Late filing your income tax return? Don't sweat it!
If you've been invited by the Dutch tax authorities (if there ever was a euphemism) to file an income tax return this invitation inevitably comes with a due date. Usually, this is the 1sth of July. Most of us like to procrastinate. What if you dragged your feet just a little bit too long and can't make the deadline?
Try to get an extension or deferment yourself
You can buy some extra time by arranging an extension/deferment yourself. Call the Belastingtelefoon at 0800 - 0543 and make sure you have your burgerservicenummer at hand. If you're a first-time offender (meaning not been late filing your income tax return the previous years) you're granted an extra 4 months. You'll receive a confirmation from the Belastingdienst but this may take a while. You can also arrange an extension online at the website of the Dutch tax authorities. with your DigiD A third option is a written request which can be found here.
Past the due date? Get an intermediary to arrange an extension/deferment
Sometimes when you realize you're late with your tax return you are already past the due date. At that moment in time, you can not get a deferment yourself anymore. But an intermediary registered with the Dutch tax authorities still can. We can arrange an extension for you past the due date and even after you have received the first reminder in the post. And furthermore, instead of 4 months, the extra time is a full year. I.e. in this case your income tax return 2019 has to be filed no sooner the 1st of July 2020.
First a friendly reminder
When you haven't filed your tax return in time and there's no extension granted by the Dutch tax authorities a friendly reminder will be in the mail after a couple of weeks. Basically it is only that. Al notification reminding you of your obligations. Fines or penalties are not yet in order. At this moment we can still arrange an extension for you!
Second less friendly reminder
When you still haven't met your legal obligations by filing a tax return, even after the first reminder, the gloves come of and an exhortation is sent. At this moment even we can't arrange an extension/deferment for you anymore. The tax authorities present you with a final due date and make you aware of the fact that a fine can be in order. Failing this final due date results in an official assessment form the tax authorities. This assessment is usually way to high and a proven method to get a reluctant taxpayer moving. You can object to this assessment by filing your tax return after all. At this point in time, it is still possible to correct the estimated assessment and put things right.
So how about fines?
When you don't meet your legal obligations, in this case, fail to file your income tax return, even after being asked to several times, the Dutch tax authorities kan fine you for defaulting. The amount of this fine is depended on your past behavior.
If it's a first offence the fine is € 369,00. But the amount can quickly add up for a repeat offender to € 5278,00.
It is important to know that in the Dutch judicial system government fines have to be proportional to the underlying default. For example, if you finally file your tax return and it turns out that you owe a small amount in tax or maybe are entitled to a refund then a fine of euro 5278,00 is disproportional and out of order and you should take action.
Forgot to file your tax return? Do so as soon as you can. Unable to? Then arrange for an extension or contact a tax advisor to help you with your tax return and or deferment. Failing to file will result in at least 2 reminders and eventually in an estimated assessment. Upon receiving the second reminder you're at risk of being fined. By that time several months will have gone by.