30% -ruling

The 30% -ruling allows employers to grant certain employees with special skills or expertise which are scarce or absent on the Dutch labour market a maximum tax-free allowance of (approximately) 30% of their salary as far as it exceeds the minimum taxable salary criterion given below. To qualify, the employee must -amongst others- be hired from abroad and meet one of the following salary criteria:

  • For employees older than 30, the required taxable salary for 2018 must be more than € 37,296.
  • For employees younger than 30 and holding a qualifying master title, the required taxable salary for 2018 must be more than € 28,350.
  • For certain scientific researchers/teachers, no salary criterion applies.

This tax-free allowance is meant to compensate for additional expenses incurred during a temporary stay outside the country of origin (extra-territorial costs). The ruling is only applicable for a maximum period of 8 years. This period will be reduced with possible periods of earlier stay and/or employment in the Netherlands (with exceptions for certain short periods).

Warning: please note it is anticipated that the maximum duration period will be reduced from 8 to 5 years as from 2019. Transitional rules have not been published yet.

The 30%-ruling has certain consequences in terms of social security. Social security rights and premiums may also be affected as these will be based on salary only, thus excluding the 30% allowance. Pension rights, however, can be based on the salary plus the tax-free 30% allowance provided it does not exceed the general maximum pensionable base of euro 105,075 per year for 2018.

If the employee is eligible to the 30%-ruling, the employer can also reimburse the international school fees tax free besides the tax-free 30%-allowance. Furthermore, investment income will -in general- not be subject to Dutch taxation.


The 30% ruling is only applicable if approved by the Tax Administration Authority (Belastingdienst) or a certified tax advisory firm. The employer and employee need to file a joint request to apply for the ruling. The request for the 30% ruling must be filed within 4 months after the start of employment. Requests that have not been filed within 4 months, will not have a retroactive effect from the start date of the employment. In that case, the 30%-ruling will only be applicable as of the month following the date of the request.

For 2018 this form can be used to apply for the 30% ruling. The form for 2018 is not published yet. Make sure both the employer and the foreign employee sign the application.

Additional information 2018 by our Partner LIMES international 
Read more about our partners in Taxes