This guide tells you everything you need to know about filing the M-form in the Netherlands for your Dutch tax return.

We will answer the following questions:

Info: In this post, we’re answering all questions about filing the M-form in the Netherlands if you moved TO the Netherlands.

Don’t forget to read our post on Income Tax in the Netherlands for more background information about the Dutch tax return.

What is the M-form?

The Migration income tax return form replaces the “normal” Dutch tax return. People that have lived only part of the year in the Netherlands and, next to the Netherlands, paid taxes in another country need to file this form. With the M-form, you provide the Dutch tax authority with all the necessary information regarding your tax situation in two (or more) different countries.

Unfortunately, the 55-page long document is only available in Dutch. Right! Very practical if you have just moved to the Netherlands and have yet to speak a word of Dutch. The M-forms from earlier years must be filled in the old-fashioned by pen and sent by mail. The good news is: As of the tax year 2020, the M-form is finally electronically available via MijnBelastingdienst.

Filing these documents can be challenging if you don’t understand the language fully, and who said taxes are fun anyway!?

This post tells you everything you need to know about the M-form in the Netherlands. If your tax situation is simple, you can download our M-form Manual to file your documents in no time.

Do I have to file the M-form?

If the Belastingdienst has sent you the M-form, you are obliged to fill it in and send it back. If you did not receive the M-form in your mail but earned money in the Netherlands in the year you immigrated, you can request the M Form online

You must file your return before the deadline stated on the return form. Otherwise, you’ll receive a fine. Usually, the deadline is the 1st of May, and if you send it back a month earlier, you can expect to receive your return before the 1st of July. If you need more time, you may apply for a postponement. 

But you’ll likely receive some money back, so why wait? With the comeandstay M-form Manual, you file your M-form in no time!

What information do I have to reveal in the form?

On the one hand, the M-form is about your (money) situation while you were registered in the Netherlands. On the other hand, the Dutch tax authority requires some information about your (money) situation before you lived in the Netherlands. Therefore, most sections contain questions where you need to provide information on your income and assets during the Dutch period – the period you were registered in the Netherlands and lived here – and your situation before. The questions about your Dutch period are way more extended, though.

In a nutshell, the M-form contains questions about your income, benefits or assets:

  • IN the Netherlands during your Dutch period;
  • OUTSIDE of the Netherlands during your Dutch period;
  • Received income from a Dutch employer while you were registered abroad;
  • And non-dutch income you received while you were registered abroad.

Structure M-form

As the tax situation is different for everyone (probably only two of the conditions mentioned above apply to you!), the document has a lot of pages (55, to be precise). However, luckily not all pages need to be filled in by everyone. Which pages you have to fill in depends on your specific tax situation. For that matter, the questions in the M-form fall into three so-called boxes:

  • Box 1 is about your income from work and home. Amongst others, it includes profit from a business, wages, benefits, pensions, income from other work, income from being a homeowner or receiving partner maintenance. 
  • Box 2 is about benefits from a substantial interest.
  • Box 3 is about your benefits from savings and investments. This box includes all assets and debts unrelated to income in box 1. The business bank account of an entrepreneur, for example, is indicated in box 1 and is, therefore, not a box 3 asset. A private holiday home, however, is a box 3 property.

In the comeandstay M-form Manual, we tell you exactly which pages you must to fill in for your tax situation. 

What’s the worst that can happen if I wrongly file my M-form?

You can lose money! If you don’t file the documents carefully, you might pay more taxes than you’d have to; due to double taxation. The tax system in the Netherlands takes into account taxes you paid in another country, meaning that you don’t have to pay taxes twice over the same amount. However, you need to disclose complete information to the Dutch tax authorities to get the calculations right. Correctly filing your M-form is crucial.

For the comeandstay M-form Manual, we carefully outlined a basic tax situation you must fulfil if you use our Manual. We prepared a couple of extensions for more extended tax situations, like a fair amount of savings and tax deductions. However, the basic tax situation of the M-form manual excludes a tax partner, an own business, the possession of an apartment, or children. 

If your tax situation is complex, we suggest you invest in a good tax advisor, which may save you money and time.

Who is the comeandstay M-form manual for?

We created the M-form Manual mainly for young professionals at the beginning of their career with a tax situation which is not too complicated. For example, exchange students with a side job in the Netherlands, young professionals who moved abroad after their studies or fell in love with a Dutchie and took the plunge and moved. However, as long as you fulfil the set prerequisites (no tax partner, own business, apartment, or children), everyone can use the comeandstay M-form Manual to file the M-form in the Netherlands.

Remember to read our post on Income Tax in the Netherlands for more background information about the Dutch tax return.

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