I wish that I could give Orange Tax Services 10 stars. People there have extensive expertise on tax requirements that the Netherlands requires of its expat residents. And the company is willing to share this expertise with its clients. (At the bottom of their every e-mail is the statement, “Please do not hesitate to contact us, should you require any further information or assistance.” And they mean it!) Applying his company’s policy of openness with its clients, Arnold Waal took the time not only to do my Dutch taxes (which every Dutch tax service is happy to do), but also to respond to my questions about how the Dutch tax system works. This openness is something that I have not been able to find with any other tax service here in the Netherlands.
About us: My wife and I are retired and dual citizens of both the United States and the Netherlands. One month ago we discovered that we needed to pay Dutch income taxes retroactively back to 2015 (!), despite the fact that all of our income has been from retirement annuities in the US. Suddenly, we needed to learn about how taxes are levied in the Netherlands in light of an impossible-to-fathom NL-US treaty to prevent double-taxation. In a growing panic, we contacted Dutch tax experts for weeks in hopes that somebody could explain the rules. But no. With the exception of Orange Tax Services, the response was always the same: You pay us and provide us numbers, then we do your taxes for you.
Let me illustrate what I mean by openness. Here is an excerpt from Arnold Waal’s response to a series of questions I asked in my initial e-mail contact with Orange Tax Services:
- –If you moved to the Netherlands in 2015, we need to file a Dutch migration income tax return.
- –Your US retirement income should be reported in this tax return, since the Dutch-US tax treaty states that only the Netherlands can tax this income. The exception to this rule is if you were working as a US employee, for instance in the military, police, justice, etc. If that is not the case, the income is taxed in the Netherlands.
- –The amounts you withdraw from your 401K are taxed in the Netherlands.
- –The amounts you withdraw from your IRA are taxed in the Netherlands.
- –Your Roth IRA’s value is taxed (as wealth) in the Netherlands, not what you withdraw from it.
- –Your savings (not including amounts in your 401K or IRA) are taxed in the Netherlands as wealth.
- –The value of your house in the US is reported in your Dutch tax return, but is not taxed in the Netherlands. You get a credit for its value, which eliminates any tax on it.
- –My understanding of US tax returns is that you should file the Dutch tax return before filing your US tax return. So if you would like us to file your Dutch returns, have us file them before you submit your US tax returns.
How is that for clarity? And beyond this, they sent detailed copies of our tax returns for our review prior to filing them. This is what I call working “with” your clients, not just working “for” them. If you do not understand the rules, you cannot make a financial plan; and without a plan, you are paralyzed. Thus Orange Tax Services not only did our Dutch taxes but–more importantly–helped us understand, so that we could plan and overcome our paralysis. That’s why 5 (or even 10) stars are not enough to express how grateful we are to this company.