If you live in the Netherlands and work in Germany, you will have to deal with both the German and the Dutch tax authorities. In the Netherlands it is then income tax and in Germany it is wage tax/income tax. The Netherlands and Germany have concluded a treaty to prevent double taxation. Because of this, you only have to pay tax on your wages in Germany, for example. Because you are liable to pay tax in Germany, you can choose to be taxed in the same way as residents of Germany. You then choose to be “subject to unlimited tax liability”. This means that you can claim various tax deductions.

Tax classes

There are different tax classes in Germany. Your tax class is dependent on your marital status and family income. If you are single or not married, you will be placed in tax class 1 and pay more tax in Germany than a married person with a spouse who earns a low income.

If you want to be in tax class 3 (you are married and your partner has no income or a very low income), you must apply for this certificate by filling in the form “Verzoek om behandeling als onbeperkt belastingplichtig werknemer…(Application for treatment as a person liable to unlimited income tax)”. You can download the form from the tax office website or from our website

Wage tax in Germany is generally higher than in the Netherlands, which is why the net wage is generally lower in Germany (for the same gross wage). Only if you are in tax class 3 will the net wage be the same or higher. You must take into account that if you have been assigned to tax class 3, you are obliged to file a tax return in Germany. At the same time, it is important that your spouse’s Dutch income is taken into account when determining the amount of tax you have to pay on your German salary.

Filing a tax return

The tax management in Germany is not entirely straightforward, as it is divided between the federal government and the federal states (and their municipalities) – i.e. federally structured with different responsibilities.

To help EU workers find their way around when they come to Germany, the Federal Ministry of Finance has put together links to the most important sources of information.

Because you are liable for income tax in the Netherlands and wage tax in Germany, you must generally file a tax return in both countries.

If you work internationally for a German company as a long-distance driver, special regulations apply to you with regard to income tax. You can read more about this here. If you work for a Dutch temporary employment agency in Germany, special rules apply. If you are a teacher/lecturer working in Germany, exceptions also apply. Find out about this from the tax authorities or the tax office.

You can get information from Team GWO. German, Belgian and Dutch tax authorities work together on Team GWO.

Moving to or from the Netherlands

If you have only lived in the Netherlands for part of the year, file an M-tax return. As of 1 June 2021, you no longer have to file your M-tax return on paper. You can also submit it online using your DigiD or a European-approved login tool (eIDAS).
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