This article is published in November 2015, you will understand later in this article why the moment of publishing is relevant.
The Dutch income tax system is such that you are either demanded to file an income tax return when a return is issued to you, you are required to file an income tax return when you are aware you are due income tax and you can file an income tax return if you would like to claim some refunds.
Obligation to file on demand
The income tax return that is demanded to be filed is issued to you in February and the deadline is May 1. You can have an extension for filing till about September when you request for the delay yourself. If your tax advisor makes such a request, the delay can be till May 1, the following year.
Obligation to file based on aught to know
The income tax return you are required to file needs to meet the May 1 deadline as well. Because the Dutch tax office had not issued you with such a tax return, you could be slightly later. The later you are, the more interest you pay. The following year you are most likely invited immediately.
No obligation to file
The income tax return you can file on own initiative can only be filed during a max period of 5 years after the financial year which equals the calendar year has finished. After that it is no longer possible to file a tax return for that year.
Now I would like to refer to the first sentence of this article. November 2015 implies you still have one month time to file the 2010 income tax return. After that it is no longer possible to file the 2010 income tax return, regardless the circumstances. The system simply cannot process that tax return anymore.
Why would you file the 2010 income tax return?
Study costs deduction
If you studied and you paid for tuition fee and other costs related to the study not being travel and accommodation, then you need to deduct the study costs in the income tax return of the year you actually paid the costs. Whether or not you had a taxable income in that year to set of the costs is not relevant. If you actually filed that tax return, the negative result can be set of against future income. You cannot deduct the study costs paid in one year in the tax return of another year.
Mortgage costs deduction
We know from experience that there are Dutch tax payers that have purchased a home in 2010 but never filed the income tax return to claim back the deductible purchase costs. Even though these are rather scares situations, it does occur and now is really the time to make the effort to claim back money.
If your family expanded with a little baby in 2010 and you both continued to be employed, the tax payer with the lowest income receives an additional tax refund.
Averaging out the difference
Middeling or averaging out the difference is a method where huge differences in taxable income over the years can be levied out. On average over these three years you should have paid much less tax and then what you actually paid. In order to exercise the middeling request, the tax return of the years you use for the middeling need to have been filed. If you would like to average out 2010, 2011 and 2012, then now is the time to file your 2010 income tax return if you have not done so already.
US tax return
US nationals or US greencard holders living in the Netherlands have met the reality that their US tax obligation has not changed since they left the USA. The US tax return needs to be filed and the basis of that tax return is the tax return of the country you are currently living in. If that is the Netherlands, we recommend you to file the 2010 and following years tax return now, so you can at least settle the past five years correctly in the USA.
Box 3 wealth tax
The Box 3 wealth tax reports your world wide assets. Some Dutch tax residents who have been in the Netherlands for a substantial period of time, might have benefitted the 30% ruling during the first ten years of their stay. If that ruling expired in 2009, this implies that in 2010 you need to report your Box 3 assets as well. Or if you were a regular Dutch tax payer and you simply did not know about your Box 3 filing obligation as you already paid tax abroad over your assets, then you still need to file your Dutch tax return. We cannot avoid a penalty, which is 300% of the tax due. But it brings your world wide assets in perspective, so that is not the base of a possible argument with the Dutch tax office.
Non resident and property
If you are no longer a Dutch resident tax payer, but you do own property of which the value has exceeded the purchase debt, you have an obligation to file the Dutch non resident income tax return.
Orange Tax Services
We can file your Dutch personal income tax return for EUR 370 incl VAT. I hope you understand that 2015 is still a very short year, so if you would like to file your 2010 income tax return, please respond immediately, but not later than mid December.