30% ruling

People working (temporarily) in the Netherlands often face extra expenses, such as double housing, house hunting costs, travelling costs for family visits, storage costs of furniture and a Dutch language course.
When certain conditions are met, the extraterritorial costs can be compensated by the so- called 30%-ruling. The 30%-ruling is deemed to cover the extraterritorial expenses. The non-extraterritorial expenses can be claimed on top of the 30%-ruling. (Chapter 5).
If applicable in your situation, the application for the 30%-ruling will be processed through your AAme Client Portal.

Please be aware that either the actual extraterritorial expenses can be reimbursed tax-free or the 30% ruling can be applied for, but it is not possible to combine them together.

The 30% ruling – general

The 30% ruling is a Dutch tax advantage ruling for expats who are (temporarily) working in the Netherlands. When the necessary conditions are met, the employer can grant an employee a tax-free allowance to compensate the extraterritorial costs. The maximum of the tax free allowance is the equivalent to 30% of the gross salary including the allowance.

Conditions

The following conditions should be met:

  • You must be either assigned by an employer to The Netherlands or recruited from abroad by an employer;
  • You must have an employer in The Netherlands who is a wage tax withholding company. If there is no withholding company in The Netherlands, the foreign employer should apply to be designated as a withholding company (in other words the foreign employer should apply for a Dutch wage tax number);
  • You and the employer should file a mutual application with the tax authorities within four months after the start of the contract;
  • The contract of employment must state that the employer will apply the 30 % ruling (when granted). The amount of the 30% ruling must be stated in the contract or addendum to the contract;
  • You have specific expertise that is scarce or not available on the Dutch labour market. This condition is fulfilled if the taxable salary during the term of the arrangement continuously meets the salary criterion:
    • A minimum salary of € 46.107  gross excluding the 30% allowance for employees older than 30 years;
    • A minimum salary of € 35.048 gross excluding the 30% allowance for employees who are younger than 30 years and having a qualifying Master Degree.
      If someone does not have a master degree and is younger than 30 years, the normal salary criteria of € 46.107 will be applicable
  • The 150 km criterion should be met. This criterion means that in more than two third of the period of 24 months prior to the commencement of employment, you must have resided outside the Netherlands at a distance of more than 150 kilometers from the border of the Netherlands excluding the territorial sea of the Netherlands and the exclusive economic zone of the Kingdom, referred to in Article 1 of the Kingdom Act institution exclusive economic zone.

You should provide documentation that shows that you meet the 150 km criterion.

At first a completely updated C.V. with dates ( months and years) together with    country and cities will be enough. After the 30% request is applied for the Dutch Tax Authority (DTA) can ask for additional information please be aware that you are able to get this proof also after you have travelled to the Netherland.

   You can think of:

  • bank statements with cash withdrawals / debit card payments (one copy per month) in combination with your CV; or
  • the rental contract in combination with payment receipts for the rental of the house; or
  • the energy/water/gas bill; or
  • the overview of the user part of the common taxes; or
  • registration and de-registration certificates.

The underlying documentation must cover the period of more than 2/3 of the 24-month period. Please note, an invoice from a web store, internet provider or health insurance is not sufficient.

Other remarks

  • The maximum term of the 30% ruling is 5 years;
  • The salary condition needs to be fulfilled and checked annually;
  • During August 2020, the 30% ruling is given per the start date of the employment contract and not per the first of the calendar month in which the contract entered;   
  • The 30% ruling may have an impact on the amount of (Dutch) pension rights which can be built-up tax free while working in The Netherlands;
  • If the 30% ruling has been granted, you, your partner and your children can
  • Exchange your foreign driver’s license for a Dutch driver’s license;
  • For the duration of the 30% ruling, the calculation of the maximum level of mortgage loan is based on 100% of your annual salary. (When the employer is
  • Willing and able to declare that your annual employment income with the 30% ruling consists of the original agreed gross salary including the 30% ruling). Please take into account, when the 30%-ruling ends, the mortgage payments should be paid out of the lower income.
  • International School fees
    In most cases, the costs for children attending a certified international school can be claimed. Please check with AAme if you can claim the costs for your children. Receipts are required.

As soon as the conditions for the 30%-ruling are not fulfilled anymore, the 30% ruling will be withdrawn retroactively and can no longer be applied.

Pro rata 30% ruling calculation

To avoid losing the 30%-ruling, there might be a possibility to reduce the 30% allowance by the amount that is needed to receive the gross required amount. This is a way to compensate the difference and to help the employee maintain the 30% ruling.

Example

If an employee received a salary of € 50,000 including 30% allowance, the gross income should be 70% of € 50,000, which is € 35,000. We could reduce the 30% allowance by making a different calculation: € 46.107 (required minimum salary) divided by € 50,000 = 92,21%. This means that your 30% allowance will be reduced to 7,79%. This is less than 30%, but much better than losing the 30% allowance in total.

Please note that no rights can be derived from the content of this example.

If the amount of your extraterritorial expenses exceed the 30% allowance (or other percentage) there is a possibility to claim the actual (higher) amount by sending all receipts as proof of the higher amount.

Changing employer and 3 months criteria 

Article 10ed of the LB Implementation Decree stipulates that if an employer changes during the term, the 30% ruling continues to apply if the period between the end of employment with the old employer and the conclusion of the employment contract with the new employer no longer exists is then three months. If the employee has taken more than three months to find new employment, the continuation of the 30% scheme does not apply.

Capping 30% ruling

The 2023 Tax Plan stipulates that the tax-free compensation that can be paid on the basis of the 30% ruling is maximized. This cap will come into effect on January 1, 2024. From that moment on, employers can reimburse a maximum of 30% of income up to the Balkenende standard (‘WNT standard’) tax-free. For 2024, the WNT standard is EUR 233,000. This means that the maximum basis on which the 30% ruling can be applied is an amount of EUR 233,000 and therefore an employer can reimburse a maximum of EUR 69,900 tax-free. The capping as of January 1, 2024 applies to employees who use the 30% facility from January 1, 2023. Transitional law applies to employees to whose wages the 30% ruling has been applied in December 2022. For this group, the cap will not apply from January 1, 2024, but from January 1, 2026.

Tax plan 2024

Changes in 2025:  Due to an adopted amendment to the 2024 Tax Plan, the 30% ruling will be gradually reduced to a 10% ruling over the term of 5 years. More specifically, 30% of the salary can be reimbursed tax-free during the first 20 months of the term. In the next 20 months this percentage drops to 20% and during the last 20 months the tax-free compensation amounts to 10% of the salary. A transitional arrangement applies to employees who were already awarded the 30% compensation in December 2023. They will not have to deal with the reduction of the compensation. This therefore applies to existing employees with the 30% ruling, but also to foreign employees whose employment in the Netherlands starts before December 31, 2023. We hope this will be amendment will be reversed before January 2025.

Need more information?

If you have any questions as a result of the above or would like more information, please feel free to contact the salary consultants at AAme.

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