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When can I expect to receive my tax refund?
After filing the tax return, it should take around two or three months for the tax authorities to send you a tax assessment. But because of problems with the computer system, the complexity of tax returns and with the amount of work it often takes more time. Especially the foreign tax office in Heerlen needs extra time since they deal with a lot of complicated international situations. If you have the 30% ruling you will fall under the foreign tax office.
Average timeframe for the foreign tax office to deal with tax returns is up to 6 months. Especially M forms and C forms take a lot of time. An M form is filed when you were not in the Netherlands the whole year, a C form is filed when you were living outside the Netherlands but had income or assets in the Netherlands. For the period between the end of the tax year and the day you will receive the tax assessment the tax authorities will pay you interest.
First you get a provisional tax assessment and after a while a final tax assessment. So receiving a provisional tax assessment (voorlopige aanslag) doesn’t mean that the tax authorities agree with your tax return. They just pay you the money.
Unfortunately the foreign tax office often doesn’t cooperate if they are requested to just issue a provisional assessment in advance so that a refund can be received earlier.
If you would like to know the status you can always call the international helpline of the tax authorities on 0031 (0) 55-538 53 85. However, the only thing they can see in their system is whether a tax return has been received, but they have no idea when it will be processed, unless a tax assessment will be sent to you on short notice. Another challenge is that the people behind the helpline are only allowed to speak Dutch.