Tips for students doing income tax in the Netherlands

If you have a side job next to your studies, you will need to file your income taxes in the Netherlands. You can do this between March 1 and May 31. On average students with a student job receive €250 in tax returns, so not only is it the proper thing to do, it might also get you some cash!

As an international student working in the Netherlands, you will have to abide by certain rules, like procuring a work permit if you are originally from outside the EU. The income tax tool is also in Dutch, so you might need to ask your job’s HR department to help you file your taxes. Still, I want to give you some tips for things to remember when filing your taxes.

Firstly: try to get your taxes done as soon as possible. You can ask for an extension until September first, but it will be much easier to get it done in the regular time bracket. The longer you wait to file your taxes, the longer it will take to get your return.

To file your taxes you need the following things:

  • DigiD log in
  • Annual statement from your job
  • Data from your study costs and possible student grants or loans

How do you file your taxes?

You log in on the website of the Belastingdienst with your DigiD. If you had a regular salaried employment all data from your job should be known at the Belastingdienst. Your job is to check if all those numbers are correct and make additions where necessary.

Annual statement

If you worked a regular salaried job, you will receive an annual statement either through the mail or through e-mail. Did you do an internship? You should also receive an annual statement for that. Check in the tax tool if the numbers on your annual statement match the ones the Belastingdienst is reporting.  

Study costs

Since 2015-2016 you are not allowed to deduct your study costs if you receive any kind of student grant or loan. If you don’t receive either, you are allowed to deduct your study costs from your income, which will make your taxable income lower (so less taxes to pay).

Depending on the year you are filing, the tax tool will tell you which study costs you are and are not allowed to deduct. To figure out the amount you are allowed to deduct you will need to do the following calculation:

Study costs – any possible compensation received – threshold amount of €250 = your deduction.

Travel costs

Did you travel through public transport to and from you job, and was the distance traveled more than 10 kilometers one way? If you were not fully or only partially compensated for your travel costs, you can deduct some of them from your income.

You will need to fill out the period and the kilometer distance per single trip to your work in the tax tool. The program will calculate automatically how much will be deducted from your taxable income, because these amounts are set by the Belastingdienst in advance.

To be able to prove you traveled the distance you’ve indicated you will need a public transport statement or travel statement. As a student you can get this statement from Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO). The Belastingdienst can also ask you for a receipt of the travel you did. Make sure you get this receipt (you can get one on for example) when you file for your taxes and keep it somewhere safe, because this data will only be archived for 18 months.

I hope this helps you with filing for your income taxes in the Netherlands, and good luck!