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Step 3: Check your tax return

Prevent mistakes and omissions in your tax return

Many taxpayers assume that the pre-filled information in their 2023 tax return is already correct. However, it is always a good idea to check your return carefully and provide any missing details. For example, are you sure you’ve made use of all your deductible items and tax credits? These are not all filled in automatically.

And if you had to deal with an important change in your personal situation in 2023, pay extra attention to your tax return in that case too.


Get the most out of tax deductions and tax credits

Most deductible items are not automatically filled in on the income tax return. You can deduct some expenses from your income so that you end up paying less income tax. Things you can deduct include medical expenses, donations and costs relating to your own home (this needs special attention if you are divorced). You will find the most common deductions described on the website of the Tax and Customs Administration

Have there been major changes in your personal situation?

If you have had a major change in your personal situation, you should keep in mind that special tax rules may apply. This can make matters more complicated, resulting in taxpayers sometimes making mistakes. This concerns the following situations:

Which errors are often made when filing a tax return?

The tax rules concerning owner-occupied homes can be very complicated. While the imputed rental value (‘eigenwoningforfait’) is added to your income, the financing interest and fees for an owner-occupied home are often deductible in Box 1 of the tax return, though not always. The type of loan is an important factor in this. The deduction of financing interest and fees is restricted to mortgages that involve a minimum annuity repayment arrangement with the mortgage provider. Additional conditions apply to this deduction in Box 1.

In certain cases, for the financing interest and fee deduction you must provide information about the home loan on your tax return, for example, if you borrowed money for your home from family or from your company. If you took out the loan from a bank in the Netherlands, the bank will already have provided the information. Sometimes the financing costs for the owner-occupied home can be entered as debt in Box 3, while you must enter the imputed rental value for that home in Box 1.

Key tax rules when buying a home 
If you are a first-time homeowner, you should at least keep the following tax-related matters in mind: 

  • the concept of ‘owner-occupied home’ 
  • which expenses are deductible 
  • how to calculate the imputed rental value, and
  • information on the phasing out of deductible expenses for the owner-occupied home with higher incomes.

You should carefully check the information the Tax and Customs Administration has already entered on your tax return and correct this and/or add any missing details where necessary. If necessary, ask for expert help from a tax specialist.

If after filing your income tax return with the Tax and Customs Administration you find that you need to change something, like correct an error or provide additional details, submit these amendments by changing the tax return online. Tax returns filed in the app can also be amended. You can generally amend your tax return up to 5 years after the financial year to which it relates. In 2024, therefore, you could still go back and amend your tax return for the 2019 tax year.

Do bear in mind that this term is far shorter for the distribution of joint income and deductions between you and your partner. You can only change that (if desired) up to 6 weeks after the date of your final assessment. More information is available on the website of the Tax and Customs Administration .

You must complete your 2023 income tax return between 1 March and 1 May 2024. If required, you can request a postponement (extension) for your tax return. It is important that you file a correct tax return on time. After all, you don’t want to pay too much income tax.

Has your income in Box 1 been highly irregular over a certain number of years? If the highest applicable rate in this box is not the same for you every year, it may be a good idea to ask the Tax and Customs Administration for permission to average your income. Your income over 3 consecutive years, which will in principle be full calendar years, will then be averaged. This may lead to you receiving a tax refund for overpaid income tax. The averaging scheme was withdrawn on 1 January 2023; the last period over which you can average your income is 2022, 2023 and 2024. Please note that income averaging is subject to conditions. A threshold of €545 applies, meaning the Tax and Customs Administration only refunds tax if it exceeds this amount.

If you receive any state benefits that are subject to an income or assets threshold, it may be advisable to check these one more time. Perhaps the amounts in the tax return you filed for 2023 could be reason to submit a request to the relevant authority to have these benefits adjusted. This is a way to, for example, prevent yourself from receiving too much in benefits and having to repay these later.

The information on our website about submitting your tax return applies to people who are liable for tax in the Netherlands . If you have not received an ‘aangiftebrief’ (notice of obligation to submit a tax return), or do not know whether you need to submit a tax return, check with the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst).