Finance and Taxation
Opening a bank account
To open a bank account, you need the BSN, which you obtain when you register at the municipality. All major banks have branches in the region’s main cities. For opening a bank account, you must make an appointment with the bank of your choice. Opening hours are usually from 09.00-17.00, but banks are closed on Sunday and have limited opening hours on Mondays and Saturdays. Major banks are ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank and they can all help you in English. For information about opening a bank account and obtaining a credit card, visit their website or make an appointment
The Netherlands has an extensive system of taxes, which provides for the many benefits and infrastructure that the country is known for. For example; the taxes are used for government support for unemployed and sick people, road and railroad infrastructure but also for water management to keep everybody safe in this country below sea level. Alongside the central government, three other governmental bodies are permitted to levy taxes: the provincial, the municipal and the water authorities. The provincial authorities impose environmental taxes. The water control authorities mainly levy taxes relating to water purification and management. In Overijssel, water taxes are collected by GBLT.
City councils can choose their own level of municipal taxes. Whereas some municipalities collect these taxes themselves, some municipalities have an office that collects the taxes for them. For example, in Zwolle and Dalfsen, the municipal taxes are collected by GBLT. In Twente the municipal taxes are collected by GBT (Municipal Tax Office Twente):
- Property tax for house and property owners
- Garbage taxes
- Sewer taxes
- Dog license fee
- Parking fee
- Tourist fee
In most cases you will automatically get a notification when you have to pay taxes. Once a year you have to give a tax report to the Belastingdienst (administrative tax office). The service partners of Expat Center East Netherlands can help you with filing your taxes. Check out the chapter Partners at the end of this guide for an overview and contact them for advice.
You can insure almost anything and most Dutch people cover the risks regarding health, house damage and belongings, burglary, theft of cars and even bikes. Compulsory insurances that you should arrange for upon arrival are basic health insurance and liability insurance for owners of cars, motor bikes and scooters. All other insurances are optional, but in some situations you are obliged to take one, for example when you take a mortgage on a house.
Before you apply for any insurances, check with your employer what is already insured through the company and if you can join their collective insurance. For more information about insurances, check the website of Expat Center East Netherlands.
Tip: You can save money if you join a collective insurance. These are bigger groups of people that cover risks. For example insurances through workers unions or health insurances for people from one big company or branch. Ask your employer about the possibilities.
The taxes in the Netherlands are used for an extensive system of social security and government support. People that can no longer provide for themselves because of unemployment, invalidity, illness or old age, have a guaranteed basic income so they can still participate in public life. For more detailed information, contact Expat Center East Netherlands or visit the website of SVB (agency for social insurances) or the offices of UWV/Werkplein (administrative and reintegration offices regarding social security).
As a working expat you will most likely not have anything to do with these governmental allowances. The benefits are there to help pay for health care, rent for housing and child care, for people with lower and medium income. When you are living in the Netherlands with children you might be eligible for child support (Kinderbijslag). To check if you are eligible, visit belastingdienst.nl/toeslagen or ask Expat Center East Netherlands for assistance.