So I work for a company in the Netherlands but I am working remotely from Ireland. I am currently being taxed 52% until I provide a BSN number. As far as I am aware to get this number I need to live in the Netherlands - so this is impossible for me.

Can someone tell me what can I do in this situation? Is there another way to get my tax bracket normalized to a fairer tariff? I cannot continue to work for less than half my wage. I asked my HR but I'm waiting for a reply and if I can speed up the process by getting some information that would be great.

  • 1
    Is that your actual tax or just the withholding rate?
    – phoog
    Mar 9, 2016 at 17:56
  • The 52% is my witholding rate. I can claim some of it back at the end of the year, however I would like to just have a normal tax rate so that I do not have to wait a year to claim back the money I am owed. Mar 10, 2016 at 14:22
  • 2
    If you work from Ireland, shouldn't you be paying tax in Ireland rather than in the Netherlands? May 12, 2016 at 10:45

2 Answers 2


In general, I would look for information on such matters at the Irish state's organ responsible for collecting personal income tax, the Cain agus Custaim na hElreann - either on their website, or even go down to your local tax office and ask for a consultation. Many people don't realize this, but those tax clerks: 1. Know that tax code and 2. Tell you have to report things correctly, what you owe and what you don't. Now, sure, they will probably provide a strict interpretation of laws and regulations, but unless you're doing financially-complex business this shouldn't matter.

Specifically, it seems that you should not be paying any income tax in the Netherlands income tax at all - but rather pay your taxes in Ireland. You see, the Netherlands and Ireland have a(t least one) bilateral agreement on taxation. Either Article 13 or Article 14 should apply to you, and they say:

Article 13 Independent Personal Services

Income derived by a resident of one of the States in respect of professional services ...shall be taxable only in that State ... The term "professional services" includes independent scientific, literary, artistic, educational or teaching activities as well as the independent activities of physicians, lawyers, engineers, architects, dentists and accountants.

Article 14 Dependent Personal Services

... salaries, wages and other similar remuneration derived by a resident of one of the States in respect of an employment shall be taxable only in that State unless the employment is exercised in the other State. If the employment is so exercised, such remuneration as is derived therefrom may be taxed in that other State. ...

So, indeed, @RemoGerlich 's speculation seems to be true. The fact that they asked for a BSN means their systems assume all employees live in the Netherlands, which explains why they would tax you by default.

I will emphasize that I am not a tax expert and my answer is based solely on common sense and reading that treaty.


I am not completely sure I fully understand your tax situation so I am not going to comment on that. But you will almost certainly need a BSN for any dealings with the Dutch tax office, I don't think there is an easy way around that. Fortunately, being a resident is not a requirement to get a BSN.

My understanding is that you should simply register yourself in the Basisregistratie personen (BRP) as a non-resident. Registering is mandatory for people living in the Netherlands so many foreign citizens do indeed get their BSN as a consequence of becoming a resident, but it's not the only way. You do however need to present yourself in person at one of 20 or so large municipalities in the Netherlands, you cannot do it entirely from abroad.

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