30% tax ruling FAQ

Do you have a question? On this page you can the answers for the most common questions about the 30% ruling.

What are the requirements to qualify for the 30% ruling?

Requirements 30% ruling
The following conditions must be met to qualify:
• you are (originally) recruited from abroad
• you have special skills and experience, which are scarce within the Dutch labor market

150 km requirement
You have to prove that you were previously residing outside of the Netherlands before you began your employment in the Netherlands. Besides that, you must have lived more than 150 km outside of the Dutch border for 16 months out of the last 24 months before the start of employment in the Netherlands.

Previous stay in the Netherlands

The years resided in the Netherlands will be deducted from the maximum duration of the 30% ruling which is 5 years.

For example, if you have previously lived in the Netherlands for two years (and had the ruling two years), and you came back to the Netherlands again, you will be eligible for the 30% ruling for three more years. In total the ruling remains 5 years, the two years will be deducted so you can apply for the ruling for the remaining 3 years.

The special skills and experience are since 2012 determined based on salary
In 2021 the required taxable salary is € 38.968 per year (70% of the gross salary, so excluding the 30% allowance). This requirement replaced the education and work experience check.

Gross salary:

€ 55.668 (100%)

Taxable salary:

€ 38.968 (70%)

Tax-free reimbursement:

€ 16.700 (30%)

If you are below the age of 30 years old and in possession of a master’s diploma the taxable salary requirement is € 29.618 (70% of the gross salary, so excluding the 30% allowance).

Gross salary:

€ 42.312 (100%)

Taxable salary:

€ 29.618 (70%)

Tax-free reimbursement:

€ 12.694 (30%)

The salary requirements are adjusted each year.

Application
To be eligible for the 30% ruling, the employee and the employer must file a joint application. 

Requirements 30% ruling
The following conditions must be met to qualify:
• you are (originally) recruited from abroad
• you have special skills and experience, which are scarce within the Dutch labor market

150 km requirement
You have to prove that you were previously residing outside of theNetherlands before you began your employment in the Netherlands. Besides that, you must have lived more than 150 km outside of the Dutch border for 16 months out of the last 24 months before the start of employment in the Netherlands.

Previous stay in the Netherlands
The years resided in the Netherlands will be deducted from the maximum duration of the 30% ruling which is 5 years.

For example, if you have previously lived in the Netherlands for two years (and had the ruling two years), and you came back to the Netherlands again, you will be eligible for the 30% ruling for three more years. In total the ruling remains 5 years, the two years will be deducted so you can apply for the ruling for the remaining 3 years.

The special skills and experience are since 2012 determined based on salary
The special skills and experience are since 2012 determined based on salaryIn 2021 the required taxable salary is € 38.968 per year (70% of the gross salary, so excluding the 30% allowance). This requirement replaced the education and work experience check.

How long will the 30% ruling application take?

The total application procedure will take up to 16 weeks.

Approximately 2 to 4 weeks after the application is filed the tax authorities will send a confirmation of receipt.

If the application is not complete, the tax authorities will send a request for more information. In case the tax authorities are not convinced whether you qualify for the ruling or not, they will send a letter to inform you of their intention to deny the ruling first, so you can provide more proof or information to support your application.

You will receive the formal decision as soon as the tax office has reached a decision. To speed up the procedure, the application must be complete, and all documents must be provided. The tax specialists at Qlick can take care of this for you.

When filed within the first 4 months of your employment, once granted, the 30% ruling will be applied retroactively from the start date of your employment. After 4 months of your start date, you are still eligible to apply for the ruling. However, the ruling will be granted on the first day of the month, following the month in which the application was filed.

I benefit from the 30% ruling at my current employer, but I want to work for a different company - can I transfer the ruling?

Yes, you can switch employers and continue the 30% ruling with your new employment. You and your new employer will need to submit a new application for the ruling. However, the gap between your previous job and the new one, cannot exceed three months.

I meet all of the conditions for the 30% ruling, but my employer is not willing to submit the application. Can I submit the application myself?

No, unfortunately not. The employer and the employee need to file a joint application. If the employer does not want to apply for the 30% ruling, the employee is not entitled to receive this benefit.

In case your new employer has little experience with the 30% ruling, Qlick can handle the application for them.

Is the 30% ruling only applicable if my gross salary is more than € 55.668?

No. An employee to whom the 30% ruling is granted can get a tax-free allowance to cover the extraterritorial expenses of up to 30% of the agreed (gross) salary. The words “up to” indicate that a lower percentage is also possible.

