Uproar over proposed changes to Dutch 30% ruling

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From 1 January 2012 the qualifying conditions for the 30 percent ruling in the Netherlands are set to change dramatically. Employers and governmental bodies are protesting that the changes could make the Netherlands a less attractive destination for highly skilled expats.

On October 13, the first round of feedback was presented to the Second Chamber Commission for Finance.  Both employers and local governmental bodies expressed criticism and concerns that the proposed changes to the qualifying criteria for the 30 percent ruling will dissuade foreign talent from moving to the Netherlands. This could have serious consequences for the Dutch economy.

Those in disagreement argue that the restriction conflicts with government plans to promote the Dutch economy as a knowledge economy. The criticism is aimed at the proposal to raise the minimum salary level for the 30 percent ruling to over EUR 70,000 of total remuneration and the restriction that expat workers must reside at least 150 km from the Dutch border.

The State Secretary of Finance will respond to the objecttions in early November. Later in the month, the plans will be discussed in Parliament. Until then, the outcome remains uncertain.

 Update 2 November:

Parliamentary discussions have not yet revealed whether the proposals to severely restrict the 30% ruling conditions as of 2012 will be changed before entry into force. The reports on a Parliamentary discussion provide a lot of critical questions and alternative suggestions, but the government and government parties have, to date, only further explained their motives for the present proposal. Further answers are expected next week and the Parliamentary vote between November 15 and 17, 2011.

Expatica will keep you posted.

Frank de Bats/ Expatica


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