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Filing your income tax return in the Netherlands

This information is provided by:Netherlands Tax Administration, BelastingdienstNetherlands Tax Administration, BelastingdienstNederlandse versie

If you run a sole proprietorship (eenmanszaak) or general partnership (vof) in the Netherlands, you have to file the earnings from your business via an income tax return (aangifte inkomstenbelasting) each year. How do you do that? Can you deduct expenses? Find out about Dutch tax brackets, earnings, deductibles, amortisation, and more.

What is income tax?

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 an 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.

Have you received a tax return letter?

Then you must file an income tax return. This is mandatory. You file your income tax return with the Netherlands Tax Administration before 1 May of each year. You will receive the tax return letter in February in your mailbox, on Mijn Belastingdienst (in Dutch) and in the Message Box on MijnOverheid.

Have you not received a tax return letter?

Then you still have to file a tax return if you have to pay €52 or more in tax. Or file a tax return if you will receive €17 or more. For example, if you have deductible items. You do not have to file a tax return if you receive less than this because lower amounts are not paid by the Tax Administration.

Filing income tax returns online

You have to file your income tax return digitally via Mijn Belastingdienst (in Dutch). Or you can authorise someone else to do your income tax return. You need a DigiD to verify your identity. If you live abroad, read here about applying for a DigiD.

When do you file tax returns in the Netherlands?

You can file your income tax return from 1 March. Your tax return must be received by the Tax Administration before the date stated in your tax return letter. This is usually 1 May. If this is not possible, you must apply for a postponement before 1 May. Except if you live abroad. In that case, your tax return or request for postponement must be received by the Tax Administration before 1 July.

Paying interest on income tax

Do you file your tax return after the applicable tax return date? Then you will pay interest (in Dutch) on the tax you have to pay. You may also be fined.

Adjusting your tax return

You can amend your income tax return yourself up to 5 years after the fiscal year in which you received the assessment. This still applies if you have received a final assessment. You adjust your old tax return, save the changes, and submit it again. Read on Belastingdienst.nl how you can adjust your tax return (in Dutch).

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

There are different tax rates and tax brackets. Want to know how much you have to pay? Fill in your tax return on Mijn Belastingdienst. Then you will immediately see what you have to pay or get back. You do not have to send the information yet.

Check if you are an entrepreneur for income tax purposes

In the tax return, you will be asked whether you were an entrepreneur for income tax purposes in the past year. Are you not certain about this? Then do the OndernemersCheck (in Dutch) on belastingdienst.nl. As an entrepreneur, you are entitled to deductions and investment credits.

Do you have income from other work?

Do you occasionally earn extra money? For example, because you give a guest lecture for a fee or sell things on the internet. But you are not an entrepreneur for income tax purposes? Then you have income from other work (inkomsten uit overig werk). You must usually report this income to the Tax Administration in your income tax return. Read more about income from other work and the exceptions (in Dutch).

Do the tax return check

You can use the tax return check for entrepreneurs(OndernemersCheck, in Dutch) to prepare for your income tax return. Then you know which deductions are available and what you should pay attention to. You will complete your return even faster when you have everything at hand.

Head Start Tax Administration

Take advantage of the Tax Administration's Head Start service. Via a live chat with a tax adviser, you will get explanations about returns and other tax questions. And receive information on the tax issues you face as a starter.

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. In general, 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.
  • 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 €52, or are entitled to €17 or more back from the Tax Administration.

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