The law only requires a minimum taxable salary of € 38.968. The amount of € 38.968 is 70% of the total gross salary after deducting the 30% tax fee part. The full salary would be € 55.668.

If your salary exceeds the amount of € 38.968 but is lower than € 55.668 you can still apply for the 30% ruling. In that case, the minimum taxable amount will remain the same and will have to be at least € 38.968.

The tax-free part of your salary will be the difference between your salary and € 38.968.

For example:

Full 30%

Gross salary:

€ 55.668 (100%)

Taxable salary:

€ 38.968 (70%)

Tax-free reimbursement:

€ 16.700 (30%)

Partial 30%

Gross salary:

€ 50.000  (89%)

Taxable salary:

€ 38.968  (70%)

Tax-free reimbursement:

€ 11.032 (19%)

Partial 30%

Gross salary:

€ 45.000  (80%)

Taxable salary:

€ 38.968 (70%)

Tax-free reimbursement:

€ 6.032  (10%)

This will however require specific and individual calculations in the payroll administration for you which you will have to negotiate with your employer.

Please note that an employer does not have to cooperate, nor has to accept that the 30% ruling is applied at all.

How do I qualify for the lower salary requirement?

If you have a master’s degree from a research university and you are younger than 30 years old, the taxable salary should be at least € 29.618 (which means the gross salary including 30% ruling is at least € 42.312).

Not all foreign master studies are of a sufficient level. You will have to provide diploma validation from Nuffic, the Dutch institution that validates foreign diplomas.

Do I need to meet the higher salary requirement when I turn 30?

From the first day of the month following the month in which you reach the age of 30, your salary must meet the salary requirements for employees above 30 years old.  For 2021, this is a minimum required taxable salary (70%) of € 38.968 (which is gross € 55.668).

For employees under the age of 30, who have obtained a master’s degree at a foreign research university, the minimum required taxable salary (70%) is € 29.618 (which is gross € 42.312).

In the year you turn 30 years old, the salary will be calculated pro-rata. For example, when you turn 30 on the 8th of March, for the months January – March the (taxable) salary you have earned must be at least 3/12 * € 29.618 and for the months April – December 9/12 * € 38.968.

Can I keep the 30% ruling if I become self-employed?

The 30% ruling is only applicable to income obtained from or received through employment. If you decide to become self-employed, you are no longer an employee and as a consequence, the 30% ruling will no longer be applicable.

If you set up a limited company whereby you employ yourself, then you can request the tax authorities to grant the 30% ruling for your work for your own limited company. It is important to note, A limited company will lead to extra administration and other costs.

How is the 30% allowance arranged between employer and employee?

The application of the 30% ruling must be specifically agreed upon between employer and employee (i.e., the 30% allowance must be classified as a cost allowance for so-called extraterritorial expenses). Most employers opt for a cost neutral method, meaning that the gross salary is reduced with an amount equal to the 30% tax free cost allowance. This is usually arranged in an addendum.

Please note that the consequence of lowering the wage according to employment law is that any benefits which are related to the wage (like social security and pension) will be affected negatively. This is why the ruling must be agreed upon in an addition to the employment contract.

I started working for a company in the Netherlands a while ago and only just found out about the 30 percent ruling. Am I still able to apply for it?

Yes, that is possible. The 30% ruling needs to be submitted within four months after the commencement date of your contract in order to receive the ruling retroactively.

If the four months period has passed, you can still apply for the 30% ruling, but the commencement date will then be the month following the submission date.

Driver’s License

If you have a foreign driver’s license, in most cases you will have to retake the driver’s test in order to obtain a Dutch license. However, if you benefit from the 30% ruling, you can switch your foreign driver’s license without retaking the test.

Can my partner benefit from the 30% ruling?

Your partner cannot benefit from the 30% ruling in terms of income. However, under the 30% ruling, you are exempt from box 3 (tax on your savings and investments).

If you and your partner are fiscal partners, your partner can allocate his/her savings to you, and then these savings will not be taxed either.

Your partner is also able to switch his/her foreign driver’s license without retaking a driver’s test.

What happens if the 30% ruling was applied incorrectly?

At the end of the year, the tax authorities will check if the employee has met all of the requirements. If it turns out that for example, the minimum salary requirement was not met, the 30% ruling was applied incorrectly. As a consequence, the employer will face an additional tax assessment payroll tax. The employer is allowed to pass on the costs to the employee.

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