30% ruling

When do you qualify?



The expatriate must be an employee who is hired from abroad or transferred by an employer to work in the Netherlands and who has specific expertise that is scarce or absent on the job market in the Netherlands.


Remuneration and provisions to extraterritorial employees to compensate or prevent expenses outside the country of origin shall, with respect to employees arriving at the joint request of the employee and the employer, in any case be considered remuneration for extraterritorial expenses up to (proof scheme):


a. 30% of the basis, this being the sum of the wage (including bonuses etc.) received associated with the stay outside the country of origin to the extent the entered or transferred employee has no right in this regard to prevent double taxation, and remuneration for extraterritorial expenses;

b. the amount of the tuition fees. Tuition fees are payments for children of the extraterritorial employee to participate in primary or secondary education at international schools and international departments of noninternational schools, up to the amounts charged by the school according to its rates for education, with the exception of costs and accommodation expenses but including travelling expenses.


It's not allowed to split the gross salary mentioned in the employment agreement in a taxable part of 70% and a non-taxable part of 30%. Instead the gross salary must be reduced to 70% on top of which a tax free remuneration of 30% can be paid. Consequence is that all the rights based on the gross salary will be reduced too like pension and social security.


An appendix to the employment agreement must be made. Expatax can help you with this.


Specific expertise - salary requirement


For the evaluation of whether an entered employee possesses specific expertise that is scarce or absent on the job market in the Netherlands, a minimum salary requirement was introduced on January 1, 2012. This salary requirement replaced the obligation to proof the level of education and relevant work experience. This information may still be relevant though if scarcity has to be proven.


The following amounts are applicable:




Minimum required taxable salary (70%): € 36,889 (which is gross € 52,699).


For employees under the age of 30 who have obtained a master degree at a foreign university the minimum required taxable salary (70%) is € 28,041 (which is gross € 40,059).




Minimum required taxable salary (70%): € 36,705 (which is gross € 52,436).


For employees under the age of 30 who have obtained a master degree at a foreign university the minimum required taxable salary (70%) is € 27,901 (which is gross € 39,859).




Minimum required taxable salary (70%): € 36,378 (which is gross € 51,969).


For employees under the age of 30 who have obtained a master degree at a foreign university the minimum required taxable salary (70%) is € 27,653 (which is gross € 39,505).


The required salary amounts change every year based on the applicable index rates.


Since the law requires a minimum taxable salary and doesn't mention the gross salary and also states that under the 30% ruling a tax free allowance can be paid of up to 30%, it is possible to reduce the tax free allowance to a lower percentage as such that the minimum required taxable salary is met.


See also: http://www.expatax.nl/kb/article/can-the-30-ruling-be-less-than-30-407.html


Distance requirement - 150 kilometers


Incoming employees must have lived more than 150 km from Dutch border before the work in the Netherlands commences. Distance is measured in a straight line from the city you lived in to the closest Dutch border. The tax authorities will look at the city you lived in during the 2 years before you came to the Netherlands to prevent that employees move to another city further than 150 km away just before coming to the Netherlands.


This requirement is currently under investigation of the European Court of Justice to determine whether it is conflicting with the freedom of movement of persons within the EU.


25-02-2015: The European Court of Justice rules that the 150 km requirement in principle is not against the freedom of movement within the EU


Knowledge Base: How is the distance measured?


150 kilometre distance - 150 kilometer afstand > 30% ruling




For entered employees the term of the proof scheme is a maximum of 8 years, starting on the first day of employment by the employer (for employees who were granted the 30% ruling before January 1, 2012 the term is maximum 10 years).


Change of employer


Should an entered employee have another employer during the term, the proof scheme shall remain in force at the joint request of the employee and the new employer for the remainder of the term, providing the period between the end of employment by the former employer and the realization of the employment by the new employer is no longer than three months. 

For such a request the new employers shall demonstrate anew that the employee is to be designated as an entered employee.


See also: http://www.expatax.nl/kb/article/30-ruling-3-months-is-3-months-change-of-employer-514.html.


Monitoring of the ruling


Should the entered employee no longer satisfy the requirements, the term shall be reduced to the time this situation arises. Before January 1, 2012 the first 5 years of the term were guaranteed (of course for as long as the employment contract was in force), this is no longer the case.


Transitional regulation however guarantees that if the ruling is granted between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2011 the guaranteed period of 5 years remains applicable.


Prior stay in the Netherlands


Should an entered employee have worked or stayed in the Netherlands prior to the start of employment, the term shall be reduced by the periods of prior employment and prior stay.

Periods of prior employment and prior stay that terminated more than 25 years before the term of employment shall not be taken into account.


The entered employee will not have worked in the Netherlands if he worked in the country for a maximum of twenty days in every calendar year for the period of 25 years.


The entered employee will not have stayed in the Netherlands if in every calendar year of the period of 25 years he did not stay in the Netherlands for a total of six weeks for holiday, family visit or other personal circumstances, with a one-off period not being taken into account of at most three consecutive months in the Netherlands for holiday, family visit or other personal circumstances.


For applications which were filed before January 1, 2010 the maximum period which will be checked by the tax authorities is only 10 years instead of 25 years.


Start date


Should the request be made within four months after the start of employment as an extraterritorial employee by the employer, the decision shall be retroactive to the start of employment as extraterritorial employee. If the request is made later, the decision shall apply starting the first day of the month following the month in which the request is made.

A request for application or continued application of the proof scheme with respect to an entered employee shall be made to the tax inspector (tax office in Heerlen). He shall decide on the request for a decision that is eligible for objection.



In the event of reduction of term pursuant to this section, a period for which the term is reduced shall be rounded up to full calendar months.


Non-resident status

An expatriate who qualifies as a resident taxpayer of The Netherlands, can opt to be taxed as a deemed non-resident taxpayer. As a deemed non-resident taxpayer, the expatriate need not report any investment income to the Dutch Revenue (except for Dutch source income, such as Dutch real estate). The choice will be made in the application form but can be changed every year. The expatriate can still deduct certain personal expenses (i.e. alimony payments, medical expenses etc.).



100+ answers to questions about the 30% ruling

Questions and answers for extraterritorial employees (created before 1 January 2012)

Extra territorial costs




Changes to 30% ruling adjusted (English)

Answers to questions about the proposed changes of the 30% ruling (English)

Reaction Expatax about the proposed changes of the 30% ruling (Dutch)

Proposed changes of the 30% ruling per 1 January 2012 (Dutch)


The tax authorities announced in October 2003 that they were going to look closer at the way the 30% ruling is administrated by the employer in the salary administration. This is still applicable. All documents must be available, the appendix to the employment contract must be made and the calculation must be correct. If something is wrong this could have consequences for the employer.


See also our article under Tax News


Last updated 23 November 2016