All about the Dutch M-form


If you file your Dutch taxes over the first (period) year you arrived in The Netherlands and/or believe you are entitled to receive a tax rebate over this year you must file your with an M form.

The reason for this is that the Dutch tax authorities don’t have any information about you in the files/systems and with this form, which is a 43 pages long booklet. They will ask you additional questions which are not questioned in a regular income declaration. Below you will find some Frequently Asked Questions from our clients regarding the M-form. It is likely to be beneficial for expats to file an M-form declaration. Most expats will receive a tax return because of the fact that they did not lived the full year in The Netherlands and paid to much taxes on their salary. Even your (fiscal) partner without an income able to receive a tax return when he or she was living at least 6 months in The Netherlands in the year you are filing the M-form.


Basically the Dutch tax authorities want to know everything about your background. Like where did you live before coming to The Netherlands, did you earn money in The Netherlands while living in a foreign country etc.

The most common required (additional) questions are:

  1. Did you earn an income out of The Netherlands while living abroad?
  2. Your nationality
  3. The country you lived before coming to The Neteherlands
  4. When married, your wedding date

Of course you’re always free to file your own declarations yourself. However from our experience we see a lot of mistakes made in filing taxes (even by the Dutch themselves!). Because the declaration form (booklet) is only available in Dutch the chances of making (minor) mistakes with a big (financial) impact can be considerably high.

It is recommendable for your partner to check with our Tax Scan whether filing an Mform can be beneficial or not. Our experience shows that this is often the case.

The Mform is not available on the website of the “Belastingdienst”. The only way to receive it is by calling the “belastingtelefoon” (0800-0543) and they will send it to you by post. We are able to file the Mform electronically when choosing us. We can provide you a report in English, German or Dutch. An example of a 2014 form can be found here (please note that this copy is not usable for filing your declaration!)

In the year you enter or leave the Netherlands you must file a so-called M-form with the tax authorities. The M-form is a complicated tax form. It combines a foreign period with a resident period. Whether income in both periods must be declared in the M-form depends on the specific situation. Normally the M-form will show a tax refund.

We are often asked why the M-form has a different outcome to the P-form. Many clients complete the online P-form themselves, only to find that the tax authorities will not process it because they filed the wrong form.

But after filing the M-form many clients are disappointed with the outcome. They had expected to receive a much larger amount back from the tax office. So why is there a difference? This is due to the fact that you only have to pay taxes and social security contributions during the time you are actually registered in the Netherlands.

At the beginning of every year your employer will make a calculation for you. Your annual income will be calculated from your gross monthly income.  The amount of income tax and national insurance contributions you must pay is determined by a bracket rate based on your annual taxable income.

For 2017, the amounts are as following:

Bracket  Annual Taxable Income  Percentage
1    Up to € 19,981   36.55%
2   From € 19,982 to € 33,790   40.8%
3   From € 33,791 to € 67,071   40.8%
4   From € 67,072   52%

In addition to the tax and social security contributions that you pay, you are also entitled to a general tax credit and an employed person’s tax credit. These credits are also calculated based on the annual amount that you are entitled to and appear in a 1/12 part on your monthly salary slip.

Let’s imagine you lived and worked in the Netherlands for 6 months and your taxable income was € 16,500. From the P-form it would seem that you only had to pay 36.55 % tax and social security contributions. However, your employer took into account that your yearly income would be € 33,000 so you paid 40.8% tax and social security contributions. They also granted you the full amount of tax credits. In this case, you definitely paid too much tax and social security contributions and you will receive a large amount back. However, you also received too much in tax credits. The M-form calculates everything back to the actual period you were in the Netherlands and therefore the outcome is different to that of the P-form.

So, the year you enter or leave the Netherlands you cannot use the Belastingdienst’s online tax declaration form. You have to apply for an M-form but this is a large book and all in Dutch.

We can fill the form out electronically on our system and provide you with a report in English, German or Dutch.

If you use our services, you can rest assured that you have declared your taxes with the correct form, and you will receive a full tax report for a very reasonable price.

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