Can I get the 30% ruling?
The 30% ruling is not (just) an incentive – it is compensation for the arguably more expensive expat life and lifestyle.
Can I get the 30% ruling?
The infamous Dutch 30% ruling has been subject to public debate for years. This large tax discount for some expats is viewed with understandable jealousy by Dutch natives, and, more bitterly, by expats who somehow do not qualify. Was the initial duration of the 30% tax discount rule 10 years; then 8 – now it is only valid for 5 years. Still: these are often the years of house buying and world travel and family expansion. The extra income is welcome.
Expats who studied or interned in the Netherlands before starting their careers here are the main victims of this inequality. Since they are often not considered ‘recruited abroad’, they supposedly do not fall within reach of the 30% ruling. The idea behind this seems to be that foreigners who are already here, do not need a tax incentive to contribute to the Dutch economy. However, that is a cynical idea. The 30% ruling is not (just) an incentive – it is compensation for the arguably more expensive expat life and lifestyle.
In a couple of recent cases, DTS managed to secure 30% rulings for expats who studied or interned in the Netherlands before finding a job here. Unfortunately, many HR departments, and also some well-known tax consultancy firms, do not seem to be aware of this possibility. This is particularly unfortunate because the tax benefit can be pretty substantial: easily EUR 5-10K per year in an average case. So if you ask: can I get the 30% ruling if I studied in the Netherlands? Our answer would be: having studied here does not disqualify you as such.
On a side note: be aware that a 30% ruling is a joint request of employer and employee. This means you can only request the ruling once your employer is on board. Another common misunderstanding: the 30% ruling is not a tax refund: it needs to be applied to your salary by your employer. This is negotiable between employer and employee.
Want to try to get the 30% ruling? Do not give up as soon as your employer or advisor considers it impossible. You cannot get the ruling retroactively, but you can still request it going forward, for the remainder of the 5 years duration. Give us a call (at no cost), and let’s discuss your option.
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