Migration and contact details go hand in hand. The day you leave the Netherlands to start your fiscal residence elsewhere implies you have new contact details. What if you do not share them?
Migration and contact details
We understand that leaving the Netherlands without a new forwarding address implies no surprises from the Dutch tax office while living abroad. That said, often the migration results in a nice surprise.
Moving house is always a stressful moment, moving house to another country might as well be double stressfull. Some formalities you need to comply with and one of them is to deregister from city hall. City hall will probably ask you about your new address details and of course you can reply “I do not have any yet.”
No new address details
City hall is the only organization that updates the Dutch tax office about your contact details. The consequence of not providing new address details is that the tax office will not process a possible tax return filed.
You might be joyful, as you expect tax to be charge to you. The migration income tax return is often about too much tax withheld by your employer. The too much tax amount is refunded to you via the migration income tax return. If then your address details are unknown, the amount is not paid out to you.
If you truly move abroad and you have a temporary address, but that you can only use for a very limited period of time, we understand you do not provide these temporary details. In such or similar situation we recommend to provide the address of your family to city hall. Even if that is an a totally different country. With such a solution the tax office can still contact you or process your migration income tax return.
Moving while already living abroad
The Dutch tax office does not expect you not to move from the address you provided while you left the Netherlands. You can update your foreign address with a new foreign address. That is best done in a letter to the tax office at the foreign department in Heerlen.
No address – what can happen to me?
Not everybody is eager to provide address details. Some even think the Dutch tax office cannot affect them abroad. Well they can. We have a case in the office where a person moved abroad without providing contact details. The person still owned and rented out a property in the Netherlands.
The Dutch tax office issued for a period of a number of years ex officio assessments for not filed income tax returns. Income tax return for the year she left but also for the years the Dutch property was the only tax aspect in the Netherlands. You can own a property and have for the same amount a debt on the property, hence no tax is to be paid. If this debts is not claimed in an income tax return, the Dutch tax office simple issues the tax return based on the value known to them. This is the so called WOZ value. Then suddenly tax is to be paid.
Selling the property
Obviously the tax payer does not receive any of the assessments and there comes a moment the Dutch tax office no longer waits for their money. They are going to touch the property. You can have mortgage on the house, the Dutch tax office can still act on selling the property for what they find suitable to settle the outstanding tax amount. This is not a process done overnight, many collector letters will be presented at the address of the property.
The tax office prefers not to sell, but to get the tax payer to learn about these issues. Tax collectors have their ways to make the tenant feel uneasy, and the tenant will be able to get into contact with the landlord, the tax payer. That is often the moment the first contact is made with the tax office and the long process of solving the ex officio assessments starts.
Blocking bank account
In another situation a person that never should have had a Dutch income tax return, certainly not an assessment. His Dutch bank account was blocked by the Dutch tax office. This person worked as a criminal defended lawyer for the International court of justice in The Hague. These persons are exempted from taxation in the Netherlands.
Entry visa obstacles made the lawyer being late for every single trial. The court was not amused by this procedure and created a solution. However, this solution trickered the issue of a Dutch tax number for this person, without him being informed. Seven years later he opened a Dutch bank account and that was instantly blocked by the Dutch tax office.
This person was at good faith, hence we could solve everything, even back to 2013. If you are not at good faith, so you left without forwarding details, the Dutch office can and will seize your Dutch bank account.
Tax is exciting
We think tax is exciting, others think different and are glad the tax office cannot contact them. Must sound ideal, reality is different. The migration income tax return, that is the tax return filed when you move away or to the Netherlands is often a tax refund tax return. If the tax office has no contact details, no refund is paid.
In the situation you are to pay tax and the tax office does have your contact details, this can become ugly. Maybe your Dutch property or bank account is touched. Or what happens when you arrive at Schiphol airport the next time?