Dutch tax reforms hit single parents hardest

Dutch tax reforms hit single parents hardest

The 2015 tax year is the first time that parents in the Netherlands can no longer apply for the child tax deduction called aftrek levensonderhoud kinderen.

Single fathers paying child support are the hardest hit, according to recent statistics from the Central Bureau of Statistics.

It’s a deduction of "expenses for supporting children younger than 21 years of age", which in 2013 was an average of 900 euros per household for almost a quarter million residents. That's a total of 225 million euros.

In 2014, the amounts parents could receive through this deductible item had already been decreased by 30 percent.

In 2012, the age limit for the deduction was lowered from 30 to 21 years, which at the time excluded 40.000 households.

112.000 households in the Netherlands affected

In 2013, the Netherlands had 112.000 households that profited from the tax deduction. These people did not have a child living with them, but one person in the household had a child that was registered elsewhere.

Because the children were living at a different address, the households were not eligible for any other child-related tax credits, deductions or exemptions.

This group consisted of 34.000 couples, 4.000 single mothers and 74.000 single fathers.

Single fathers hit hardest

Many of the 74.000 fathers living alone were divorced at the time, with their children registered at their ex-partner's address. Since they shared in the expenses for supporting their children, this group made use of the tax deduction, which earned a quarter of them 1.300 euros or more per year.

Side effects of the Dutch tax reforms

The disappearance of the tax deduction has not been replaced by other credits, deductions or exemptions. One side-effect can be that child support payments will be lowered as a result, as the amount to be paid is based on the total financial situation of the father, including all tax-related items.

Thomas Lundberg


Thomas Lundberg

Born as a Swede in the Netherlands, this life-long expat has spent his time in Belgium, the United States and Amsterdam. He began his professional career as a regional news...

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