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Is the 30% ruling applicable for dependents? Can the dependent spouse also exchange a foreign driving license?

Two questions:

  1. If one member of the family (spouse) is enjoying the 30% ruling and the dependent spouse found a job here with a Dutch company, is the dependent spouse eligible to get the 30% ruling?

  2. Is the dependent spouse also eligible to exchange the foreign driving license if the other spouse has the 30% ruling?

Both of us have a long term residence permit and one of the spouse is here as a highly skilled migrant.

  1. The 30% ruling is a personal benefit. It is granted to an incoming employee for a specific job. The dependent spouse is not an incoming employee unless contract conversations were already taking place while living abroad. But normally the dependent spouse finds a job at a later moment when everything is settled in the Netherlands. If that is the case the dependent spouse is treated as a locally hired employee for whom the 30% ruling is not applicable. 

  2. Both partners can exchange a foreign driving license if one of the partners has the 30% ruling. For the official text (in Dutch) see: Article 2.1. 
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Comments (28)
Comment by Abhishek on Sat, Feb 21st, 2015 at 4:13 PM
Hi Arjan, I have read quite a few of your replies and think they are very helpful. thanks for all your contribution. I have one question for you. My wife has 30% tax ruling while I do not. Can I transfer my savings (bank account monies) to her to save tax related to box 3
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Thu, Feb 26th, 2015 at 6:16 PM
Hello Abhishek. Thank you for the kind words. If your wife has the 30% ruling you can indeed divide your savings to her in the tax return. Since there is no real question about the 30% ruling in the tax return you can show this decision by not declaring any savings in either tax return at all. Otherwise if you divide everything to your wife she will receive a tax claim for the savings if they are above the tax free amount of EUR 21,139 per partner since the tax computer won
Comment by Leah on Wed, Nov 11th, 2015 at 10:55 AM
Hi Arjan. I have several questions: My boyfriend and I moved to the Netherlands about half a year ago and he has the 30% tax ruling for his work. I was employed as home helper for about six months - will I need to claim my income? I have now been unemployed for two and a half months - Can we claim any return on the months I‘ve been looking for new work? Also, we consider ourselves to be living common law, are registered at the same address but aren‘t quite ready to sign a marriage certificate. I think by the definitions that I‘ve found on the website, that we are fiscal partners - does this mean we can also swap our drivers licenses? He swapped his last night, but I was told since we weren‘t married that they weren‘t sure if it was legal or not. Both of us would have to take a test if he didn‘t have the 30% ruling. We had thought that since we are fiscal partners and living common law that it would be possible.. Thank you for your time!
Comment by Sharon on Thu, Nov 12th, 2015 at 2:55 PM
Hello, What about if a spouse is recruited from abroad and not entitled for 30% ruling (salary wise), but the partner found a job within a month after coming here with the spouse, the partner should be entitled? Sharon
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Thu, Nov 12th, 2015 at 4:33 PM
If you were employed as home helper and on a payroll then tax will already have been withheld. If you didn‘t work the whole year too much tax may have been withheld. If no tax was withheld at source (since you were not employed) you may have to declare the income yourself in your tax return. Whether you have to pay tax in that case depends on the height of the income you earned, the related expenses and other income in that year plus the applicable tax credits. Since you are not married but living together you will have to satisfy one other condition out of a list of 5 (like owning your principle residence together, have a child together or have signed a cohabitation contract signed in front of a notary). See also You need to be fiscal partners in my opinion to be able to exchange your drivers license under the 30% ruling of your partner.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Nov 16th, 2015 at 3:25 PM
You must be an incoming employee to qualify for the 30% ruling. This means that you must have arranged an employment contract in the Netherlands before you move to the Netherlands. If the contract is signed a month after arrival in the Netherlands the tax authorities will reject the application unless you can proof that the negotiations were that far that the contract was arranged.
Comment by Snehal Satya on Mon, Mar 21st, 2016 at 9:24 AM
Hi Arjan, I have one question. I am moving to Amsterdam soon and my wife is also trying to find the job in Amsterdam before we move there. What is the probability of getting her job from her home country without Dutch language. Also she will push hard from her existing organisation for company transfer. But, if that happens, then will she come under 30% ruling eligibility along with me or not?
Comment by Jacob on Thu, Mar 24th, 2016 at 3:32 PM
Hello Arjan, My wife is on 30% ruling, while I am visa sponsored by my wife. They declined selling me a car as I was not holding an EU license. I have been driving for the last 6 years and to go through a test/study is kind of a nonsense. You mentioned the below: "Both partners can exchange a foreign driving license if one of the partners has the 30% ruling" Is there any official URL which I can refer to?
Comment by Michelle on Sat, Mar 26th, 2016 at 7:43 PM
Hello Arjan, If you have the 30% ruling and you decide to marry a dutch, do you lose the 30% ruling benefit?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Apr 5th, 2016 at 4:03 PM
The 30% ruling is granted to you personally. Nationality is not relevant, not of yourself nor of your partner.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Apr 5th, 2016 at 6:13 PM
@jacob. See the website of the RDW (the Dutch National Vehicle Authority). Check under "30% belastingregel". The link is:
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Apr 5th, 2016 at 6:25 PM
