It is time to file your Dutch personal income tax return. The Dutch fiscal year runs from 1 January through 31 December. The filing deadline is 1 May 2021 for the 2020 tax returns. For people who have entered or left the Netherlands during the year, the filing deadline is 1 July 2021. It is always possible to apply for an extension of filing your tax return. This can be done via the website of the Dutch Tax Authorities, MijnBelastingdienst by making use of your DigiD. Extension will be granted until 1 September 2021.

Are you obliged to file a tax return?

You are, in the following situations:

  • You have received an invitation from the Dutch Tax Authorities to file a tax return, the famous blue envelop and/or
  • You owe tax to the Dutch Tax Authorities.

Besides this, you may always file a tax return when you expect a refund of taxes.

What income is taxed?

As a resident taxpayer of the Netherlands, you are taxable on your worldwide income. Tax is levied based on the Box system. In Box 1 income from work and home is taxed, in Box 2 income from substantial interest and in Box 3 income from savings and investments.

When is it in your interest to file a tax return?

It may be interesting to file if you have personal tax deductions that can be claimed in a tax return to reduce your taxable income. Possible deductions are:

  • Mortgage interest payments and other mortgage related costs if you have a mortgage on your principal residence
  • Medical expenses that were not reimbursed by the insurance company (except for the obligatory own risk)
  • Educational expenses for yourself or your fiscal partner
  • Gifts to charitable institutions
  • Alimony payments to a former spouse

It may also be beneficial to file your 2020 tax return if you have entered or left the Netherlands sometime during the year. In this situation you will have to file a so-called M-form, ‘M’ meaning ‘migration’. The M-form is via the Dutch Tax Authorities only available on paper and in Dutch. You cannot use MijnBelastingdienst for filing the M-form, although a tax return is available on MijnBelastingdienst. As the M-form is a rather complex tax return, we advise you to make use of a tax adviser for filing the M-form.

Besides this it may be interesting to file if you are eligible for an extra tax credit. For example, if you and your fiscal partner are both working and you have a child below the age of 12 on 1 January you are eligible for an extra tax credit. You also have to file a tax return to claim the tax credit for the non-working partner.

How to file your tax return?

For filing your tax return, you can use MijnBelastingdienst. On MijnBelastingdienst already a lot of information is pre filled. It is important to carefully check the pre filled information as the Dutch Tax Authorities do not have all the information available and are not aware of your personal situation. Especially when you have personal tax deductions or when you are a taxpayer who benefits from the 30% ruling and opts to be treated as a partial non-resident taxpayer. As a partial non-resident taxpayer, you are only taxable on Dutch sources of income for Box 2 and Box 3 income, such as real estate located in the Netherlands not being your principal residence. This is not taken into account in your pre filled tax return. If you need assistance or if you are not sure how to file your tax return correctly, you can always contact the LIMES international tax advisers.

If you expect a refund of taxes, please make sure you file your tax return before 1 April 2021 as you will then receive your refund before 1 July 2021.