Final adjustments in the 30%-ruling

We hereby would like to inform you of  the adjustments to the 30%-ruling as per 1 January 2012. The earlier proposed adjustments have been accepted by the Dutch Lower House. The most important changes are summarized below.

Specific expertise test replaced by salary norm 

The salary norm that replaces the ‘specific expertise’ test will be EUR 50,000. When the full 30%-reimbursement is provided the actual gross salary (excluding the 30%-reimbursement) should thus amount to at least EUR 35,000. For PhD-students the salary norm will be EUR 38,007. When the full 30%-reimbursement is provided the actual gross salary (excluding the 30%-reimbursement) should thus amount to at least EUR 26,605.

The salary norms will be subject annually indexation. The condition that the specific expertise should be hard to find on the Dutch labour market remains in force.

Cross-border workers

The definition of foreign employee will be adjusted in such way that employees who reside within a radius of 150 kilometers
from the Dutch borders are not eligible for the 30%-ruling. An employee will however remain eligible for the 30%-ruling in case in
the 24 months preceeding the commencement of the Dutch employment he has lived more than 150 kilometers for the Dutch borders for at least 2/3 of the time.

Continious interim test 

Already granted 30%-rulings will remain effective, although the interim test may prevent further continuation of the 30%-ruling at a certain stage:

  • Employees who on 1 January 2012 have benefitted from the 30%-ruling for 60 months or more can continue the benefit of the 30%-ruling without any further interim test;
  • Employees who on or after 1 January 2012 have benefitted from the 30%-ruling for less than 60 months will be confronted with the interim test based on the adjusted conditions mentioned above;
  • Employees who will benefit from the 30%-ruling as of 1 January 2012 will be confronted with a continious interim test.

For the interim test it is of importance how long the employee has already benefitted from the 30%-ruling in total and not how long the employee benefits from the 30%-ruling at the current employer.


The maximum duration of the 30%-ruling will be reduced from 10 years to 8 years for employees who will benefit from the 30%-ruling as of 1 January 2012. For employees who already benefit from the 30%-ruling on 1 January 2012 the maximum duration will remain 10 years.

The 30%-ruling will at least end when the employment in the Netherlands is terminated. As a result the 30%-ruling can no longer be applied to backpayments resulting from the Dutch employment, with the exception of payments that are already known and set on the date of termination.

Reduction rule 

The look-back period in the reduction rule is extended to all periods of previous stay that ended in the last 25 years prior to the start of the employment in the Netherlands, meaning that Dutch nationals have to reside outside the Netherlands for at least 25 years in order to become eligible for the 30%-ruling upon return. Currently this is only 10 years or 15 years in specific situations.

Change of employer

When the employee changes employer the 30%-ruling can be ‘transferred’ to the new employer, provided that between the agreement on the new employment and the termination of the previous employment no more than 3 months have passed. This changes is only a codification of already existing case law.


The adjustments will have impacts for several groups of employees. It is advisable to investigate the consequences for your
organisation in order to undertake action in a timely manner.

Questions that need to be answered are for example: can future assignments be accelerated in order to safeguard application of the 30%-ruling under the current rules? Do you know how long your employees already benefit from the 30%-ruling, taking into account also previous employments with other employers in which the 30%-ruling was applicable? Which employees will be confronted with loss of the 30%-ruling during an interim test, as result of non-compliance to the salary norm or the fact that they resided within 150 kilometers from the Dutch borders at the start of their employment? And: what measures can you take in order to safeguard the 30%-ruling on backpayments after the termination of employment?


In case you would like to have more information on how the above influences you or your employees or in case you would like to have assistance with the inventarisation of the consequences, feel free to contact Exterus at: 070-3223136.