In the Netherlands, you pay income tax over your taxable earnings. This is called inkomstenbelasting. Taxable earnings are your earnings minus deductibles and fiscal schemes, such as costs made for your company or amortisations. If your legal structure is eenmanszaak or vof, you file an income tax return. If your legal structure is a bv, nv, or other legal entity, you file a return for corporate income tax.
You must file your income tax return with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration before 1 May of each year. The Tax Administration uses the return to determine your tax assessment: will you have to pay tax, or get a tax refund?
File your tax return correctly and before 1 May
You have to file your income tax return digitally. You can find the form in the encrypted environment of the website, Mijn Belastingdienst (only in Dutch), from 1 March.
File your income tax return before 1 May. It is possible to apply for an extension. You can file your tax return yourself, using tax return or financial administration software, or via a tax intermediary. Either way, you need a DigiD to verify your identity.
If you live abroad, read here about applying for a DigiD.
Once you have obtained your DigiD, you can go to the website of the Dutch tax authorities and download the electronic tax return program.
The Belastingdienst gives an overview of information you need when filing your tax return.
Do you have to file a Dutch income tax return?
Everyone who receives a declaration letter from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration has to file an income tax return. You also have to file an income tax return if you have not received a letter, but have earned income in the Netherlands.
Did you not receive a letter? You can check whether you have to file a tax return. You may even get a tax refund. For example, if you have deductible items. The tax authorities do not have all your data data, such as your medical expenses. Read more about deductions (aftrekposten, in Dutch). In some situations you have to pay tax. For example, if your savings exceed the tax-free allowance.
You can check it by filling in a test declaration on Mijn Belastingdienst (only in Dutch). As long as you do not send the data, you will not file a declaration.
After you have completed (but not yet send) your declaration, you will immediately see the result. If it appears that you will receive a refund of € 16 or more, file a declaration. Is the amount to be paid less than € 48? Then you do not have to file a declaration.
Zzp'er and income tax
In the Netherlands, many business owners work as zzp'er or freelancer. Most zzp'ers are registered as eenmanszaak and have to file an income tax return. But others have registered as a bv, and they need to file a corporate tax return. To find out what your legal structure is, check your KVK registration. Or check your VAT numbers: if you have both a VAT identification number and a VAT number, you have to file an income tax return. If you only have a VAT number, your business is a legal entity. It has to file a corporate tax return.
What if you do not reside in the Netherlands?
If you are registered with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK, either as a resident business or a business with a branch in the Netherlands, you will receive a declaration letter to file for income tax. Generally speaking, the rule is that if you receive income from the Netherlands, you are liable to pay income tax, even if you do not reside in the Netherlands. However, if your business is not in the Netherlands, but you have employees working temporarily in the Netherlands, you are normally not liable for paying income tax in the Netherlands. If you are a self-employed professional working on an assignment in the Netherlands, you may have to file an income tax return, depending on several circumstances. Contact the Tax Administration to find out if you have to file or not. If you are a non-resident taxpayer, you are required to file a tax return in the Netherlands if:
- you have received an invitation to file a return;
- you have not received an invitation to file a tax return, but you earned income in or from the Netherlands over which you owe more than €48, or are entitled to €16 or more back from the Tax Administration.
How much income tax do you have to pay?
There is no easy answer to that, as it depends on several factors:
- your income
- your assets
- deductible costs
- outstanding debts
You can check how much income tax you will have to pay by completing the tax return. Based on the information you provide, you will see how much you will have to pay, or how much you can expect to receive, before you file the tax return.
Estimate your income tax
The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK offers an income tax calculation tool, that helps you get an idea of how much income tax you have to pay as an eenmanszaak, partner in a vof, or as owner / major shareholder (DGA) in a bv.
Check Dutch income tax deductions and fiscal arrangements
You pay income tax over your taxable earnings. That is to say, your income minus deductible items and fiscal allowances, like refurbishment costs made to the office and asset depreciations. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) divides these earnings into different brackets, or boxes. Read more about these boxes and the percentage of tax that is levied on each on the Belastingdienst website (in Dutch).
When filing your return, you may make use of several deductibles and fiscal arrangements. This will lower your profit and the amount of income tax you have to pay. The entrepreneur allowance (ondernemersaftrek), for instance, consists of a number of such deductibles.
Income tax in 2022 slightly lower
The income tax rate over 2022 has been lowered by 0.03%. Read more on the lower income tax.
Increase in general tax credit (arbeidskorting)
The general tax credit (arbeidskorting) is gradually increasing over the period 2020 - 2022. The increase means that employees and employers who are liable for income tax, and have an income of between €10,000 and €98,000, will have to pay less income tax. The measure also means that employees who earn between €20,000 and €35,000 will benefit extra if they decide to start working longer hours. Read more.
File your profit automatically
Are you self-employed? And do you use accounting software? Check with the supplier if they can add the new feature Automatic Profit Filing (Automatische Winstaangifte, AWA). Then you can automatically file your profit from your accounting software in the income tax return. This saves you time and reduces the risk of errors. Read more about AWA on Belastingdienst.nl (in Dutch).