@snehal. I can‘t say how easy it would be for your wife to find a job in the Netherlands. There are a lot of expats working in the Netherlands who don‘t speak Dutch though. So there are certainly possibilities, but whether she can find a job quickly depends on her education and work experience combined with scarcity in the Netherlands. If she finds a job before she comes to the Netherlands and she qualifies for the 30% ruling she can also apply for it, but separate from you.
Comment by Snehal Satya on Fri, May 6th, 2016 at 11:55 AM
Hi, I got an email from Gemeente stating that even if I am under 30% ruling and my wife is coming as dependant, she will have to undergo dutch driving license test for obtaining the license. Since she is not in 30% ruling she cannot exchange the license with me. Kindly help
Comment by AP on Mon, May 9th, 2016 at 3:08 PM
Hi Arjan, Thanks for the hints. Regarding the driving license exchange for the partner, what are the conditions for a couple to be accepted as partner in this case? Of course I mean different type of partnerships than obvious cases like marriage. Thanks.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Fri, May 27th, 2016 at 1:50 PM
Hello Snehal. The gemeente is wrong in my opinion. See also my reply to jacob just above and the link provided. RDW is the Netherlands Vehicle Authority.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Fri, May 27th, 2016 at 2:36 PM
@AP. The official text states: "hij dan wel een van de personen van het gezin waartoe hij behoort en waarmee hij in Nederland samenwoont". In English: He, or one of the members of the household he belongs to and with whom he is living together in the Netherlands".
Comment by Dragan Siljanovski on Mon, Aug 15th, 2016 at 3:39 PM
Hi Arjan, My wife has the 30% ruling since January, but I came in August, when I started working. Negotiations with the company I started in February. Can I apply for 30% ruling in my case? Thank you, Dragan
Comment by Akanksha on Tue, Aug 23rd, 2016 at 6:47 AM
Hi Arjan, I have been going through your posts on this thread, and they are very helpful. Just want to seek your advice on 30% ruling below: My husband is in Amsterdam since 2 years and working under 30% ruling. I am soon to join him and received a job contract for 1 year to start from 1 September. I am expected to be on the payroll for a year. Would I be eligible for 30% tax ruling? If so, what should I do next? Thanks for your help and advice in advance.
Comment by Olkun on Mon, Aug 29th, 2016 at 1:14 PM
Hello Arjan, first of all thanks for helping people that way. I have a similar situation for 30 % ruling, I am moving to Netherlands from Germany and I will have 30 ruling, my wife on the other hand will remain in Germany until she finds a job in Netherlands and will move once she gets a job. In that case if I understand correctly she would be eligible for 30 ruling right? are there any other conditions? because one person said that she has to prove that she is coming to NL because of this job and so on... many thanks in advance.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Aug 31st, 2016 at 6:36 PM
If you came to the Netherlands in August for a specific job then you can also apply for the 30% ruling. You are then an incoming employee / recruited from abroad. It must be clear though that you didn‘t live in the Netherlands between January and August together with your wife.
Comment by Sourabh on Sat, Nov 19th, 2016 at 10:15 AM
Hello Arjan ,My wife arrived here in 1st week of August 2016 and after 2 weeks she started discussing contract with an employer for her new job.Is she still can get 30% ruling. Thanks in advance!!
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Jan 3rd, 2017 at 1:02 PM
A partner can apply for the 30% ruling if a job has been arranged by your partner before arrival in the Netherlands. That is really important. If a job is found after arrival in the Netherlands then your partner is not an incoming employee but locally hired (for whom the 30% ruling is not applicable).
Comment by Chris M on Sat, Feb 4th, 2017 at 10:43 PM
Hello, I have a related question. I have an offer for a job in the Netherlands with a 30% ruling and plan to add my domestic partner as a dependant for visa processing. She also wants to find a job and obtain the 30%. If I‘m reading your comments correctly, she needs to remain outside of the Netherlands until she lands the job (even after I‘ve already moved to the Netherlands) in order to get the 30%? Will the fact that I am applying for her visa have any impact on this or is it simply a matter of being outside of the country when the offer is made? Thanks!
Comment by Shankar on Thu, Mar 2nd, 2017 at 10:14 AM
We moved here last year and I have knowledge migrant. Now, my wife got a job and the company is not ready to offer knowledge migrant. Does this mean that once my contract is over, she also needs to travel back ? OR Can I become dependent if that situation arises
Comment by Ozan on Wed, Mar 22nd, 2017 at 5:12 PM
Hi Arjan, I moved to Netherland in 2014 and I am in 30% ruling. my wife was also starting job conversation before we moved to Netherland and She received job offer and contract before we moved. But she didn‘t applied 30% ruling. She stayed and worked in Netherland with under working permit condition. but now she will change her job(company) and she would like to apply 30% ruling. She will start her new job on 1st of may and she will be 30 ages after 12th of may. I have two question - can she apply 30%? - her new salary will be below of threshold of 30 ages. does she really have to apply before 12th may ? which date is taken into account for the age determination? date of application , date of job start or date of acceptance of 30% application. many thanks in advance
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Sep 19th, 2017 at 1:48 PM
Your wife must have found a job before first arrival in the Netherlands to be able to qualify for the 30% ruling. Once she moves with you and then finds a job she is no longer an incoming employee but hired locally.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Sep 19th, 2017 at 2:19 PM
@Shankar: if you lose knowledge migrant status and your wife is not a knowledge migrant either a new residence permit based on labour migrant may have to be requested. Consult an immigration lawyer for this.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Sep 26th, 2017 at 2:15 PM
@Ozan: your wife found a job before coming to the Netherlands so she is an incoming employee and qualifies for the 30% ruling if the other conditions are also satisfied. Once your wife becomes 30 the higher required salary becomes applicable. It makes no difference whether the application is filed before or after she becomes 30.
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