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If you are living in Amsterdam, you have to pay certain taxes. These can be taxes to the municipality tax service (gemeentelijke belastingdienst) or taxes to the national tax service (belastingdienst). The latter will only be the case if you have a job and you earn more than a certain amount. This will be irrelevant for most, but this is their English website if you need more information about it:

While we live at the Carolina MacGillavrylaan, we have to pay two kinds of municipal taxes: 1. We have to pay ‘water tax’ (waterschapsbelasting) to WaterNet 2. We have to pay ‘garbage tax’ (afvalbelasting) to the municipality of Amsterdam

These taxes are dependent on how many people you live with, and can add up to €250 per year.

Some people (read: most students) can ask for remission (kwijtschelding). When you receive a bill from either of the two taxes, there is a remission form (kwijtscheldingsformulier) attached. This form includes questions about your possessions and income. Make sure you answer these questions truthfully, or you may have to pay back the taxes and a fee if they find out. You do not have to pay yet if you are applying for remission.

You will have to attach the following documents to the form: 1. A one-month history of all bank accounts on your name through a bank statement. You can often download these online in your online banking environment. 2. If you receive money from the government on a regular basis (rent benefit & studiefinanciering, for example): Proof that you are receiving this. You can find an overview of regular upcoming payments by the government to on (log in with your DigID). A screenshot of this overview is often sufficient. 3. Proof of enrolement at a University if you are a student. If you have not received this by email, ask AUC for help. 4. A copy of your ID or passport. More forms may be necessary but not for the ‘average’ student. If you have a mortgage or another form of legal debt, for example. When in doubt, ask a Dutch person for help when filling in the form. All information is on there.

All these hard copy documents should be sent to the address as indicated on the form. You can use the ‘retour envelope’ that is attached when you receive the bill, or use your own if you like.

In 6-8 weeks after sending the envelope, you should receive a confirmation that your application is received. A couple of weeks later (yes they really take that long), you will receive either an approval or denial of your request.

You will have to do this every year, unless you indicate on the form that you want the municipal tax service to ‘remember’ that you do not have to pay remission. Be careful when selecting this option though, because you will have to let them know as soon as anything changes about your financial situation (think of debts, an inheritance, rent benefit, etc.).