Employers levy on high salaries above
On March 31, 2014 employers may be faced with a special levy if they employed workers in 2013 who earned a salary of more than € 150,000. This levy was introduced in 2012 because politicians thought that the higher incomes should also contribute to the crisis. However, the contribution was not intended to harm the workers and the entrepreneurs themselves. Therefore the politicians opted for an employer levy.
The original intention was that the employer levy would be a one-off payment in 2013 and would not return in 2014 but unfortunately the government decided to extent the measurement for another year.
Employers levy on high wages
The employers levy is based on the salary from current employment for the year 2013, including all structural and incidental rewards and therefore including the addition for the company car. The employers levy has to be paid once in 2013 and amounts to 16% on the excess of the salary above € 150,000. This levy comes on top of the regular wage tax withholdings and levies which the employer has to pay to the tax authorities.
Employers levy in practice
Suppose an employee earned an annual salary of € 180,000 in 2013. The excess above € 150,000 is taxed with 16% in 2014. The difference between € 180,000 and € 150,000 is € 30,000. On this amount the employer levy is calculated. The levy amounts to 16% of € 30,000 = € 4,800. The levy has to be paid with the wage tax return which sees on the period in which March 31 falls, so based on monthly filings, the latest on April 30.
If the employee had several jobs in 2013, the employers will not have to pay the employers levy, provided none of the employers paid a salary higher than € 150,000 in 2013. If the employee worked within a group of companies under different contracts then the exemption is not applicable. In that case, the calculation must be based on the total salary earned within the group in 2013. The employer within the group that paid the majority of the salary in 2013 must pay the employers levy.
Anti abuse measurements
If the employee has also worked as a freelancer for the same company, the income earned as freelancer will be included in the calculation to determine whether the employer paid more than € 150,000 to the employee. The government will take additional measurements if it turns out that employers find other ways to prevent the employers levy.