Voluntary disclosure scheme: correct your tax return or as yet file a tax return

Have you failed to declare all your income? Or not filed a tax return at all when you should have? If you want to rectify this, it may still be possible for you to file or correct your tax return. To do so, go to Mijn Belastingdienst. It is possible that you are unable to do this, perhaps because your tax demand has become irrevocable. In that case, you can use the voluntary disclosure scheme. You do that using the form Melding vrijwillige verbetering (‘Reporting voluntary correction’, only available in Dutch).

Please note!

You can voluntarily file a return, correct your return or make use of the voluntary disclosure scheme, as long as we do not know or suspect that you have not declared your inheritance income or assets.

If you decide to file a return after all, the fine will generally be lower than if we find out that you have undisclosed income. If you voluntarily disclose correctly, as described above, you will not even be fined at all, unless the case concerns income from a substantial holding, or savings and investments.

On this page you will find the following topics:

No or a lower fine in the case of voluntarily filing a return, correction and voluntary disclosure

It is possible that you will not be fined if you have previously failed to declare income and are now filing a tax return after all, correcting your return or making use of the voluntary disclosure scheme. And if you are handed a fine, it will usually be lower than if we find out you had more income than you declared. This is because when setting a fine we take into account the fact that you voluntarily filed a return, even if it was late.

For income tax

If you have failed to file a declaration before 1 May following the year in which you received income without being granted a deferral, you have failed to disclose your income. You can be fined for this. If you as yet declare this income voluntarily, we will take this into account when setting the fine.

You will not be fined if you voluntarily correct your previous income tax return within 2 years of submitting it, other than in the case of income from substantial holdings or savings and investments. You will however receive a fine for this - the voluntary disclosure will be treated as a penalty mitigating circumstance.

Declaration of all income, assets, inheritances and gifts

You must file a tax return on all your income and assets: wages, savings or investment income, inheritance or income from other work. It makes no difference where you earned or received it.

You will receive a tax return letter explaining how to file a return.

Example

You file your income tax return for 2019 in 2020. This is possible as of 1 March, but you must file your tax return by 1 May. If you have not received a tax return letter, you must file your return by 14 July.

Are you receiving an inheritance? If so, you may have to file an inheritance tax return. If you receive notification that you must file a return, that message will state the date by which this must be done. If you have not received notification you will need to file the tax return using the digital inheritance tax return. Read more about this under Erven en erfbelasting (inheritance and inheritance tax).

Do you not live in the Netherlands?

If you do not live in the Netherlands you must report your income from the Netherlands or the assets you have in the Netherlands.

In some cases you will need to file an inheritance tax return if you have received an inheritance from outside the Netherlands. Read more about this under Ik heb een erfenis gekregen uit het buitenland. Waar betaal ik erfbelasting? (I have received an inheritance from abroad. Where do I pay inheritance tax?)

In some cases you will need to file gift tax returns if you have received a gift from outside the Netherlands. Read more about this under Ik krijg een schenking uit het buitenland – moet ik aangifte schenkbelasting doen? (I have received a gift from abroad - do I have to file a gift tax return?)

What is income and what is capital?

Income is everything you earn by working, for example your wages or profits. Any benefit you receive is also income.

Examples of capital include the balance on your bank accounts, savings accounts, deposits and other forms of savings, securities, a second home or cash.

How does the voluntary disclosure scheme for income tax, inheritance tax and gift tax work?

You can correct your income tax return, inheritance tax return or gift tax return in various ways.

If you have filed your income tax return but have not yet received an assessment, you can probably still change your return. Do this at Mijn Belastingdienst. It is possible that you are unable to do this, perhaps because your tax demand has become irrevocable. In that case use the form Melding vrijwillige verbetering (‘Reporting voluntary correction’, only available in Dutch).

If you have not yet filed a tax return for inheritance tax or gift tax, you can still do so.

If you have already filed a tax return for inheritance tax or gift tax, use the form Melding vrijwillige verbetering (‘Reporting voluntary correction’, only available in Dutch).

Procedure after receiving a ‘Reporting voluntary correction’ form

After we receive your form you will receive a confirmation from us.

We will then send you a letter asking you to send us all your income and capital details (e.g. bank documents or an overview of an estate distribution). We may also ask you to make an overview of the movement in your bank balances. You will also need to explain larger withdrawals and deposits.

We use this information to calculate the amount of tax you have to pay. We also calculate the interest you must pay because your payment was late. We present this calculation to you with a settlement agreement. This agreement contains the agreements about the tax and interest to be paid.

