The moment you become part of the Dutch tax system you could be liable to file an income tax return, value added tax return or corporate income tax return. After you filed the tax return you receive an assessment. What if that assessment is incorrect?
Appeal tax decision
A tax assessment can be not in line with what you think it should have been due to either your own wrongful filing or the tax return was processed incorrectly or the tax office has made unannounced alterations in the assessment.
In that case you need to appeal the assessment. Appeal needs to be done within 6 weeks from the date of the assessment. Moreover, the appeal need to meet certain criteria. Criteria such as the exact details of the assessment you appeal, why you appeal and what you think should have been the outcome of the appeal.
6 week period expired
What if you forget or you simply did not know and you come to the conclusion you would like to appeal and the 6 weeks window of appeal has expired. The legislation is very clear in this matter, you are not able to appeal anymore. That is the moment you need to take a deep breath and change your reaction to the Dutch tax office from an attack via appeal to a very clear explanation of the situation in a so called kind-request letter.
The Dutch tax office is not obliged to respond to the kind- request letter, but our experience is that the tax office representative will obey your request if the assessment is indeed incorrect. In other words, if an appeal would have been successful, you have a huge chance the kind-request letter will have the same effect.
Assessment received after appeal window
It is possible you only receive the assessment at a date that is well beyond the final date that you could have appealed the decision. That is most of the time caused by a wrong address used by the Dutch tax office. The wrong address is possible if you move your residence and you did not inform city hall. Or you migrated and you have not informed city hall. But if you did inform city hall, but the old address details were being used, then you have a point.
The six week period for appeal starts the moment the tax payer was able receive the assessment. If the tax payer could not have received the assessment as the incorrect address was being used on the assessment, then the assessment was not issued correctly. If the assessment is not issued correctly, the six week period will not start till the moment the tax payer was able to take notice of the assessment.
In other words, you move to for instance Singapore and three months after the sending date you receive an assessment from the Dutch tax office in which you are asked to pay for a certain amount of tax, which is incorrect. Your Dutch address was shown on the return, or any other address other than the address you provided to city hall. That makes that regardless of the three months that have already passed, that you are still within the six week appeal window.
City hall update
Now you might understand why it is this crucial to update your status with city hall before you move outside the Netherlands. There you inform city hall that you emigrate and you provide a solid forwarding address. Should you move later to another address, then you update the Dutch tax office yourself, so they are able to reach you.
Why is this important to you? Not always it is an assessment you need to pay, but often too much tax was collected and the Dutch tax office would like to provide you the opportunity to claim this back. But if you cannot be reached, it is in the end the Dutch Government that will be thankful for your contribution.
Orange Tax Services
Our core business is assisting foreign individuals and companies with their tax affairs. That does imply checking tax assessments, appealing assessments and making people aware of city hall needing to be updated about your address abroad. Most of the time there is no issue, but if there are issues, not everybody is able to inform you how to solve this. We are able to inform you.