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. It is meant for people that have lived only part of the year in the Netherlands and, next to the Netherlands, paid taxes in another country. This requires a more extended form, because they have to specify income and possessions in two (or more) different countries. With the M-form, you provide the Dutch tax authority with all necessary information regarding your tax situation. To avoid double taxation, for example. 

However, the document is 55-page long and only available in Dutch. Right! Very practical if you have just moved to the Netherlands and don’t speak a word of Dutch. The M-forms from earlier years must be filled in the old-fashionedly 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 thse documents can be quite challenging if you don’t understand the language fully and anyway, who said taxes are fun!?

A little more information on this topic can’t hurt. In this post, we tell you everything you need to know about the M-form in the Netherlands. If your tax situation is not too complex, you can download our M-form Manual to file your documents in no time.

Do I have to file the M-form?

If you have received a letter from the Belastingdienst withthe M-form, you must fill it in and send it back. You can apply for the M Form online if you did not receive an M-form in your mail but earned money in the Netherlands in the year you immigrated.

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 the latest 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. 

However, you’ll likely receive some money back, so why wait? With the comeandstay M-form Manual, you’ll be done 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.

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 are structured 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 need 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, for example. 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, to get the calculations right, you need to disclose complete information to the Dutch tax authorities. Correctly filing your M-form can therefore be crucial.

For the comeandstay M-form Manual, we carefully outlined a basic tax situation you need to 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.

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

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