Dutch law in 2023: This is what’s changing in the Netherlands next year
With 2023 right around the corner, what should expats living and working in the Netherlands prepare for in the new year? As 2022 comes to a close, here’s everything you need to know about the changes to Dutch law in 2023.
New Dutch tax rules in 2023
As part of a package of measures announced by the government on Prinsjesdag, various aspects of the Dutch tax system will be adjusted as of January in an attempt to boost the purchasing power of citizens and residents.
Firstly, workers who fall into the tax bracket for those earning up to 73.071 euros a year will see their income tax rate fall by 0,11 percentage points next year, to 36,93 percent, saving them up to 102 euros in 2023. The labour tax credit for people working in the Netherlands will also increase, saving workers up to around 500 euros a year. The tax-free travel allowance will also be increased, from 19 to 21 cents per kilometre.
The Dutch government has, however, agreed to increase the wealth and corporate tax rate in the Netherlands, as well as the mining levy (a tax targeting the profits of energy companies) from January 2023. Wealth tax rates are rising from 31 to 32 percent next year, while the lowest corporation tax bracket is being reduced from 395.000 euros to 200.000 euros - the lowest corporate tax rate is also rising from 15 to 19 percent.
Other changes to the Dutch tax system include higher excise duties on cigarettes and other tobacco products (+1,22 euros from April 2023) and taxes on fizzy drinks (20,20 euros per 100 litres). The government has also agreed to increase the tax on flights, from 7,95 euros to 26,43 euros per ticket. The current reductions in excise duties on fuel will also remain in place until the end of June.
Employment, income, and pensions in the Netherlands
The national minimum wage will increase as of January 1, 2023. Next year, the (gross) minimum wage in euros is:
The higher minimum wage will also have knock-on effects on Dutch benefits and allowances. For example, the state pension rate for couples who are married or living together will rise to 968,86 euros each per month. For single people, it will rise to 1.425,80 euros per month. Meanwhile, the unemployment benefit rate will increase by 10,15 percent.
The state pension age in 2023 is 66 years and 10 months, slightly higher than the 66 years and seven months in 2022.
Changes to housing, rentals, and property taxes
Firstly, the national rent allowance will increase in 2023; anyone with a rent of or under 808,06 euros per month will be eligible to receive financial support, with the monthly rate increasing by up to 16,94 euros.
Since 2017, parents have been able to give their children a tax-free donation of up to 100.000 euros in order to help them buy a home in the Netherlands. The government has decided to adjust the rules for this tax-free gift, known as the jubelton; the maximum figure is being reduced to 27.231 euros as of January 1, and will be completely abolished from January 2024.
On Prinsjesdag, the government announced that the transfer tax rate would increase from 8 percent to 10,4 percent, but the exemption rule introduced at the beginning of 2021 for 18 to 35-year-olds will remain in place, as will the reduced rate of 2 percent for those over the age of 35 who plan to live in their newly purchased property. The rate of 10,4 percent will therefore apply to landlords and property developers, as well as non-residential properties.
Low-income households will once again be eligible for a 1.300-euro energy allowance in order to help cover the cost of utilities, and, from January 1, households in the Netherlands will pay a maximum of 1,45 euros per cubic metre of gas and 0,40 euros per kilowatt-hour of electricity. The price cap will only apply to the first 1.200 cubic metres of gas and 2.900-kilowatt hours of electricity used throughout the year. The consumption of any additional gas or electricity will be charged at the rates set out by each individual energy company.
The government has also announced that anyone who wants to make their home more sustainable will no longer have to pay VAT when buying solar panels. 2023 will also see 15.000 so-called fled homes (temporary new-builds or short-lease properties which are rented out for a fixed period of time) built in the Netherlands. The VAT cap on energy, however, will expire on December 31, meaning that in 2023 the VAT will once again be set at 21 percent.
Family life: Childcare and child benefits in the Netherlands
The child benefit will also increase in 2023. The quarterly rates in euros as of January are:
|Per child aged 0 - 5||269,76|
|Per child aged 6 - 11||327,56|
|Per child aged 12 - 17||385,47|
Another change affecting families is that, as of January 1, young people will be able to live at home for longer without it affecting their parents' benefits and allowances. While current rules state that, once a child turns 21, their income affects the amount of benefits received by their parent(s), from January this will be increased to 27, meaning parents will no longer see their benefits cut if their adult children continue to live at home while working and earning their own salary.
