filing your returns in the Netherlands. The guide includes a helpful checklist for information you need to collect. These items include your annual income statement, which you receive from your employer, your BSN number, and your DigiD.

DigiD is the official authenticator app required when signing into government websites in the Netherlands.  If you don’t have your DigiD set up already you can apply for it here DigiD,

Getting Help

If you’re uncertain about any aspect of your tax return or need assistance, there are many consultants who you can enlist to help you complete your returns. You can visit this directory to look at a few expat-friendly options.

Final Thoughts

As you embark on this new tax-filing journey, you can hold out hope for the possibility of tax refunds that may await you. Embrace the opportunity to overcome new challenges as an expat, recognizing that each hurdle brings you closer to mastering the systems in the Netherlands.