It’s that time of year again: you’ve only got a few days left to file your tax return

It’s that time of year again: you’ve only got a few days left to file your tax return

Yes, it is that time of the year again. You’ve got until April 30 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 Do you have 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. 2 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. 3 The 30% ruling If you were recruited from outside the Netherlands and you meet the minimum taxable salary threshold of € 37,296 (2018), 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. Find out more here 4 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. 5 Company cars (or bikes) 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. There are also specific rules if your company has provided you with a bike. 6 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 50%. 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 50% – in other words, your mortgage will cost you a little more. You may also be entitled to tax relief on the cost of education and on some extra healthcare costs. You can find an overview of the changes made to tax law this year here. 7 Remember your Digid All personal tax returns are supposed 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, because it takes a few days to get one. Be prepared. 8 And if you miss the deadline? The Dutch tax year runs from January 1 to December 31. You have until April 30 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 he or she can request an extension (usually free of charge) for you. For more information contact Blue Umbrella at phone +31(0)204687560, e-mail info@blueumbrella.nl or website www.blueumbrella.nl  More >



Podcast: The More Coke Less Drop Edition

DutchNews Podcast – The More Coke Less Drop Edition – week 16 We have a second shot at discussing the war on drugs in the week's podcast: is the Netherlands really becoming a narcostate, and are so-called 'cocaine yogis', with their healthy eating, hard partying lifestyles really to blame? We also bring you the latest news on British citizens' efforts to secure their rights ahead of Brexit, the expats who are allegedly taking over Amstelveen's schools, the impasse in Rotterdam's coalition talks and a rugby club that's going to surreal lengths to pay for their solar panels. TOP STORY British expats take concerns about Brexit to Dutch parliament NEWS Health minister De Jonge sanguine about sunbeds and alcohol Expat families accused of overburdening schools in Amstelveen Baudet breaks with Leefbaar in attempt to break Rotterdam gridlock Unemployment drops below 4% for first time in 10 years Netflix announces first Dutch horror series on students and demons (NOS, Dutch) Original Dali works sold to pay for rugby club's...  More >


DAFT visa is not as stupid as it may sound

It’s Dutch American Friendship Day and the DAFT visa is not as stupid as it may sound Today, the Netherlands and the United States celebrate their friendship which stretches back 226 years. But it’s more than an excuse to have a party. The treaty recognising the relationship between these two nations also offers the opportunity for citizens to move to the other country under the DAFT visa. Molly Quell finds out more. The Netherlands and the US began diplomatic relations way back in 1782 and the Netherlands was the second country to recognise the US as an independent nation - after Morocco. Indeed, the US relationship with the Dutch is the longest, unbroken peaceful relationship that it has with any nation. During the 1950s, the US went on a charm offensive in an effort to combat the spread of communism by the then USSR. As part of this officials signed a number of so-called friendship treaties with other nations. The Dutch-American Friendship Treaty, or DAFT, was signed in The Hague on March 27, 1956.   Many of these treaties, including DAFT, made vague promises...  More >


'Go to as many museums as you can'

‘Get a Museumkaart and go to as many museums as you possibly can’ Author, publisher, and mentor Jo Parfitt describes herself as a ‘serial expat’. She’s run the steeplechase of raising two sons while cultivating a portable career across seven countries—and still she’s eager for more. Jo lives in The Hague, where last month she launched a new book Monday Morning Emails. She runs her own company Summertime Publishing. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I moved abroad the day after I got married, in 1987. He, my husband, had already been posted to Dubai and we had to get married for me to be able to join him! We have been fortunate to have had many international postings: Dubai, Oman, Norway, the Netherlands, Brunei and Malaysia. My husband works for Shell. This is our second time in The Hague. How do you describe yourself - an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international etc - and why? I would describe myself as a ‘serial expat’. We have moved again, and again, and again, and it’s something that I don’t necessarily want to stop...  More >


Dutch castles, forts and fortified towns

A slice of Dutch history: castles, forts and fortified towns to visit Ever fancied playing monarch for a day? Enjoying some jousting, a feast fit for a king or wandering in the lanes of the royal gardens? Here in the Netherlands there is a rich and varied heritage sector: from sites of archaeological interest to romantic retreats in restored castles. Muiderslot The ‘Muiderslot’ is barely a 30 minute drive from central Amsterdam but it feels surprisingly rural. Just outside the pretty town of Muiden, this 13th century keep was first erected by the famous knight Floris V. Shortly afterwards however, Floris met a sticky end and the castle was destroyed. Restored and strengthened in later years, it is now a beautiful living museum covering three main periods of history: the Middle Ages, the Golden Age and the 19th century. There are a wide variety of different kinds of activities on offer to the public: there are multiple treasure hunts for kids; glorious gardens to explore; an expansive collection of armour and regular exhibitions. This year they...  More >


Podcast: The Breaking Brabant Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Breaking Brabant Edition – Week 15 It's a week of shattered illusions on the podcast as a former CDA politician in Brabant is jailed for his part in the Netherlands' biggest ever drugs farm and a Jeff Koons sculpture meets an explosive fate in an Amsterdam church. Also: is the housing market overheating, why did a singing road lose its voice, and how did hawks and sea eagles become embroiled in a treetop turf war? Top story Former politician jailed for hosting Netherlands' biggest drugs lab on his farm News House prices approach 2008 record levels First-time buyers turning to 'bank of mum and dad' Dutch government waters down 'Big Brother' tapping law after 'no' vote Jeff Koons artwork accidentally destroyed by visitor Residents' protests silence musical road in Friesland Nest war breaks out between hawks and sea eagles Sport Dutch women's team close in on first World Cup qualification Hamilton and Verstappen mend fences after Bahrain collision (The Guardian) Discusion: 'Cocaine...  More >


A Tiny House as a Dutch home?

