How to get a tax card and tax return in Croatia: Guide for 2024

Euro, Croatian currency
Euro, Croatian currency

PUBLISHED: 16.1.2024.

Dealing with taxes and keeping up with the latest tax changes is something we would all want to avoid. Since this is impossible, the best we can do is to understand how a specific tax system works.

If you are a foreigner, understanding the Croatian taxation system and how the tax returns and cards work could be too complex for you. We break down this information in a simple way to save you from the headache.

In this article, we cover:

The facts are these…

How to get a tax card and tax return in Croatia

What is a Croatian tax card?

The Croatian Porezna kartica (tax card) or Obrazac PK (Form PK) provides details such as the individual’s personal information, taxpayer identification number called OIB, income sources, and applicable tax rates. This is an ​​official document that serves as proof of an individual’s income and tax-related information.

[Read: How to get an OIB]

Issuing or entering data changes on the tax card is possible by submitting a request for issuing or changing data on the tax card.

This is possible by:

  • ePorezna system (the taxpayer himself) – visit here
  • ePorezna system (employer on behalf of the employee) – visit here
  • mPorezna system (the taxpayer himself) – visit here
  • mPorezna system (employer on behalf of the employee) – visit here
  • eGrađani system – a branch of eNovorođenče – visit here
  • Tax Administration’s competent office in person – view offices here

View this post to learn more about eGrađani (eCitizens), an online portal for Croatian government services.

Who can get a tax card in Croatia?

A Croatian tax card can be issued to a worker, retiree, or any individual with income from employment. Croatian residents and non-residents can have a tax card, which represents an official document for tax purposes. You can view all available visas and residence permits for Croatia here.

Employees working in Croatia can apply for a tax card through their employer, who is responsible for deducting income tax and social security contributions from the employee’s salary, or they can do it by themselves. If an employer wants to get a tax card for their employee, they need consent from the employee and access to the ePorezna system.

If an employer cannot get an employee’s tax card, then an employee can submit a request. The Tax Administration can provide a paper tax card at no cost. The employer is responsible for having it while the worker, pensioner, or someone earning income through independent works for them or receives a pension or independent work-based income.

Self-employed individuals and freelancers are also required to obtain a tax card to ensure compliance with tax regulations.

View our guides on working in Croatia:

Additionally, non-residents earning income in Croatia may need a tax card to facilitate proper taxation. Obtaining a tax card usually involves submitting relevant documentation to the local tax authorities, such as identification, proof of employment or business activities, and other necessary forms.

Individuals should consult with the Croatian Tax Administration or seek professional advice to ensure accurate and timely compliance with the country’s tax regulations.

Are there any requirements for foreigners related to Croatian tax cards?

If the resident’s spouse or common-law partner, including life or informal life partner, children, and other dependent family members, as well as the children of the resident, have a residence or habitual residence abroad, the eligibility for the personal deduction must be substantiated with certificates from competent foreign authorities, not older than 6 months.

The resident is required to submit these documents with their annual tax return. If not obligated to file an annual tax return, these documents must be presented for review no later than the end of February of the current year for the previous year. They must be delivered to the relevant branch of the Tax Administration based on their place of residence. This branch issues a tax card if the personal deduction is applied for the resident and immediate family members in determining the advance tax on self-employment income.

The certificate must contain the following:

  • Personal data about the spouse or common-law partner, or life or informal life partner, children, and dependent members of the immediate family
  • Data on dependents’ receipts, based on which it can be assessed whether they can be considered dependent members’
  • Decisions on the possible disability of immediate family members

[Read: All types of marital unions and partnerships in Croatia (along with their rights and privileges)]

What if you have a foreign income but live in Croatia?

If you are a resident or a citizen of Croatia who has earned income from foreign sources, you can report it before receiving an official invitation from the Tax Administration. Reporting foreign receipts in Croatia is important, even if taxes have been paid abroad.

International treaties take precedence over domestic regulations in determining the taxability of foreign receipts. However, people receiving pensions from specific countries are exempt from reporting, as the Tax Administration automatically handles it through international data exchange. These countries are Canada, China, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Morocco, Mauritius, Germany, Oman, Poland, and San Marino.

For those voluntarily reporting foreign receipts, benefits include exemption from interest and offenses for late tax payments. Taxation follows current regulations with advantages such as increased personal deductions, lower income tax rates, and various reductions, including a 50% reduction in tax liability for retirees and specific regions.

Residence or habitual residence in Croatia, continuous occupancy of an apartment for at least 183 days, or having closer personal and economic ties in Croatia establishes tax obligations.

You can report foreign receipts through the ePorezna system, mail, or in person at the relevant Tax Administration. You must enclose payment receipts and a certificate from a foreign tax authority on tax paid. If your data aligns with Tax Administration records, no additional documentation is needed.

Contributions may be required based on the type of receipt, insurance status, and the taxpayer’s basis at the time of reporting. Those with regulated status in another EU/EEA country or a country with a social security agreement are exempt from contributions. If paid abroad, they are recognized as expenses, requiring a certificate for submission.

How to get a Croatian tax card

Below is a step-by-step breakdown of how to get a tax card in Croatia. The information on how to add a child to your tax card is also included.

