Marriage and fiscal unity

Dear all,

I just moved to the Netherlands. I am married. I am USA citizen and I own a company in the USA and at the same time I have a full time job here in the Netherlands.
As you all know there is no treaty against double taxation between the Netherlands and USA so my tax situation could get very complicated.

I don´t want my husband to be hit by eventual consequences of mistakes in my tax returns. We have pre-nuptial and everything but I understood that here in the Netherlands a married couple stays fiscal partner even if there is a pre-nuptial.

Which means that tax declarations need to be submitted together and the Belastingdienst can ask money/give fines also to the partner who is not responsible of eventual frauds/mistakes.

Is there a way to separate the fiscal unities inside the marriage?

Which kind of specific wording do you need to put in your pre-nuptial?

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

There is a tax treaty between the US and the Netherlands; you can download a copy from the IRS website; this link will take you there.  Pre-nuptials will only affect ownership of an asset or thing, it will have no bearing on how much tax you pay on any income you as an individual derives from that specific item.

Basically, where you as an individual pay taxes is decided by where you are deemed as being resident - quite easy to sort out, more than 6-months in a country, you are resident there.  US citizens resident in the Netherlands must submit annual returns to the Belastingdienst, declaring their worldwide income, but also have to file annual tax papers with the IRS and their home State.

The tax agreement only refers to income taxes; basically, if you have been "assessed" for taxes in one country, you won't be assessed for taxes in the other - very important word, assessed does not mean "paid".   Where it gets very complicated is in regards to social taxes, which are charged at 27% in the Netherlands and are not part of the tax treaty - there is a ceiling on these taxes which if you search around the Forum you'll find I've posted before on the subject.

My advice based on my experience doing what you are now doing - get a Dutch qualified tax accountant to do your tax returns, trying to do things on the cheap tends to crash and burn after the first contact with the taxman.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

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