The 30% ruling and the minimum salary criteria
The 30% ruling and the minimum salary criteria, not always understood, and sometimes even overlooked or missed. But not anymore! Tax is Exciting explains the ins and outs of the minimum salary requirement.
One of the conditions for the 30% tax ruling in the Netherlands is that you need to meet the minimum salary criteria, which is stated in article 10eb of the 1965 extension to the wage tax law (uitvoeringsbesluit). For the year 2023, it is 41.954 euros.
Misunderstandings about the minimum salary amount
Often, there seems to be a misunderstanding when it comes to the minimum salary amount. Sometimes, it is assumed that this is the minimum salary for the 30% ruling. In fact, this is not the case. It’s already the minimum salary after the 30% ruling has been applied. What do we mean by that? Here is an example:
Example minimum salary amount
Let's say you earn 50.000 euros (gross). Under the 30% ruling, 70% of that salary is subject to taxation, while the remaining 30% remains tax-free. The minimum salary threshold applies to this 70%. The minimum salary excluding the 30% ruling is 41.954 euros, so everything below that amount means you are not entitled to the 30% ruling. However, if you earn 50K you are entitled to a lower percentage of the 30% exemption. With a taxable salary of 50K, this will be around 16%.
If you are under 30 years old
If you are under 30 years old and you hold a master’s degree, you do not need to meet the minimum salary requirement of 41.954 euros. Instead, the minimum threshold is 31.891 euros (in 2023). Again, this limit applies to the 70% portion of your salary, hence your gross salary cannot be less than 45.559 euros in order to qualify.
Take note that when you turn 30, you will need to earn 41.954 euros (59.935 euros, gross) to continue benefiting from the ruling. Not every employer is keen to give you a raise of 14.376 euros, just so you can keep the 30% ruling.
What if your salary no longer meets the requirement?
In the event that you did meet the minimum salary requirement for the 30% ruling in 2022, but in 2023 your salary increase was not high enough to meet the new criteria of 41.954 euros, you will have lost the 30% ruling. Maybe you started working fewer hours, maybe you didn’t get a big enough raise. Losing the 30% ruling is a silent event. No bell rings, no message from the tax office. Your employer should be aware the salary is too low for the ruling to apply. The moment your employer is aware, you are aware, as your net salary will be much lower.
Please note that once you have lost the 30% ruling, you cannot get it back. The moment you change employment, and you ask your new employer to apply for the 30% ruling, the new employer or the Dutch tax office will state you no longer qualify.
No minimum salary requirement for university employees
The 30% ruling was invented to attract knowledge from abroad - hence the lower salary requirement for under 30-year-olds holding a master’s degree. But what about employees at universities themselves? Universities are budget-driven and these budgets often do not meet the minimum salary requirements of the 30% ruling. However, as universities are the organisations attracting the knowledge the Netherlands needs, it has been decided that university employees do not need to meet a minimum salary requirement to qualify for the 30% ruling.
Tax is Exiting thinks tax is exciting! They are excited for you to obtain the 30% ruling. Keeping the 30% ruling is out of their ability, however. It is you that needs to keep an eye on the minimum salary requirement. And if you do a good job, it is your employer that needs to be on top of the minimum salary criteria to keep you happy under the 30% ruling. Need more information? You can email them at [email protected] or call +31 (0) 205 207 991.