31 December 2023 Add expertise tag Add service tag Add country tag
Global Mobility Services International Tax Planning International labor and cross border assignments Tax compliance

An overview of the rules for tax filing

In this Chapter, the following topics will be discussed: 

Providing an income tax return form

Registration at a Dutch town hall can be followed by an invite from the Dutch tax authorities (one pager) to file the Dutch personal income tax return after the tax year (calender year) has ended.

If no invite letter has been issued automatically, the taxpayer has the legal obligation to file an income tax return if the taxpayer can reasonably expect to have a tax payment obligation (for 2023: exceeding an income tax payment threshold of € 51).

Not filing a tax return, while the taxpayer has the legal obligation to do so, can constitute a criminal offence, which may result in the levy of penalties or (in extreme situations) imprisonment.

How to file a Dutch income tax return

Nowadays, in most cases no tax return forms are actually issued anymore, but instead the taxpayer receives a one page invitation to file his/her annual tax return via the website of the Dutch tax authorities (online portal).

Traditionally, the so-called M-form ('M' stands for migration, linked to the tax year when one becomes a non-resident taxpayer upon tax emigration or a resident taxpayer upon tax immigration), could not be filed electronically. However, since 1 June 2021, the M-form can be filed via the online portal of the Dutch tax authorities for the tax year 2020 and further. For previous tax years, the M-form can only be filed via a (comprehensive) paper form.

Which tax return form must be filed?

The Dutch tax authorities have different tax returns forms depending on the personal situation of the taxpayer. In essence the following Dutch income tax return forms can be distinguished:

The following tax return form Must be filed by the following taxpayer
P-form The resident taxpayer, with all categories of income, with the exception of income from a private enterprise, and all tax deductions
F-form Taxpayers who are deceased
C-form Non-resident taxpayers who have not emigrated or immigrated during the tax year, also for foreign entrepreneurs
W-form Resident taxpayers who conduct an enterprise
M-form Resident or non-resident taxpayers who have emigrated or immigrated during the tax year

How to file the Dutch income tax return

Most tax returns can be filed digitally through the internet, with the exception of the M-form, which is only available online for the tax year 2020 and further.

The M-form contains various items which relate to the emigration or immigration of the taxpayer, including information about income and wealth during the pre-immigration and post-emigration period, and information required for the levy of a so-called 'provisional assessment' in case of emigration.

The signing of the tax return  

The digital tax return must be signed with the taxpayers Personal Identification Code (in Dutch: 'DigiD'), or alternatively, if the taxpayer is represented by a third party (such as a tax adviser), the Personal Identification Code of this tax adviser.

We offer the standard service to sign and file the tax return on your behalf after we have received your approval.

The deadlines for the filing of the tax return

For resident taxpayers the income tax return must be received by the tax office before 1 May of the year following the tax year. For non-resident taxpayers (and migrated tax payers) the tax form must be received by 1 July.

Extension for filing is possible upon request till 1 September. For parties who are recognized as fiscal representatives (such as professional tax advisers) special accelerated procedures apply.

We offer the standard service to obtain extension for filing on your behalf. This extension to file your tax return can be granted for one additional year until 1 May (e.g. 1 May 2025 for 2023 Dutch income tax returns).

Liability in relation to the filing and signing of a Dutch income tax return

The signing and filing of a Dutch income tax return creates a potential liability for the signing (and filing) party, as the law states that every tax return must be filed timely, and the tax return filed must be complete and accurate.

The filing of incomplete or inaccurate tax returns can result in administrative penalties but can also constitute a criminal offence, which in its turn results in additional penalties or (in extreme situations) imprisonment.

The filing of an additional Dutch income tax return (tax amnesty)

It is generally possible to file additional tax returns. This may result in the levy of penalties and interest.

Special rules apply for taxpayers who want to report (intentionally) concealed income or wealth from preceding years. If certain conditions are met, no or only limited penalties become due and the taxpayer is not prosecuted for committing a criminal offence.

The representation by third parties  

The taxpayer is generally allowed to authorize a third party for the preparation and filing of his/her annual income tax return. Usually this is a tax adviser.

The tax office is allowed to request proof of the authorization, which is usually complied with, if a properly signed and dated power of attorney can be provided.

In general, the authorization of a third party does not reduce the potential own liability of the taxpayer for the filing and signing of his/her income tax return.

In exceptional cases the tax office can refuse the authorization of a third party. For instance, if this party is considered incompetent or unreliable, has demonstrably withheld the truth or has repeatedly provided false information.

What we can do for you?

If you receive an invitation from the Dutch tax authorities to file your income tax return or in case you want to file a Dutch income tax return voluntarily, we would be happy to assist you with the preparation and filing of your Dutch income tax return on your behalf.

Depending on your wishes we can provide the service level which you require varying from very basic filing assistance up to a full service package, including tailor made advice on your Dutch personal income tax position and ways to optimize your Dutch tax position. You can decide yourself which service level you want to receive.

When we handle your tax return filing, you will automatically be included in our filing extension agreement with the Dutch tax authorities.

After the preparation of your Dutch income tax return, we will send your personal Dutch income tax return to you for review and approval. If you wish we will gladly explain the outcomes to you in a personal meeting or otherwise.

Subject to your final approval we will then file your tax return electronically with the Dutch tax authorities.

Depending on the level of assistance which you desire, we can also further assist in reviewing assessments issued by the Dutch tax authorities or become your registered contact/correspondence address with the Dutch tax authorities. The latter is in any case recommendable when you decide to leave the Netherlands.

Our fees

We charge a fixed fee for the preparation and filing of your Dutch income tax return. The exact fee depends on the complexity of your situation and the Service Level which you wish to receive from us.

Our fees start from EUR 200 (excluding VAT).

If you wish to know the exact fee which we would charge you for the preparation of your (and your partner's) 2023 Dutch income tax return, please consult our ONLINE FEE CALCULATOR.

It will  take you no more than 5 minutes to establish the exact fee which would apply to you, after answering just 4 basic questions. If you prefer you can of course also contact us in person to discuss your personal situation in detail.