What is the 30% ruling?
The 30 percent ruling is a tax exemption available for international employees who move to the Netherlands, or expats currently working in the Netherlands, with knowledge or skills that are in short supply. The Dutch tax office needs to grant you permission for this tax exemption. You and your employer must submit an application and meet various conditions.
Conditions for the 30% ruling
- You were recruited from more than 150km from the Dutch border and lived there for 16 of the 24 months before your first working day. This restriction targets mainly employees recruited from Belgium, Luxembourg and parts of France, Germany and the UK (but not London). The distance of up to 150 km from the Dutch border is measured point to point, in a straight line. There is an exception to the 24 month rule if a qualified 30% ruling holder returns to the Netherlands.
- For practical reasons, the Dutch tax office presumes employees have scarce skills or knowledge if their gross salary is at least the income norm (€38,347 in 2020). There is an exception for qualified scientists and medical doctors, while employees with an MSc who are under 30 have a reduced income norm.
- The date on your employment contract should be set before you arrive, and the maximum validity for the 30 percent ruling is 5 years. This may be reduced if you lived in the Netherlands in the past 25 years. If you received your 30 percent ruling before 1 January 2019 (when rulings were up to eight or ten years), a transition period may apply.
- Foreign PhD students can also be eligible within a year of receiving their qualification if they lived in the Netherlands or within 150km from the Dutch border while doing this research, but lived outside this area for 16 of the 24 months before starting the PhD.
A qualified scientist (PhD) can also apply for the 30% ruling if:
- PhD research was conducted in the Netherlands and the PhD student was also employed, or if employment started prior to the doctoral research and obtaining the PhD qualification was a condition for the job
- The 30% ruling would start after the PhD was completed
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