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Taxes in the Netherlands 

Fill in the form and find out where you are in the exemption process. 

Do you directly want to start with the process? Go to the step by step instruction on how to request exemption. 

Please read this text carefully since it contains information about how to pay the taxes/levies from the municipality of Leeuwarden and the waterboard and how to apply for an exemption (in case you do not have enough income).

Most of you will receive (or have already received) one letter from the tax company Noordelijk Belastingkantoor and/or one letter from the city municipality Gemeente Leeuwarden. These letters come with invoices for taxpayments that you need to pay. Everyone that lives in the Netherlands receives these and needs to pay these taxes (this is excluded from your rent as stated in art. 7.1 of your rental agreement). In your rent there is only a payment for the utilities costs such as gas, water, electricity andInternet.

In the Netherlands, when you live in a (private) studio, apartment or house, you need to pay these 3 different taxes separately from your costs for the basic rent, costs for utilities and servicecosts. You will receive two letters (one from the Waterboard and one from the Gemeente Leeuwarden) with invoices for the following taxes:


1. Waterschapsbelasting (zuiveringsheffing + watersysteem heffing) = water board tax:
Flood protection (building and maintaining dikes and pumping stations to prevent flooding and water shortages)
Water quantity management (handling of the amount of available drinkable water)
Water quality care (keeping the water in ditches, ponds and lakes clean)
Purification management: the purification tax everyone pays to clean their own waste water again. In this way, the water boards can safely discharge the much cleaner water that comes out of the treatment plants at the surface water in nature: ditches, ponds, lakes.
Groundwater care
Muskrat and beaver rats control
Waterways Care (together with the Provinces)
Road Care (together with the central Government)
Drinking water supply


2. Gebruikersaanslag rioolheffingen = sewage charges:
The collection, drainage and purification of domestic waste water and rainwater.

3. Afvalstoffenheffing = waste charges:
The collection and processing of household waste

You receive one invoice per year from both governing bodies which states the total annual amount that needs to be paid for the full year.

Exemption of payment:
In case you do not have enough income you can apply for an exemption of payment.
The exemption of payment is meant for people who do not have an income that is sufficient enough to make the payment. If you are granted an exemption of payment, this means that you do not need to pay these taxes. You can get a remission/exemption of payment when your net disposable income is below the legal norms. The net disposable income is the amount that you have left on your bankaccount(s) after the fixed costs such as housing costs (rent), health insurance premiums and other living expenses such as tuition fees have been deducted. In general, when your net disposable income in total is, more or less, over 1000 euro you will not be granted exemption.

You can ask for an exemption for the water tax (Noordelijk belastingskantoor) via this link.

You can ask for an exemption for the waste tax (Gemeente Leeuwarden) via this link
You do need to have a Digi-D code, which you can apply for via this link.

Important notes:

  • You need to show proof of the amount on your bank accounts.

  • Money that you receive from your parents is not regarded as income but you do need to specify this clearly on the form. If you write down that you have EUR 0 income and EUR 0 parental allowance, but EUR 600 monthly rent, they will suspect that you are not telling the truth (because you do not even have enough money to support yourself).

  • If you have received money from your parents for one full year, you need to specify this as well (because otherwise they will see a lot of money on your account, but they need to know it is for the full year).

  • You also need to specify your student loan(s) and grand(s) that you might receive from your own government and/or private institutions.

  • Both tax collecting companies work together. If you are granted exemption for the Noordelijk Belastingkantoor bill, you will normally automatically be granted exemption from Gemeente Leeuwarden bill (and the other way around).


Please note:
these taxes have nothing to do with StudentStay or your payments to StudentStay. This is only a general e-mail to help you to apply for an exemption. We are not responsible for any mistakes in/or misunderstandings from the information that we provided. We cannot give any predictions or promises whether or not you will be granted an exemption. If you fill out the form completely and according to the truth, the tax company will view and judge your request. They will look at each case individually.
Until you have received their decision, you do not have to pay the two invoices yet. Only when you receive information back that you will not be granted exemption, you need to pay the invoices. You will receive their verdict via the post (so not via e-mail) within 6 months (so it might take a while). If you have any specific questions about the taxes, please contact either Noordelijk Belastingkantoor or Gemeente Leeuwarden directly (phone number on the top of the exemption form). The StudentStay staff members are no experts on the topic.

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