The 30% tax ruling is primarily intended for foreign employees who have specialised knowledge. Dutch people who have lived and worked abroad for long periods of time may also apply for the ruling.

The amendments are of particular importance to highly skilled migrants working in the Netherlands. Please find a summary of the amendments below:

  • Specific expertise: To qualify for the 30% ruling, an employee must have specific expertise which is in short supply within the Dutch labour market. From 1 January 2012, the specific expertise will usually be determined by reference to a salary standard.

  • Salary standard: Employees who have a taxable income of at least 35,000 euros a year meet this salary standard. Please note that taxable pay is a different salary criterion from that applied in connection with the highly skilled migrant scheme.

  • Master's degree: Employees who have earned a Master's degree, are under the age of 30 and have a taxable income of at least 26,605 euros also meet the salary standard.

  • Scientific researchers: Academic research staff need not meet the salary standard in order to be designated as having specific expertise.

  • 150 km rule: Employees residing abroad less than 150 kilometres from the Dutch border will no longer qualify for the 30% ruling. Naturally, the employer can reimburse the employee free of tax for the extraterritorial expenses actually incurred.

  • Prior residence in the Netherlands: If employees have previously resided in the Netherlands and this residence ended less than 25 years prior to the start of the new employment, the duration of their entitlement to the 30% ruling will be reduced by the equivalent period. Under the old scheme the period was ten years.

  • Employees with a doctorate: Employees who are taken on within a year of obtaining their doctorate at a Dutch university and meet the (salary) criteria for specific expertise will also be eligible for the 30% ruling.

  • Reduced duration: The maximum duration of the 30% ruling is reduced from ten to eight years for new cases.

  • Transition: A transitional scheme will apply to employees making use of the 30% tax ruling on 31 December 2011. If an employee has been using the 30% ruling for more than five years on this date, the ruling will be continued on the basis of the existing rules. Employees who have been using the 30% ruling for less than five years will be assessed anew after five years. They will be able to continue using the 30% ruling if they meet the above-mentioned (salary) criteria and did not reside abroad within 150 kilometres of the Dutch border when they started their employment in the Netherlands.