Surprising tax benefits for incoming employees: the Dutch 30% facility explained

by Genie Ijzersmid
3 min read
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Incoming employees in the Netherlands may be eligible for a special reimbursement scheme: so-called 30% facility. Find out what are the conditions of the scheme and how to apply for it.

Those who come to work in the Netherlands are usually confronted with extra costs. An employer may thus grant the newcomers an untaxed reimbursement of these costs and also provide them with 30% of their wage tax-free (for this, no evidence (bills) of extra expenses is required).

Extra costs

Extra expenses related to moving to another country are usually called extraterritorial costs. Among others they may include:

  • costs for tax advisors’ service who help you filing the tax return. It is not easy for a newcomer to file taxes without expert help;
  • additional costs for maintenance (since the prices for meal and facilities in the Netherlands may be higher);
  • travel expenses, if you needed to come earlier to the country to find accommodation for your family or school for your kids or just for family visits;
  • costs associated with receiving the new documents (residence permits, licenses, applying for a social security exemption etc);
  • medical expenses (new vaccinations, tests);
  • costs related to accommodation: for instance, if you have to keep paying for accommodation in your home country, pay for storage of belongings you could not take with you or if accommodation costs in the Netherlands exceed 18% of your wage.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the 30% facility you have to:

  • be recruited outside of the Netherlands or seconded from a foreign country to work in the Netherlands;
  • be officially employed;
  • live outside the Netherlands for more than 16 months in the last two years, at a distance of more than 150 kilometers from the Dutch border (there is an exception for people with doctoral degree);
  • have specific expertise that is scarce or absent on the Dutch employment market.

A highly skilled migrant status

To officially become a highly skilled migrant you will have to apply for a highly skilled migrant declaration from the Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (IND, Immigration and Naturalisation Service). This will allow Belastingdienst to regard you as a specific expert eligible for the 30% facility. Find out more about the conditions for receiving this status on the IND website.

How to apply for the 30% facility

To apply for the 30% facility you will have to file the application in cooperation with your employer. The form along with instructions is available on Belastingdient website. Dutch Tax Service is responsible for deciding whether to grant the 30% facility. You may also call the Tax Information Line for Non-resident Tax Issues +31 555 385 385 (from abroad) and (055) 5 385 385 (from the Netherlands) if your business is located abroad but liable to pay Dutch tax. The numbers may change, so consult the line page on the Belastingdienst website.

Additional bonus: partial resident taxpayer status and school fees

If you are eligible for the 30% facility, you have a choice to obtain a partial non-resident taxpayer status for a part of the income tax. In practice, it means taxes are calculated based on a lower amount and as a result you will be able to pay less tax.

Along with the 30% facility you can also be entitled to a free allowance for school fees of an international school or department at an ordinary school with an education programme based on a foreign system.