The return period is the period for which you must file the payroll tax return. This is usually a period of 1 month or 4 weeks.
When you are required to file returns the Tax and Customs Administration issues you a 'Payroll tax return letter' in November of each year for the following year. When you register as an employer the course of the year then you receive the return letter after your registration.
The return letter lists the return periods for the returns you must file in the following year together with the deadlines for filing each tax return and paying the tax. You can download the return and payment deadlines here (only available in Dutch). The payment references for the return periods are listed on the back of the 'Payroll tax return letter'.
Return period different from the wage period
The wage period (the period over which an employee receives wages) can differ from the return period. It will be useful to reconcile the wage periods of your employees with the return periods: when the wage period is not identical to the return period then you will need to file returns for the amount you paid in wages during the relevant return period.
Amending the return period
You may amend the return period solely as from 1 January 2019. You can do so by completing the 'Amendment of payroll tax return period' form. You can download the form here (only available in Dutch). You use this form to state the return period (monthly or four-weekly) you wish to adopt in 2019. The Tax and Customs Administration must receive this form by no later than 14 December 2018. Amendments pursuant to forms received after this date will take effect only on 1 January 2020.