If you have any questions or comments about the settlement agreement, we will be happy to explain it to you. If necessary, we will amend the settlement agreement. If you agree to the calculation, you sign the agreement. You will receive the tax assessment or assessments shortly afterwards.

Voluntary disclosure is a form of voluntary correction. If you voluntarily disclose after 2 years or the disclosure concerns income from a substantial interest savings investments, the settlement agreement will also contain agreements on the fine.

Pay unpaid tax, interest and penalties in the event of voluntary correction or voluntary disclosure

Are you filing a return for undisclosed income or capital? Or an inheritance? Or other property or money you have received but have not declared? In that case you pay:

  1. the tax you wrongfully failed to pay
  2. interest over the unpaid tax
  3. a fine
    You will not always receive a fine. And if you voluntarily disclose, the fine will usually be lower than what you would receive if we find out that you have failed to declare something.

You usually receive an additional tax assessment.

1. Tax payment

How much tax do you have to pay? The answer to that is: the tax you should have paid but did not.

Start by calculating the tax you should have paid. Deduct from that the tax you have paid. That equals the amount you still have to pay.

If you have undisclosed any domestic income or assets, we may impose an additional assessment on you for the last 5 years. You still pay the tax that you have not paid over the last 5 years.

We are empowered to reclaim taxes up to and including 5 years after the tax year in which you failed to declare something.

Example

In 2020, an additional assessment is possible for 2015. If you had a deferral for filing your tax return for one of those years, the deferral period will be added to the additional assessment period of that year.

If you have undisclosed foreign income or foreign capital, we can impose a tax assessment on you over the last 12 years. In that case you still pay the tax you have not paid over the last 12 years.

Example

If you had foreign income or income from savings and investment abroad we are empowered to additionally assess it over 12 years. Therefore, an additional assessment for 2008 is still possible in 2020. If you had a deferral for filing your tax return for one of those years, the deferral period will be added to the additional assessment period of that year.

If you have not declared an inheritance within 1 year of inheritance, you pay the tax on the undisclosed part of your inheritance. There is no statute of limitations. This in turn may have affected the assets on which you would have had to pay income tax.

Please note!

We pass on your changed income data to Belastingdienst/Toeslagen and to agencies such as the CAK (Central Administration Office for Exceptional Medical Expenses) and DUO (Education Executive Agency). Your income data will also be adjusted at these agencies. For this reason, you may receive a notification from them about an adjustment to your income and assets. It is also possible that you will have to refund them money you have wrongly received.

2. Interest

Over the tax you haven't paid on time, you pay belastingrente (interest on underpaid tax). If you were also fined and paid on time, you do not pay any interest on the fine. Information about the interest rate is given at Overzicht percentages belastingrente (Overview of interest rates on underpaid tax).

3. Fine and other sanctions

Voluntary disclosure must take place before we know what has not been disclosed. The amount of the fine also depends on how long ago you failed to file a return or filed an incorrect one.

You will receive a fine if you are declaring income or capital that you should have declared more than 2 years ago, or the income is from a substantial interest or from savings and investments. We will reduce the amount of this fine because you have disclosed voluntarily.

If you do not make use of the voluntary disclosure scheme or fail to do so according to the conditions, you may face sanctions in addition to a fine over the additional assessment.

For example, if we ask you for information that you fail to provide, we can ask the court to impose a penalty on you for every day that you fail to provide us with the information. We can also submit a case for criminal prosecution.

Example: voluntary correction of income tax return after 2 years

You file your 2017 tax return on 15 March 2018. You fail to disclose certain income in that return.

On or after 15 March 2020 we receive your 'Voluntary correction notice' (or: if still possible, you correct your income tax return in 'Mijn Belastingdienst'). By doing this you make use of the voluntary disclosure scheme.

In addition to having to pay back tax, you will also be fined. This is because it was not until after 2 years that you reported your failure to disclose income in your tax return. This is undisclosed income and capital that you could have declared earlier.

Even so, the fine is lower than if we find out that you have failed to declare something. It is therefore always more favourable to report income and capital.

Who is responsible?

If you are receiving money, property, goods or other items of value, you must be sure to declare them. You are responsible for this. You must file a correct and complete tax return and do so on time. The same applies if someone else does that for you.

What about inheritance tax?
The joint heirs are responsible for filing the inheritance tax return correctly, completely and on time.

If there is a will in which someone is appointed to be responsible for handling the inheritance (the executor), the executor is responsible.

Beneficiaries have access to the inheritance tax return that has been filed. If they notice that the tax return is incorrect, they are obliged to file a correct tax return. For this purpose they use the form Melding vrijwillige verbetering (‘Reporting voluntary correction’, only available in Dutch).

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