The 30% -ruling allows employers to grant certain employees with special skills or expertise which is 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 the following salary criterion:

  • For employees older than 30, the required taxable salary for 2019 must be more than € 37,743.
  • For employees younger than 30 and holding a qualifying master title, the required taxable salary for 2019 must be more than € 28,690.
  • 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). These expenses cannot be reimbursed separately tax free on top of the 30% tax free reimbursement except for moving expenses and international school fees.

As of 1st January 2019, the ruling is only applicable for a maximum period of 5 years. Please note for notifications issued before January 1, 2019 transitional rules may apply. This period will be reduced with possible periods of earlier stay and/or employment in the Netherlands (with exceptions for certain short periods).

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 107,593 per year for 2019.

Another important feature of the 30%-ruling is that investment income will -in general- not be subject to Dutch taxation (“box 3”).

Important

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.

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