Changes to the current 30% ruling in the Netherlands

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According to the State Secretary, there are going to be some amendments / restrictions to the 30% ruling. The following changes will become effective from 2012.

Specific expertise & Minimum salary

The "specific expertise" requirement will be based upon minimum salary.

The new rules dictate that one’s salary should be at least 50.619 euros (26.605 euros for students, look below) excluding the 30% tax free part.

Consequently, the minimum renumeration should exceed approximately 72.000 euros in order to fulfil the new requirements.

Note that employees still have to prove that their skills and expertise are scarce or absent on the Dutch labour market.

Reference period will be extended

The period for a reduction of the duration of the ruling will be increased.

The reference period of 10 years of earlier employment or stay in the Netherlands will be extended to a period of 25 years.

Note that this will mainly affect those Dutch citizens who return back without having spent more than 25 years outside the Netherlands.

Incoming employees

"Being hired from outside" excludes employees living in the border area.

Under the new rules, "Incoming employees" are considered those who lived at least 150 km away from the Dutch borders before starting working in the Netherlands. By definition, this will affect mainly German and Belgian cross-border workers.

Note that there might be adjustments due to the free movement of people in the European Union.

30% ruling for young PhD graduates

At the moment, foreign students cannot apply for the 30% ruling since they are not transferred / recruited from another country.

According to the new ruling, PhD graduates, who are employed within one year after graduating with (minimum) salary of 26.605 euros, will be eligible starting 2012.

Other changes:

 studying period (in the Netherlands) will not count as prior residence
 the above applies not only to PhD students who graduated in the Netherlands but also to those who graduated abroad.

Important notes

The Dutch tax office may request a check (i.e. that an employee meets the 30% ruling requirements) after 5 years (60 months). Note that after the check, and given that the employee is eligible, he / she will continue to benefit for the full 10 years.

Finally, it should be underlined that those who obtained the 30% ruling after January 1, 2007 (i.e. less than 60 months) will have to meet the new criteria when called for a check after January 1, 2012.

[Update] Changes to the current 30% ruling

Nico Koppel is an Expat Service Provider, who specialises in tax advice & accountancy. For more information, please comment below or visit Koppel Tax Consultants.

Nico Koppel


Nico Koppel



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