Get ready for tax season!

Things you can do now to get ready for Tax Season

Every year you promise yourself that this will be the year you file your taxes early. And every year you’re rushing to file your return just before May 1st. Although it does not matter to the Dutch Tax Authorities whether you file on March 1st or on May 1st, there are some distinct advantages to getting your taxes done early. If you expect a refund of taxes, the sooner you file, the sooner you’ll get your refund in your bank account.

So this year, start early! Here are some tips to help you get ready for tax season now, rather than waiting until spring.

Make sure you have a DigiD

You need a DigiD to file your taxes via ‘MijnBelastingdienst’ or via the App Aangifte 2020. Make sure you can still log in or apply for a new one now.

Get last year’s tax return

Don’t start your tax planning from scratch. There’s a lot of information which carries over from year to year. You can save yourself some time and shortcut the prep process by first digging your last year’s tax return.

If you didn’t file taxes last year but will need to file this year, you’ll want to gather all of your personal documentation, including your BSN. While you’re at it, get the information for your fiscal partner.

Make a list of all sources of income

You may have multiple sources of income and they’ll all need to be included on your return when you file. While you won’t have totals or official forms yet, it’s a good idea to make a list of your sources of income so that when tax time rolls around, you have all the documents you need to collect.

Here’s a list of potential items of income you may have received:

  • ‘Jaaropgaaf 2020’: if you’re employed, your employer will need to send you a year end statement. This form details your earnings as well as your tax withholdings.
  • Work as a freelancer? Make sure you have a P&L overview
  • If you received any unemployment benefits during the year, you should receive a year end statement from the SVB. Check ‘Mijn UWV’ as your year end statement will be available there.
  • If you received any money from an annuity or alimony payments, make sure you have details on the payments received.

This is not a complete list of documentation that you may need, but it’s a good start.

List all potential deductions

Don’t skimp on this section. Deductions, while time-consuming to keep track of, can save you some money. Deductions reduce your taxable income, which can reduce the amount of taxes you need to pay.

You’ll want to start gathering documentation for anything that could possibly be a deduction, including:

  • Homeownership deductions: mortgage interest statements, land fees (‘erfpacht’ payments).
  • Medical expenses that were not reimbursed by the insurance company.
  • Educational expenses for yourself or your fiscal partner: keep track of tuition paid and receipts for educational expenses (such as books).
  • Charitable deductions: keep track of your expenses for any charitable contributions you’ve made throughout the year.

Decide whether to DIY or use a preparer

Are you going to file taxes on your own or hire professional help? Don’t wait until April to make this decision. You may want to use the pre-filled tax program available via ‘MijnBelastingdienst’, but many people still choose to bring in a professional to help them. Please keep in mind that if you entered or left the Netherlands during the year, you cannot use the form available via ‘MijnBelastingdienst’ as this is for full year resident or full year non-resident taxpayers only.

Schedule an appointment

If you know that you want to enlist the help of a professional to file your taxes this year, reach out to them early. You can get an appointment with a tax preparer before they book up and they’ll be able to provide you with a list of documents needed to file your taxes. The more organized you are, the easier (and possibly cheaper) the process can be. Keep in mind that you can also make an appointment to prepare your taxes together with a tax preparer so you will be able to file the tax return yourself next year.

Think about an extension

Even if you start early, there may be reasons that keep you from filing your taxes by May 1st. If you know that you need extra time, consider filing an extension. The Dutch Tax Authorities will grant an automatic extension until September 1st when you request one.

Do you need assistance with the preparation and filing of your Dutch tax return for the year 2020 or for previous years? We are pleased to assist you.


Do you prefer to have your tax return prepared during an (e-)meeting. Book an appointment for a tax return meeting.



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