Employers will (on your behalf) complete your monthly tax payments out of your salary; you can see the amounts paid for various taxes in your payslip. At the end of each year, you should also be able to access a year-end statement (jaaropgaaf), with further information on the taxes you have paid.
However, everyone in the Netherlands also needs to fill in and submit a yearly tax return to the Belastingdienst (tax office). The tax return is split into three major income streams: from employment, from assets, and from shareholdings. If you only have one stream of income (for example from a salaried job), the tax return form is a relatively quick and easy process. However, if you have multiple streams of income, or overseas income, it is a good idea to consult a tax advisor.
Aside from your first tax return, which requires the use of the ‘M form’, you can do all your tax returns online. Returns can be sent in from 1 January, and you have until 1 May to complete your yearly return. For your first year’s tax return, you have an extended deadline until 1 July, and you can always ask the Belastingdienst for an extension.
The M Form
Your first tax return in the Netherlands will require the use of the ‘M form’. This form can look a little daunting, but depending on the number of income streams you have, it is likely that you will only have to fill in a section of it.
There are plenty of instructional webinars available online about the ‘M form’, and various tax advisors offer special ‘M form’ packages. It is best to at least consult some online information about your first year’s tax return, as if you have worked only part of the year, you will likely receive a rebate!
Filing income taxes and where to get help
You can file your taxes digitally via the Belastingdienst website. For this program - which is only available in Dutch - you will need to apply for a DigiD first. The other option is to enlist the help of a tax accountant or adviser. Please keep in mind that if you do not already have a DigiD account, it can take a few weeks to arrange this, so do not leave it until the last minute.
If you have questions about your taxes, contact the Belastingdienst
Savings outside of the Netherlands
You are taxed on your worldwide income in the Netherlands. This means that if you own properties in other countries, or have significant savings outside of the Netherlands, you may have to pay more tax. The Belastingdienst site provides more information on this.
Motor vehicle tax
If you live in the Netherlands and own a vehicle (car, van, motorcycle, trailer or lorry), you will have to pay motor vehicle tax (MRB, Motorrijtuigenbelasting). You will automatically receive an assessment from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. The amount of motor vehicle tax you pay depends on which vehicle you own and several other factors such as:
- the province the owner of the vehicle lives
You can find out the tax rate for all vehicle types by using the motor vehicle tax rate tool (in Dutch). That tool also allows you to see which types of fuel-efficient cars are exempt from paying vehicle tax.