An Expat’s Guide to Safely Filing the 2019 Dutch Income Tax Returns (sponsored)

Netherlands money calculator
Stock photo of the Netherlands flag, cash in euros, and a calculatorphoto: Zerbor / DepositPhotos

This sponsored article was produced with and paid for by VPNPro.

The tax return deadline is around the corner, and that means it is also the right time to brush up on your knowledge related to the changes introduced this year in the tax code. The timeframe for submitting income tax returns in the Netherlands depends on your situation.

In many cases resident taxpayers need to file their returns by 30 April 2019, while the non-resident taxpayers must generally submit by 1 July 2019. In either instance, tax filers are often able to request an extension with no difficulty

If you are a new migrant, or if you left the country recently, you may also be required to submit an M Form (which needs to be filed for the year in which you arrive or depart from the Netherlands) by 1 July 2019. While the tax return can be filed online, the M form must be filed on paper.

As important it is to file your income tax returns on time, it is equally important to file them securely. After all, tax returns are prime grounds for thieves and swindlers alike to steal your personal information.

Here is what you can do.

Tips to File Income Tax Returns Online Safely

●Use a secure internet connection

This goes without saying – you must use a secure internet connection to file your tax returns electronically. Avoid filing returns on a public computer or on a public Wi-Fi network.

To avoid any last-minute chaos, it is highly recommended to file your returns well in time. Further, do not forget using a VPN. The best VPN services encrypt your traffic completely, thus protecting all your confidential and sensitive data from getting stolen, tracked, or monitored by third-parties and unauthorized users.

●Avoid storing unwanted sensitive documents

Many times, we keep copies of tax returns, and their calculations with us even when we no longer need them.

While you might think that storing them with you instead of discarding them is much better, we will recommend you to get rid of them by shredding such documents properly.

 If at all you need to keep these documents, it is highly recommended to keep them in an external drive.

●Keep a close eye on your postal mails

The Belastingdienst might notify you via postal mail in case of any discrepancy in your tax returns, or when they have not received them yet. Keep a closer eye on such important mails and do not ignore them.

It is important to note here that Belastingdienst doesn’t communicate via traditional email. They typically send communications via post, or make use of the government’s own direct email system called Berichtenbox.

Thus, steer clear from any emails that look like they are sent by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. More often than not, these are phishing attempts to extract your information.

If you happen to receive any such malicious and suspicious emails, you can report them directly to Belastingdienst here.

●Choose your tax preparer carefully

Many people do not pay proper attention while choosing a tax preparer. They hand over this responsibility to someone without doing enough research, like collecting referrals and reviews.

A tax preparer handles your highly sensitive and personal information. Thus, it is highly recommended to know about them properly before asking them to prepare your tax returns.  Ideally, you should ask for their certifications, their experience, and inquire about their past clients.

●Keep your files password protected

One good way to keep your important files and folders protected is to keep them password protected. Ensure that you use a strong password consisting of the right mix of characters and alphanumeric characters,

The Wrap Up

Considering the important and sensitive information involved, make sure you do whatever you can to file your income tax returns safely and securely. What is your take on this? How do you ensure the safety of your tax returns? Jump on to the NL Times Facebook page to let us know.

Geplaatst door NL Times op Woensdag 3 april 2019