Could a custom-made Tiny House be your affordable new home? Who would want to live in a space the size of a shed at the mercy of the elements? Deborah Nicholls-Lee finds out why the Tiny House movement is gaining ground in the Netherlands. Sometimes a queue forms outside Marjolein Jonker’s Alkmaar home. She enjoys showing people around her house, but at just 20m², only a few visitors at a time can fit inside. Co-designed with students from the TU Delft and parked since 2016 on grassy wasteland where a gas factory once stood, Marjolein’s Tiny House was one of the first of its kind in the Netherlands. Marjolein (42) co-founded Stichting Tiny House Nederland in 2015 and is one of the most active voices in the Tiny House movement here which, in times of sky-high property prices and massive personal debt, is gathering momentum (see map). Tiny Houses are cleverly-designed homes, no more than 50m², which make efficient use of a small space. Most, like Marjolein’s, have self-sufficient features such as a composting toilet, a rain...  More >


The best, and most bizarre, Dutch burgers

Ingeburgered? Then here are a few of the best and most bizarre burgers in NL The Netherlands is in the middle of a full-fledged burger bonanza. It seems like there’s a cafe devoted to them on every corner, especially in Amsterdam. This means there’s a burger for nearly every taste, whether you’re a vegetarian or eat red meat with every meal. Here’s Brandon Hartley’s picks for a few of the best, weirdest, and wildest ones in the country. A burger for those who consider variety the spice of life Burgermeester - Amsterdam Since 2007, Burgermeester has specialised in a wide array of burgers. They now have four locations in the nation’s capital where you can enjoy ones with patties made out of everything from salmon to apples and cheese. There’s several beefy burgers too, of course, and they include the ‘Cheese Deluxe’ (Blonde d’Aquitaine beef, cheddar, jalapeños, pancetta, onions, and harissa mayo). Burgermeester also has a monthly burger. The one for March was a vegan option with a spicy falafel patty. If you can’t pick just one, try...  More >


The Netherlands is full of valleys

You might not be aware of it, but the Netherlands is full of valleys As every cyclist knows the Netherlands is as flat as a pancake, bar a few hillocks in the province of Limburg. However, over the last few years, the Netherlands had become riddled with valleys. Food Valley, Metal Valley, Seed Valley - the country is positively mountainous. The fashion for valleys can be blamed squarely on the wits of those who decided to call part of California Silicon Valley because of all the tech companies that are based there. Perhaps not realising that this area in American actually was bound in by hills, Dutch PR whizzkids have leapt on the valley concept and use it to describe any cluster of industrial activity. Here's a list. Food Valley Food Valley is not an area where five star restaurants are jostling for space but a commercial partnership between lots of companies and what they call 'knowledge institutes' dealing with (agro) food production and innovation. How green is this valley? Quite green in fact, as Food Valley inexplicably takes in the Veluwe...  More >


Podcast: The Arm All Prostitutes Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Arm All Prostitutes Edition – Week 14 After scoffing all their Easter chocolate in record time, the podcast team return with news of the Dutch lawyer jailed for his part in Donald Trump's rise to power, why the supermarkets came under fire for their part in English football fans' latest rampage through Amsterdam, and the man ordered by his local council to hunt down and catch a school of vanishing goldfish. We also look at proposals to change the security law, in the wake of the sleepwet referendum, and rules on bankers' pay in the wake of ING's climbdown on their chief executive's salary. In our discussion we ask if freedom of speech should be restricted after Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was called an 'infidel' in a video blog by an imam. Top story Ministers to review security services law in wake of referendum 'no' News Dutch banker is first person to be jailed over Trump-Russia investigation Finance minister plans to tighten rules on bankers' pay MH17 experts counter Russian 'fighter jet' theory Police...  More >


DutchNews.nl destinations: Rotterdam

DutchNews.nl destinations: take the train for a weekend in Rotterdam With Eurostar now running a three-hour service from London to Rotterdam, the city's fortunes as a tourist hub are set to boom. So, get over there now and appreciate the fantastic views, great museums and excellent cocktails before the British stag parties take over, says Molly Quell. Only slightly smaller than Amsterdam by population, Rotterdam is the Netherland's second largest city. It is home to the largest port in Europe, a fact which is partially responsible for its diverse population - more than half of the city’s residents have at least one parents who was born abroad. Rotterdam was granted city rights in 1340 but was, famously, nearly totally destroyed during World War II, leaving the city with a much more modern skyline than the capital. Get walking The city is too large to do a walking tour of everything, but you can easily get around with the city’s bus and tram system, but also the water taxi system. It’s fast, efficient and just a lot of fun. Go up the Euromast,...  More >