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Contracting Blog

30% ruling 150km limit back in the news

11/04/2013


Here is the latest news on the 30% Ruling tax concession available to foreign workers contracting in the Netherlands. Under the changes to the 30% ruling that came into effect in 2012, employees who lived with 150 kilometres of the Dutch border for more than 6 months of the previous 24 prior to taking up employment in Holland, were not eligible to apply to be treated under the 30 percent ruling, meaning that they were not able to take advantage of a significant saving in relation to their tax payable.

In November 2012, a challenge to this was launched in the court in Breda, which claimed that the 150km limit rule was in conflict with EU law. This case was decided in favour of existing legislation. A further case was taken at the court in Haarlem, and the decision of the court is that the rule in relation to the 150 km for incoming workers to Holland is indeed contrary to EU law under the principle of the freedom of movement of labour, as those living within 150 km of Holland may choose to work elsewhere in order to maximise their income. 

The two rulings appear to be contrary to one another, and due to the importance of the issue as part of Dutch tax law and practice; both arguments are now to be presented to the Supreme Court. In the interim, the existing rule remains in place, but the situation remains uncertain as to the future, and whether the rule will continue to operate. The decision of the Supreme Court may result in a challenge in the European Courts, given that the premise of the argument in relation to the illegality of the rule is based on EU laws currently in place.



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