Why you should be careful while filing an M-form!

15 August 2016

Not carefully filing an M-form can cost you a lot of money. One of our clients emigrated from the Netherlands beginning of January 2013. The M-form, which is obligatory in the year of emigration, was filed by himself. This almost cost him € 12.000 on taxes! Coincidentally we saw the final tax assessment with a small amount to be paid extra. Further research made it clear that in the provisional tax assessment he had already been taxed for his box-3 capital for the entire year 2013. In the Netherlands January 1st is the value date on which your box 3-levy (tax on real estate, savings etcetera) is calculated for the whole year to come.

Raising objections on time
Possibly he had not clearly indicated in the M-form that for almost the whole year 2013 he did not live in the Netherlands anymore. Or, unfortunately this could also be the case, the Dutch Tax Office (Belastingdienst) did not process this information correctly. We were able to raise an appeal just on time, explaining that the tax levy was incorrectly calculated based on a complete year instead of a period less than a month. The Belastingdienst (the Dutch Tax office) had no other option than to pay back the entire amount of box 3 levy. This saved him € 12.000.

Always have your pre-filled tax form checked
In the Netherlands the tax form you receive is pre-completed for you by the Belastingdienst, based on the information they have of you. Many people assume that this information, and thus the pre-filled form, is fully complete and correct and they file the form without making any changes. However if you do not take a detailed look at all pre-completed items this might cost you a lot, as in the example above. If you file a pre-completed form without making changes you agree with it and you receive a tax-levy based on the information as filled in in the form. Especially M-forms have several specific and complex aspects, which can lead to information not being processed correctly by the Belastingdienst. In this case it is still possible to submit an appeal. Correcting the tax assessments afterwards however, is more complex than submitting a correct tax form from the start.

In any case if you are unsure it is wise to seek advice of an experienced tax advisor who can advise you on the correct completion and raise an appeal if necessary. Especially in case of an M-form this is recommendable.