Taxes and other formal requirements
How do I sort out my tax situation?
If you decide to move to another country or repatriate back to your own country of origin, this is usually regarded by the Dutch authorities as emigration. However, there are situations in which you would not be deemed to have emigrated, at least not for tax purposes. In such situations, the Belastingdienst (Tax Office) continues to regard you as a resident of the Netherlands.
In order to determine whether your move abroad qualifies as emigration, it is important to establish your permanent country of residence. The regulations governing the status of ‘domicile’ or ‘living abroad on a temporary basis’ will help you determine whether your situation constitutes ’emigration’. More information about the regulations is available here.
It is also possible that you will be obliged to pay tax in the Netherlands after your emigration. This will be the case if you have an ongoing income which is generated from within the Netherlands. Under these circumstances, you will be regarded as a foreign taxpayer. Examples of such income are:
- Income from employer based in the Netherlands, e.g. if you commute from a neighbouring county to your regular place of work in the Netherlands.
- Pension or social security benefits that you receive from the Netherlands, income from immovable property that you own in the Netherlands, e.g. renting out a property owned by yourself
If you move from the Netherlands to another country, you will be unable to file your return digitally for the tax year of your move. Instead, you will be required to use the M form. You will either have been sent this form from the Dutch tax office prior to your move; or you can download a copy from their website. It should be noted that the ‘explanatory notes’ for the M form are only available in Dutch. However, most of the information required to complete the M form can be obtained by consulting the ‘explanatory notes’ for the C form (which is available in English and can be downloaded from the website, under the ‘tax return’ subject heading): here.
As I am now leaving the Netherlands, can I get a tax rebate?
Your tax liability will be assessed for the full tax year in which you leave the country. Therefore, the tax assessment of the income that you received whilst you were resident in the Netherlands (and any ongoing income from the Netherlands) will only be made at the end of the tax year by the Belastingdienst (Dutch tax office). Depending on the information that you have provided in the M form tax return, you may be eligible for a tax rebate which will be paid to you in the following tax year. To claim a tax refund an active DigiD is necessary. Please be aware that you cannot get and/or activate a DigiD once you have deregistered in the Netherlands, unless you have Dutch nationality or the nationality of an EEA country (EU plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland).
The country that I am moving to requires me to provide a translation of official documents which are in Dutch (birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.). How do I do this?
When a translation of an official document has to be submitted to official bodies, either in the Netherlands or abroad, it is often stipulated that the translation must be ‘certified’. That is that the document has been translated by a certified professional translator and that the translation is complete and accurate. In the Netherlands, translation of formal documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates or any official documents must be conducted by someone who is a “sworn” (beëdigde) translator. This is someone who has taken an oath before one of the Dutch District Courts that he/she possesses a formal qualification in translation and who meets a number of statutory requirements regarding qualifications, education and conduct.
Please note that in many countries, official documents may require some form of verification to prove their authenticity, i.e. the documents must be “legalised” though a court. In the Netherlands, there is the ‘apostille’ process, which is actually a simplified form of legalisation. An apostille which is issued in the Netherlands is recognized by all signatories to the ‘Apostille Convention’. Many countries have signed the Convention since its inception and in principle, no other formalities are required. Apostilles can be issued in Dutch, German, English, French, Spanish or Italian. For countries which are not signatories of the Convention, a formal legalisation process must be followed where a Dutch court authenticates the document. Further declarations are made by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the consulate or High Commission of the country in which the document is to be presented. Under certain circumstances, it may be worth noting that when moving to another country, if an apostille is required, it can only be given by the document’s country of origin. A Dutch document may have an apostille from Netherlands; however, a birth certificate from the US, for example, requires an apostille issued in the US.
If you require the services of a sworn translator or an office for an apostille and have difficulty finding one, please contact the ACCESS Helpdesk which will provide assistance locating one in your area.
For how long does my passport need to be valid for me to be able to leave and enter another country?
The requirements for entry into a given country will vary and are determined by your citizenship. For EU citizens entry into most countries outside of the EU normally requires the holder to be in possession of a passport which is valid at least six months. If your passport expires sooner than that, you need to renew your passport before you can leave. Hence, it is advisable to check the entry requirements for the country you are going well in advance of your departure.
Will I still receive social security benefits when I leave the country?
To be eligible to receive most of the social benefits provided by the government in the Netherlands, you need to be living in the country. Hence, if you have been receiving benefits and you move abroad, in general you will lose the right to these benefits.
As a rule, everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands is covered by the Dutch national insurance scheme which is administered by the Social Security Office (Sociale Verzekeringbank – SVB). Through this scheme, you build up rights to an old age (AOW) pension and qualify for child benefits and survivor benefits.
However, if you leave the Netherlands, you will cease to be covered by the Dutch national insurance system. This will mean that:
- You will not be able to continue to build up to a full AOW pension
- You will not be able to claim a Dutch child benefit
- If you pass away before your spouse, your partner may not receive any income from the National Survivor Benefits Act (ANW), or they may only get a reduced amount, depending upon your new country of residence
Here are some guidelines regarding certain benefits:
General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW)
For some countries, e.g. within the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, the level of pension that you will have built up during your stay in the Netherlands will be paid to you when you reach pensionable age. For other countries, your full pension rights may be restricted or your payment rights may be stopped altogether after your move.
Child Benefit Act (AKW)
You will cease to receive AKW payments for your children once you and your family leave the Netherlands. If you remain in the Netherlands, but your child moves to live abroad permanently, then you will also lose your AKW entitlement. This will occur when you deregister your child from the municipality. When you first arrived in the Netherlands, you were obliged to register with the Basisregistratie Personen (BRP, the municipality’s personal records database). You can change your status online by logging onto the ‘My SVB’.
Disability Insurance Act (WAO/WIA)
In general, you will lose your right to a disability benefit (WAO) when you leave the Netherlands. However, the Netherlands has treaty agreements with certain countries including those of the EU, EEA and Switzerland where you will be entitled to continue receiving a benefit.
If you receive any other social benefit, you need to contact the organisation that pays the benefit to find out whether it can be continued after you have left the Netherlands.
In all cases, you are legally obliged to inform the organisation that pays your benefit about your plan to leave the Netherlands.
National Survivor Benefits Act (ANW)
If you or your partner dies after leaving the Netherlands, the surviving spouse may be entitled to receive a partial ANW benefit if the following conditions are met:
- You both live in a country of the EU (European Union), the EEA (European Economic Area) or Switzerland, or in a country with which the Netherlands has a treaty (an agreement on social security), and
- you or your partner were insured under a survivor benefit scheme in the country where you live, or you receive a statutory survivor benefit from a country of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, and
- you or your partner meet the other conditions for entitlement to the ANW survivor benefit
To obtain contacts and/or special information that may apply to your situation visit the SVB website.
I have Dutch health insurance. Will I still be covered once I have left the Netherlands?
When you live in the Netherlands, you are in most cases required to take out a compulsory private health insurance policy with a commercial insurance provider. In addition, if you were earning an income whilst resident in the Netherlands, you also provided a contribution to the Dutch social security system for health insurance (ZVW) through your taxes. However, when you leave the Netherlands to go to live in another country, your existing Dutch insurance policy will normally no longer be valid. Some Dutch health insurance companies do provide specific health insurance products for those wishing to live abroad/emigrate. This will mean that you will need to change your health insurance policy with your provider.
You should contact your Dutch health insurance company about your move to notify them of the change (so that no further payments are made for your current policy) and to discuss the possibilities of having health insurance coverage in your new country of residence.