My first tax declaration in the Netherlands

To my surprise, for the year I have moved to the Netherlands, I can’t really send my tax declaration over the Internet. So read I in a letter I got from the tax office. They sent me the proper paper form, and I had to fill it by hand.

The experience was a little frustrating, but it was much easier than expected. In the past, I have done paper tax declarations a few times in Bulgaria and back then I felt more confused by it. This Dutch declaration was quite well organized, leading you through itself. Not to mention the funny feeling when I was buying a pencil and erasure, so that I could fill in the numbers, while being able to correct errors, until I’m ready to replace it with normal pen. As if I’m back in school doing some special homework 🙂

Sooo… Although with my mind I understand perfectly well the reason and importance of tax payment, until recently I felt it as a kind of… well, robbery.

A few weeks ago though, I was watching through the kitchen window down onto the Amsterdam boulevard passing by our flat. Unlike a similar boulevard in Sofia, or even in my small town back in Bulgaria, this one is quite less busy with cars. Along the boulevard, on each side bike lanes are running. The June wind had drown a layer of flying tree seed on the lanes — a few of such seeds had flown into our flat too, although we are a few floors higher than the street. And while taking sips from the mug, I spotted a small truck coming slowly on the alley — silently, with electric drive, with rotating brushes in front. The brushed take in the piled seeds, leaving behind a clean lane. And while enjoying the warm coffee, I remembered how on almost every crossing place in the Netherlands I’ve seen, the sidewalk is carefully designed to meet the street level, so people can cross easily, even with wheels. How they renovate the paves before they manage to break. So I didn’t simply realize, but actually felt that it’s me, among others, who is paying for this, and for many other things I probably don’t imagine.

I don’t say they do everything perfect, but it is somehow… nice, palpable, visible, real. Through my money I provide some share of this pleasant presence.

My tax declaration 🙂


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