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30% ruling for returning Dutch national


Can I apply for the 30% ruling as a Dutch citizen who lived in Hong Kong for 11 years when I remain working for the same company (they want to have my experience in the headquarters)?

Another point of concern is that I might need to live in Belgium first (work in NL) due to immigration of my foreign partner.

Looking forward to your feedback.


An incoming employee with the Dutch nationality can indeed qualify for the 30% ruling. However due to recent discussions in the media about the fact that the ruling was granted to certain board members with the Dutch nationality, the rules have been changed with effect from January 1, 2012.

The new rules state (for example):

  1. The period of stay outside the Netherlands will be increased from 10 years to 25 years. This means you must have been outside the Netherlands for a period of 25 years before your return to the Netherlands or the start of your employment contract in the Netherlands.
  2. The incoming employee must have lived at least 150 km from Dutch border before the move to the Netherlands or start of the employment contract in the Netherlands.

Both changes will affect you, either if you come to the Netherlands directly or if you come to the Netherlands through Belgium.

The change with respect to the distance from Dutch border will be effective immediately on January 1, 2012 and will affect every ruling which was granted less than 5 years ago on January 1, 2012. Question is whether this change will be accepted by the European Court of Justice, but that will be a long procedure.

The change with respect to the period of stay outside the Netherlands will only affect new applications made from January 1, 2012. This means that it may be possible to get the ruling if the employment contract starts before January 1, 2012 and you come to the Netherlands directly and you also satisfy the other constraints.

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