What’s a tax waiver and why you should know that as a student?
Let’s talk about tax waivers in the Netherlands. The tax waiver is a right of every person who resides in the Netherlands and has no or very low income. Unfortunately, not many municipality offices make sure to let the newcomers know about it. As a result, many first- and second- year students end up paying the tax bills they receive by post which are approximately 400 euros per person annually. Unless you live in a student dorm, it is very likely that you will come across one of those letters with an invoice at the bottom sooner or later. Among other, these taxes include waste tax and water authority taxes.
Don’t panic! There are a few crucial steps that you have to take in case you receive such a letter from the local tax collectors. The amount that you are required to pay is calculated per person registered at the address. Make sure you understand everything written in the letter. In case the letter is in Dutch, either ask one of your friends/classmates to translate it for you or give the agency a call and ask for detailed information in English about the tax and how to request a tax waiver.
- Make sure you inform the person on the phone that you are a student and you want to apply for a tax waiver and ask what documents the agency requires. Then you are supposed to receive a form with which you can request the tax waiver.
- After receiving the form (by post), fill it in with your detailed information (occupation, monthly/yearly income & expenses, etc.
- Attach documents which would support your case and the information you provided in the initial form: such as proof of enrollment, work contract (if applicable), payslips (if applicable), rental contract, any documents that show whether or not you are getting government subsidies such as zorgtoeslag, student loan, etc.
- Send by either post or bring the documents yourself to the agency’s office if possible.
- Wait a couple of business days and give them a call again to inform them that the documents should be reaching them soon.
Always be honest when providing your personal information and records and make sure all contracts that you attach are legitimate. Be patient while waiting for answers as paper bureaucracy takes a while. For more information about this topic, steps and what particular taxes are involved, consult your municipality web page. Good luck and welcome to adulthood! 🙂