Filling your tax return

Step 3: Check your tax return

Prevent mistakes and omissions in your tax return

Many taxpayers assume that they have completed their income tax return correctly. But especially with homeowners things sometimes go wrong. And there are other situations, too, where mistakes are commonly made. For example, are you sure you’ve made use of all your deductible items and tax credits? These are not all filled in automatically. 

And if you had to deal with an important change in your personal situation in 2021, pay extra attention to your tax return in that case too. 


Get the most out of tax deductions and tax credits

Most deductible items are not automatically filled in on the income tax return. And of course you don't want to pay too much tax. You can deduct some expenses from your income so that you end up paying less income tax. Things you can deduct include medical expenses, donations, and costs relating to your own home (this needs special attention if you are divorced). You will find the most common deductions described on the website of t he Tax and Customs Administration

Have there been major changes in your personal situation?

If you have had a major change in your personal situation, you should keep in mind that special tax rules may apply. This can make matters more complicated, resulting in taxpayers sometimes making mistakes. This concerns the following situations:

Prevent mistakes and omissions in your tax return

Many taxpayers assume that they have completed their income tax return correctly. However, tax rules concerning owner-occupied homes are very complicated. Things sometimes go wrong, especially for homeowners. 

Tax rules concerning owner-occupied homes are quite complicated. Where, on the one hand, the imputed rental value (‘eigenwoningforfait’) is added to your income, on the other the financing interest and fees for the owner-occupied home are often deductible in Box 1 of the tax return, though not always. The type of loan is an important factor in this. The deduction of financing interest and fees is restricted to mortgages that involve a minimum annuity repayment arrangement with the mortgage provider. Additional conditions apply to this deduction in Box 1. In certain cases, for the financing interest and fee deduction you must provide information about the home loan on your tax return, for example if you have taken out a new loan for your home with family or through your company. If your home loan is from a bank in the Netherlands, they will have already provided this information on your behalf. Sometimes the financing costs for the owner-occupied home can be entered as debt in Box 3, while you must enter the imputed rental value for that home in Box 1.

Tax rules when buying a home 
If you are a first-time homeowner, you should at least keep the following tax-related matters in mind: 

  • the concept of ‘owner-occupied home’ 
  • which expenses are deductible 
  • how to calculate the imputed rental value, and
  • information on the phasing out of deductible expenses for the owner-occupied home with higher incomes

You should carefully check the information the Tax and Customs Administration has already entered on your tax return and correct and/or supplement this where necessary. If necessary, ask for expert help from a tax specialist. 

If after filing your income tax return with the Tax and Customs Administration you find that you need to change something, correct an error, or provide additional details, submit these amendments by filing a new tax return online. Tax returns filed in the app can also be amended. You can generally amend your tax return up to 5 years after the financial year to which it relates. In 2022, therefore, you could still go back and amend your tax return for the 2017 tax year.

Do bear in mind that this term is far shorter for the distribution of joint income and deductions between you and your partner. You can only change that up to 6 weeks after the date of your final assessment, if required. More information (in Dutch) is available on the website of the Tax and Customs Administration: ‘Fiscaal partnerschap - Wanneer ben ik fiscaal partner?’ (Tax partnership - When am I a tax partner?) and ‘Ik heb een foutje gemaakt in mijn aangifte, maar ik heb hem al verstuurd - wat nu?’ (I made a mistake on the tax return I filed. What do I do now?).

You must complete your 2021 income tax return between 1 March and 1 May 2022. You can request a postponement (extension) for your tax return. It is important that you file a correct tax return on time. After all, you don’t want to pay too much income tax, but not too little either (honestly!). Paying too little will likely result in nasty surprises, causing stress and anxiety, not to mention even more money. And it’s not just the outstanding tax to be paid, but also the interest and possibly fines as well.

Has your income in Box 1 been highly irregular over a certain number of years? If the highest applicable rate in this box is not the same for you every year, it may be a good idea to ask the Tax and Customs Administration for permission to average your income. Your income over 3 consecutive years, which will in principle be full calendar years, will then be averaged. This may lead to you receiving a tax refund for overpaid income tax. Please note that income averaging is subject to conditions. It is always subject to a threshold of €545, meaning the Tax and Customs Administration only refunds tax if it exceeds this amount. More information on this (in Dutch) is provided on the page 'Hoe werkt middeling?' (How does averaging work?) on the website of the Tax and Customs.

If you receive any state benefits that are subject to an income or assets threshold, it may be advisable to check whether the amounts in the tax return you filed for 2021 could be reason to submit a request to the relevant authority to have these benefits adjusted. This is a way to, for example, prevent yourself from receiving too much in benefits.

The information on our website about submitting your tax return applies to people who are liable for tax in the Netherlands . If you have not received an ‘aangiftebrief’ (notice of obligation to submit a tax return), or do not know whether you need to submit a tax return, check with the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst).