The 3 Most Interesting Queries of the Month (March 2015)

13 Mar 2015 | ACCESS

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Helpdesk Help


Dear ACCESS Help Desk,

I emigrated from the Netherlands in February. I only lived in my apartment for 8 weeks in The Hague in 2015. I deregistered from The Hague on the 20 February 2015 and I redirected my post to my new address in Spain.

I got a bill from Waternet consisting of the water board tax (watershapsbelasting). They asked me to pay 264.16 EUR for water taxes of 2015. To me, this bill seems unfair since I only lived in the Netherlands for 8 weeks in 2015.

Logically, I was expecting to get a bill for the 8 week period that I lived in the Netherlands. I phoned waternet and they said to me that even if I lived one day in the Netherlands I have to pay the entire bill.

I would be very grateful if you could help me with this situation.

Please do let me know if you need more information and advice me on what to do.




Dear customer,

Thank you for contacting ACCESS. We understand from your e-mail that you need information on the water tax system in the Netherlands.

The three main taxes levied by the water boards are a charge for flood protection, a water resources management charge, and a water pollution levy for waste-water treatment.
These taxes are normally billed in the beginning of February and calculated according to the household situation from 1 January of that year.

You are required to pay the water system levy (waterschapsbelasting) and the pollution tax (zuiveringsheffing) on residential accommodation if you are a resident (tenant or home owner) of self-contained accommodation on 1 January of that year. Thus, you will be charged the levy if you occupy a home on 1 January of the relevant fiscal year. If you relocate, you still have to pay for the entire year.

However, you may file a letter of objections within the 6 weeks, to:
Postbus 94127
1090 GC Amsterdam

Please ensure that your letter contains: your invoice number, you BSN number, the grounds for your objection, a copy of the bill and your signature.

If you, as we presume,  rented the house, you should perhaps try and discuss the problem with your former landlord for a more fair share of the tax.

We hope this information will help you. Please do not hesitate to contact us again should you have more questions.


Kind regards,

The ACCESS Help Desk Team

Dear ACCESS Help Desk,
I am a Dutch citizen living in Thailand for the past 25 years.
I am in a same-sex marriage with a Thai citizen - we got married in the Netherlands.
Same-sex marriages are not recognized in Thailand. We want to get a divorce, but are very confused about the rules and regulations.

I realize that we must send a petition through a Dutch court, however, there is also a requirement that one of us has to have lived in The Netherlands for a certain period of time. The problem is that I haven't lived in the Netherlands for over  25 years.
Do you have any suggestions on how we can go about getting a divorce?




Dear customer,
Thank you for contacting ACCESS.  We understand that you are looking for information about same-sex divorce outside of the Netherlands.

ACCESS does not provide legal advice such as you require but below you will find some information that will hopefully be helpful to you. 

As you mentioned in your email the Dutch courts will process your divorce only if at least one of you is resident in the Netherlands. Here is some legal information from a legal expat website for clarification on the law concerning same-sex divorce:
We suggest that you get in touch with a legal service provider who can answer all your questions on same sex marriage and divorce in the Netherlands. GMW Advocaten provide legal advice for the international community as well as advice on family law which may be helpful to you.  Here is a link to the information about international divorce:

Telephone  +31(0)70-3615048


Here is a link to the Dutch government site for more general information on marriage and partnerships:

Telephone +31 (0)77 465 6767

Contact form

Het Juridische Loket offers free advice on marriage and divorce issues.

We hope this information is helpful.  If you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards,

The ACCESS Help Desk Team

Dear ACCESS Help Desk,


I live in The Hague and am looking for a shoe repair shop in the Schevenigen neighbourhood. Can you suggest me a few options in my area?




Dear customer,

Thank you for contacting the ACCESS Help Desk.

Below are details of 2 shoe repairers (schoenreparatie) in the Scheveningen area:

Citizens Heels
Tel: +31703543996
Keizerstraat 148 A
Zuid Holland
2584 BM


Waslander B.V.
Gentsestraat 10 -
2587 HS Scheveningen
Tel no. - 070-3559780


I hope you find the information useful and that you manage to get your shoes repaired satisfactorily.

Kind regards,


The ACCESS Helpdesk Team



The ACCESS Help Desk can find the answer to any of your questions regarding various aspects of life in the Netherlands, and remember, no question is too big or too small!


Visit us at:

The Hague International Centre - The City Hall Atrium

Spui 70

2511 BT The Hague

9:00-16:30 Monday-Friday


Contact or call us at:

Laan van Meerdervoort 70 - 1st Floor

2517 AN The Hague

Tel : 0900 2 ACCESS (0900 2 222 377), local rate 20c per minute
(mobile charges may apply)

10:00-16:00 Monday-Friday



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