For some reason a visit from a tax specialist had the tune of Taxman by the Beatles running through my head all morning. It’s really too bad I couldn’t remember all the words.
I have to say that Dutch income tax forms are incredibly intimidating, which is why we hired Partners in Tax to run the paperwork for us this year. Each person who needs to pay taxes gets a thick blue envelope containing 4 thick booklets; two of forms and two of instructions, although with strict instructions to submit quickly. Technically taxes were due at the end of April, but the Dutch tax office is apparently much more lenient that the U.S. IRS. We didn’t receive any forms in time, so our tax guy ordered them for us and the tax office granted us an automatic extension. Or maybe they don’t care. I’m not sure but the process just feels more casual.
Once the forms came in, the tax guy came to our place to fill them out so we were on hand to answer questions as he went through them. He made it look easy. Since I do the taxes in the family, I’m not too surprised; U.S. taxes at our stage aren’t generally too bad. Of course he is also a professional, I didn’t work in 2009, and we don’t own a house. And he can read Dutch. I’d consider doing them myself next year, but now that I have the business I think they might just be beyond my ability.
The one surprise what that there is electronic filing available in the Netherlands, but people like us couldn’t use it this year. Apparently you need to either 1) have lived in the country for the entire year, or 2) have lived outside the country for the entire year. If you straddled the year then you’re stuck with print filing. Hopefully I won’t have to deal with that scary-looking blue envelope in the mail again any time soon.