Here are the steps:

  • Login to ePorezna here
  • Select a credential for login
  • Select Podnesi zahtjev (submit a request)
  • Select type of request Izdavanje/izmjena PK (issuance of tax card)
  • Click on Dohvati podatke s PK (Retrieve data from tax card) to open the current tax card form
  • Optional: Add a new dependent member
    • Select the field Dodaj novi zapis (add new record)
    • Enter information about the new dependent member: In a new line, enter information about the child: first and last name, relationship from the drop-down menu, OIB, disability if the child is disabled, and the date when the data is valid. If the child’s personal deduction will be is shared with another parent, add the name and surname of the other parent, the ID number of the other parent, and the percentage of the personal deduction to be used by the other parent. After input, it is necessary to save the entered data by clicking the icon at the end of the line.
  • On the left, you will see options for:
    • Pošalji (submit) – select this when you are ready to submit, and all information is checked and correct
    • Provjeri (check)
    • Izvezi (print)
    • Pohrani (save)
    • Otvori (open)
    • Novi (new)

[Read: All the taxes you might pay in Croatia]

Who can get a tax return in Croatia?

Zakon o porezu na dohodak (Income tax law) ensures a full exemption from income tax for individuals in formal employment (excluding self-employed individuals) who fall within the age bracket of up to 25 years. Individuals in this category are entitled to a tax return. You can view this law here.

Individuals in the workforce aged between 26 and 30 enjoy a 50% exemption from this particular tax, with half of the amount paid being subject to a tax return. This measure effectively reduces the annual tax liability for young professionals to 47.780,28 euros.

Those who, for various reasons, did not fully use their entitled tax benefits throughout the year can seek a refund. This includes those who failed to maximize these benefits for any reason.

Additionally, a taxpayer who initially used these benefits but wishes to alter their usage method after the tax year can also qualify for a tax refund. For example, this can happen when an individual wants to share a personal gain intended for dependent children with the other parent.

Note: The automatic income tax check is only performed for Croatian citizens and doesn’t extend to foreign workers employed in Croatia. Foreigners must initiate a formal process by submitting a request for recognition as eligible for tax return through a dedicated procedure (Form ZPP-DOH). This can be done either in person at the regional Tax Administration based on the residential location or online through the e-Građani system and the Tax Administration’s mobile application.

Who can’t get a tax return in Croatia?

Individuals outside the categories mentioned in the previous section are not eligible for tax returns.

Also, you will not get a tax return if you fail to submit your documents on time. Always make sure to have the documents ready and do not wait until the last moment to submit.

Are there any requirements for foreigners related to tax returns in Croatia?

Foreigners with residency in Croatia have the same rights as citizens when it comes to tax returns. It is important to know that you become a tax resident as a foreigner in Croatia if you live here for at least 183 days per year. The only exclusion is the case of digital nomads, who work for foreign companies and do not pay income tax in Croatia.

[Read: How to apply for the digital nomad residence permit in Croatia]

You can view more useful tax sources from the Croatian government written in English here.

How to get a tax return in Croatia?

Tax Administration does not automatically determine whether your deductions have been fully used and whether you are entitled to a tax refund. It is up to each individual to do this INDEPENDENTLY.

However, if the information on dependent family members is entered into the tax card, the taxpayer does not have to submit any request to the Tax Administration.

Based on the data they have, the tax authority will determine the annual tax liability and return the overpaid tax to the taxpayer.

It can happen that the tax authority does not have these data because they are not entered into the tax card. In this case, a taxpayer who wants to use benefits for dependent family members or wants to use them differently compared to the data in the tax card can exercise this right by submitting the ZPP-DOH form to the Tax Administration.

Here are the steps for getting a tax return:

  • Login to the ePorezna here
  • Select a credential for login
  • Select Dostavi obrazac (Submit the form)
  • In the new window, select the ZPP-DOH form (it will give you two options)
  • Select Popuni obrazac to fill out the form, and it will open in a new window
  • Fill out the form with your personal information
  • On the left, you will see options for:
    • Pošalji (submit) – select this when you are ready to submit, and all information is checked and correct
    • Provjeri (check)
    • Izvezi (print)
    • Pohrani (save)
    • Otvori (open)
    • Novi (new)

Are there any deadlines related to Croatian tax cards and returns?

The ZPP-DOH form available on the Tax Administration website can be submitted through the ePorezna system by post or directly to the tax office. The deadline for submission is no later than February 28 each year.

The tax refund should be paid by the end of May of the same year to all those who exercise their rights and apply on time. Also, tax refund amounts will be paid in euros.

View our other Croatian tax posts

Porezna kartica by Porezna uprava
Dobrovoljna prijava inozemnih primitaka by Porezna uprava
Godišnji obračun poreza na dohodak by Porezna uprava
Godišni obračun poreza na dohodak by e-Građani
Zakon o porezu na dohodak

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

Sharing is Caring:

We only send one email a week on Tuesdays. And no spam, we don't like that either!

Subscribe to the Expat in Croatia Newsletter and get our FREE Croatia Starter Kit.
I'm already subscribed.