The Dutch tax office sends a lot of blue letters in spring. Through this letter you will be invited to file your taxes. Filing taxes sounds difficult but depending on your situation it might be easier than you expect.

If for instance you only have income from employment, filing can be relatively straightforward.

Income from employment is withheld on your income by your employer. The amount of tax you pay depends on your salary, your age and whether you are married or have a partner. You can learn more about this tax by reading our guide to taxes in the Netherlands.

If you are an employee, and you have no other income you usually do not have to file a tax return. This is because your employer has already withheld tax from your salary and paid it to the Dutch Tax Office (‘Belastingdienst’).

However, you may also have to file a tax return if:

  • you are self-employed; or
  • you have income from sources other than employment, such as a rental property.

Please note that you always have to file your taxes when you are invited to file or when you believe there is a reason for you to file your return for the previous Dutch fiscal year (which runs from 1 January to 31 December). You also have to file your return if you believe there are reasons to file your tax return.

It is also possible to reclaim overpaid taxes, in which it is strongly recommended to file your taxes.

This can for instance be the case when you own your primary residence and have a mortgage, migrated to or from the Netherlands or if you had more than one employer.

Tax forms

There are multiple tax forms each belonging to a different tax return situation. The following are the most common:

  • P-form: It stands for private person or “particulier” in Dutch , is the standard tax form for residents who spent the entire calendar year in the Netherlands. This means that if you worked and resided the whole fiscal year in the Netherlands, this is the form that you have to fill in.
  • M-form: This form stands for migration and is for expats who entered or left the Netherlands.
  • C-form: If you reside and pay taxes in another country but earn Dutch income this is the form you have to fill in.
  • W-form: This form is for those who have earned income from running their own business, working as a freelancer, or providing services as an independent contractor.
  • F-form: This form is for the family members or other relatives of someone who has passed away. It is used to provide necessary information for the deceased person’s taxes.

Filing your tax return

In some cases, filing taxes can be a little bit more difficult than expected. When you have only income from employment, you can just head to the Belastingdienst website, log in with your DigiD (if you do not have a DigiD, it is recommended to apply for one, visit this page to know more about it) and file your taxes online. Keep in mind that this is only available in Dutch. However, if you are self-employed or you came to the Netherlands during the fiscal year, then filling taxes might prove to be difficult.

Waiting for a decision

You will usually receive a preliminary assessment from the tax authorities between one and three months after submitting your tax return. Once the tax authorities have examined the tax return, you will be provided with the final assessment and information regarding payment or refund.

Refunds are only sent to the referred taxpayer’s personal bank account by the Dutch tax authority. A tax inspector will issue an income tax assessment following the audit of the tax return. Once the final assessment is received, the refunds should arrive within a few weeks.