It’s that time of year again – get ready to file your tax return

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It’s tax return time again. You’ve got until May 1 to hand in your annual tax return and this year, like every year, a few things have changed. Here’s a handy overview of what you need to know.

1 The Dutch tax year
The Dutch tax year runs from January 1 to December 31. You have until May 1 to file your tax return, unless you ask for an extension and the tax office is fairly relaxed about providing one. Dial the toll free number 0800-0543 and ask. If you file your taxes through a tax adviser, than the agency can request an extension (usually free of charge) for you.

2 Who has to file an income tax return?
If you received an invitation from the Dutch tax office to file your income tax, you are required to comply, even if you had no income. The letters are typically sent in the month of February. If you live in the Netherlands currently or have done for part of the year you may also file a tax return voluntarily. You may, for example, expect a refund or you have received undeclared income. And who knows, perhaps you will be entitled to money back.

3 If you are a new arrival
Tax filing for the year you arrived in the Netherlands is different from filings for residents with a complete tax year. You become liable for tax the moment you arrive but you might find the tax office has a different date – such as the date you registered with your local council. The tax office should use the actual date you arrived, so if there is a discrepancy, let them know, via your tax advisor.

4 The 30% ruling
If you were recruited from outside the Netherlands and you meet the minimum taxable salary threshold of € 36,889 (2016), you might be eligible for the 30% ruling. This allows employers to pay staff 30% of their salary free of tax. The rules for benefiting from this tax break have become more complicated as of late, and a tax advisor can help you find out if you qualify. For more on this, see blueumbrella.nl/faq.

5 Worldwide income and double tax relief
Residents of the Netherlands and non-residential tax payers should report their entire worldwide income in their income tax returns. This worldwide income may include revenue which the Dutch tax office is not entitled to tax because of bilateral tax treaties. To avoid a situation where you have to pay tax twice in both countries over the same source, the Netherlands grants a credit to compensate for the tax owed outside the Netherlands. This is commonly referred to as double tax relief.

6 Company cars
If you have a company car and use it privately to drive more than 500 kilometres a year, you will have to pay tax on it. The tax is based on the value of the car when it was new, including taxes, and varies depending on how energy efficient the vehicle is. Find out more

7 Mortgage tax relief and other tax breaks
The maximum amount mortgage holders can deduct from tax is gradually being reduced and last year the amount was cut to 51%. This means that if you are a high earner and pay 52% tax on some of your income, the mortgage tax relief break is only 51% – in other works, your mortgage will cost you a little more. You may also be entitled to tax relief on the cost of childcare and on some extra healthcare costs.

8 Remember your Digid
From this year the government wants all personal tax returns to be made online or via a special app, and that means you’ll need a Digid, the personal identification number used for all contact with government departments. So it is no good trying to complete the form on April 30 and then discovering you don’t have the all important number. Be prepared.

For more information contact Blue Umbrella at phone +31(0)204687560, e-mail info@blueumbrella.nl or website www.blueumbrella.nl