Education in the Netherlands: Student loans and STAP
The STAP budget - which was launched in March 2022 and has proven exceedingly successful so far - will undergo some changes in the new year. The next round of applications has been postponed; instead of opening on January 1, applications will reopen on February 28, 2023. This is because the government needs time to implement new measures to improve the scheme and ensure the quality of the courses that are available under STAP. These measures involve tightening the rules for course providers and making sure the trainers are up to standard.
Those enrolled in higher education in the Netherlands for the 2023-2024 academic year, and who no longer live at home with their parents and families, will be eligible to receive an additional 165 euros per month in order to help cover the rising costs of living. On the other hand, students will also see the interest rates on their student loans rise from January 1, to 0,46 percent for those enrolled at a university, and 1,78 percent for those enrolled in a vocational course.
Changes to the Dutch healthcare system and health insurance
Healthcare premiums will increase from January, while the proportion of people eligible to receive the healthcare allowance will increase as a result of changes made to the various income thresholds. The amount of money they will receive will also rise.
From 1 April, 2023, pregnant women will be able to book a Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT), free of charge. The NIPT is a blood test that can be used to detect a number of chromosomal abnormalities, such as down syndrome. The test currently costs parents 175 euros.
From January, blood and plasma donation rules for gay and bisexual men will also be relaxed. Currently, gay and bisexual men are only permitted to donate blood if they are in a monogamous relationship for more than a year, or if their last sexual encounter was more than four months ago. In 2023, a questionnaire will be used in order to determine whether or not a man who is sexually active with other men can safely donate blood, depending on their sexual history and whether or not they practice safe sex. Instead of one rule for all, it will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Next year, employees who had jobs where they came into contact with harmful substances and became ill as a result of their work will be eligible to apply for compensation from the government. As the scheme is new, only those diagnosed with lung cancer, allergic asthma, or chronic painter's disease will be eligible to apply.
Travel rules in the EU: ETIAS in the Netherlands
News of the European Union’s new ETIAS visa waiver system has been circulating for a while now, but the system will officially come into effect in 2023. Next year, the ETIAS programme will apply to all nationalities who currently do not need a visa to enter Europe (e.g. USA, Canada, UK, Australia).
Under the ETIAS visa waiver system, visa-exempt travellers will need to register online with ETIAS in order to enter Schengen countries (including the Netherlands) for a total stay of 90 days per entry. Once they’ve applied, the travel authorisation will be valid for three years from the moment of issue. The system will pre-screen travellers for any potential security or health risks before the traveller reaches European borders.
It’s all new and might be a little difficult to wrap your head around, but luckily the system isn’t due to come into effect until November 2023, so there is some time to figure it out and find out what it might mean for you and your loved ones. It’s worth noting that anyone coming to the Netherlands to work, study, or stay for longer than 90 days will still be required to apply for the relevant visa or permit.
Miscellaneous: Other changes expats can expect in 2023
What other changes should expats expect in the new year? For starters, from January 1, 2023, a helmet will be compulsory for all drivers and passengers on mopeds (snorfietsen). Those who fail to wear a helmet risk a fine of 100 euros.
The “NEE-NEE” and “NEE-JA” letterbox stickers will be replaced by a brand new digital system called InMijnBus. From January, instead of picking up a free sticker at your municipality, people living in the Netherlands will register their preferences via InMijnBus.nl.
While for a while many thought the introduction of the rule would be postponed, it has been confirmed that, in the new year, the 15-cent deposit on cans will finally be in effect. The measure was first announced two years ago, and will come into effect on December 31, 2022.
A ban on misleading prices and discount information will come into effect on January 1. In short, this means that retailers will no longer be able to raise their prices only to lower them a few weeks later, thereby misleading consumers by letting them believe the new price is a "good deal." The new rules state that the original price must be the lowest price quoted by the retailer in the last 30 days prior to the start of the sale.
The new system has already been in place in some countries for a few months, but in January Netflix will launch their new rules regarding account-sharing across the globe. In the new year, any customer who shares their account with someone who lives at a different address will have to pay an additional monthly charge.