In this guide, we tell you everything you need to know about filing an M-form in the Netherlands for your Dutch tax return.

The following questions will be answered:

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 M-form (Migration income tax return form) replaces the “normal” dutch tax return for people that have lived only part of the year in the Netherlands and next to the Netherlands paid taxes in another country. 

As this tax situation is a bit more complicated because you’ll have to specify income and possessions in two (or more) different countries, a more extended form is required. With the M-form you provide the Belastingdienst (= Dutch tax authority) with all necessary information regarding your tax situation to avoid double taxation for exampleThe M-form in the Netherlands, therefore, concerns all people who immigrate or emigrate to and from the country.

The M-form is a 55 pages long document, which is only available in Dutch. Right! Very practical if you just moved to the Netherlands and don’t speak a word of Dutch. It’s getting better: whereas you can file the regular Dutch income tax return online, the M-form needs to be filled in old-fashionedly by pen and sent by mail.

Therefore, filing the M-form in the Netherlands can be quite a challenge if you don’t really understand the language fully and anyway, who said taxes are fun!?

Luckily you found us! In this post we tell you everything you need to know about the M-form in the Netherlands; And if your tax situation is not too complex, you can use our M-form Manual to file your M-form.

Do I have to file the M-form?

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

You are required to 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, it is likely that you’ll receive some money back, so why wait? With the comeandstay M-form Manual, you’ll be done in next to no time! 😉

What information do I have to reveal in the M-form?

On the on hand, the M-form is about your (money) situation while you were registered in the Netherlands. On the other hand, the belastingdienst 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 – as well as on your situation before. The questions about your Dutch period are way more extended though

In a nutshell, in 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 above-mentioned situations apply to you!) the M-form 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 received 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 that are not related 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 a lot of money! If you don’t file your M-form carefully, you might pay more taxes than you’d actually 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, in order to get the calculations right, the belastingdienst needs to receive complete information from you. Hence why correctly filing your M-form in the Netherlands can be crucial.

For the comeandstay M-form Manual, we carefully outlined a basic tax situation which you need to fulfil if you use our Manual to file your M-form in the Netherlands. We prepared a couple of extensions for more extended tax situations like a fair amount of savings and tax deductions. The basic tax situation of the M-form manual, however, excludes a tax partner, an own business, the possession of an apartment, or children. If your tax situation is complex, we’d suggest you invest in a good tax advisor as it may save you some money and for sure saves you some 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; 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.