30% ruling in the Netherlands: FAQ

30% ruling in the Netherlands: FAQ

Below you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the 30% ruling in the Netherlands:

When should an expat apply for the 30% ruling?

Within four months after signing your employment contract. If you apply after this period, the ruling will become effective as of the next month. If you have already been working in the Netherlands for some years, you can still apply but previous years will not be taken into account and will be deducted from the the term that you can receive the 30% ruling. The processing period may last from one to six months depending on the case.

What is the maximum duration of the 30% ruling?

Please note, as of January 1, 2024, the rules are as follows:

  • From months 1 to 20: Expats do not pay tax on 30% of their income
  • From months 21 to 40: Expats do not pay tax on 20% of their income
  • From months 41 to 60: Expats do not pay tax on 10% of their income
  • From month 60+: Expats pay tax on their entire income

Changing jobs & the 30% ruling

Maintaining the 30% ruling is relatively easy, provided that your employment starts within three months after terminating your current one. Keep in mind that the same application procedure must take place within four months (for the new employment). Also, note that your new employer must again provide a written statement saying that you provide scarce skills or expertise.

Starting a business in the Netherlands and the 30% ruling

Expats currently working for an employer under the 30% ruling can continue to make use of the ruling if they decide to start up their own business in the Netherlands

What happens if my application is denied?

In this case, you should file a letter of objection within six weeks. If your letter is also denied, you must file an appeal.

Salary & The 30% ruling

The 30% reimbursement is calculated based on the agreed (gross) salary while different regulations apply for pension premiums. All other benefits (holiday allowances, bonus etc.) fall under the 30% ruling as long as they are ruled as severance payments. Scientific researchers, employees working in scientific education, and doctors in training are exempted from the salary requirement.

Who is considered an "incoming employee?"

Working "incoming employees" are those who have lived at least 2/3 of the last 24 months further than 150 km from the Dutch border prior to commencing employment.

How can I prove that my skills and expertise are scarce in the local labour market?

Higher education and / or sufficient working experience is enough to justify why your specific skills are rare on the local marketplace. Besides, it is your employer who has to make a reasonable case (written statement), not you. Note that since 2012, the minimum salary requirement has mostly replaced the "scarcity" requirement, but you may still need to provide proof for certain positions.

Is there a catch?

The reduction of your gross salary by 30% has severe implications for your disability or unemployment benefit, tax refund (residential mortgage loan), social security, pension etc. which are heavily or even solely based on your taxable salary.

Read also