The 30% Tax Facility

The Netherlands is a country that welcomes kennismigranten (highly skilled migrants) and onderzoekers (researchers), truly valuing their input and impact on Dutch society and industry. Not only is the Netherlands a great place to live and work in the short or long term, due to its open-market policy and prime transportation location it is often listed as one of the top countries for international trade.

Recognising that highly skilled migrants and researchers are needed to further strengthen the Dutch economy, culture, and research fields, alongside the fast-tracked registration process, the Government of the Netherlands also offers the 30% Tax Facility, which covers up to 30% of an employee’s remuneration as a tax-free expense allowance in compensation for extraterritorial costs, without having to provide evidence for these costs.


The 30% Tax Facility applies to if the employees was recruited outside of the Netherlands or seconded from a country other than the Netherlands to work in the Netherlands. Conditions including the following apply to making use of the 30% facility:

  • Valid employment;
  • The employee is recruited from another country by the employer, or is sent from another country to the employer;
  • Of the 2 years before the first working day in the Netherlands, the employee lived outside the Netherlands for more than 16 months, at a distance of more than 150 kilometres from the Dutch border;
  • The employee has specific expertise that is not or is only barely available in the employment market in the Netherlands;
  • The employee has a valid decision.
Duration of the facility

The 30% Tax Facility for employees from abroad has a maximum term of 5 years (from 2019).

This term may be reduced if:

  • You have already worked or stayed in the Netherlands before taking up this employment. In this case, the term will be reduced by the length of time previously stayed/worked in the Netherlands;
  • The request to be considered for the 30% Tax Facility is not submitted within 4 months of starting the job in the Netherlands.

In order to apply for the 30% Tax Facility for incoming employees, you must have permission from the Belastingdienst (Tax and Customs Administration). The request has to be submitted jointly, by employer and employee, to the Belastingdienst, which will make a decision. If in disagreement with the decision, it is possible to file an objection.

If the request has been made within 4 months of the start of the employee's employment, the facility can apply from the first day of employment. If the request was made later, the facility will be applied from the first day of the month following the month in which the request was made. The commencement date of the facility will be specified in the ruling from the Belastingdienst.

Changes 30% facility (2024)

In the 2024 Tax Plan a measure was adopted to scale back the 30% facility. This measure entails that the tax-free allowance that may be paid, decreases during the course of 5 years:

  • over the first 20 months a maximum of 30% of the salary may be paid as a tax free allowance
  • the percentage drops to 20% for the following 20 months
  • and the percentage drops to 10% for the last 20 months

For employees that are already applying the 30% facility in December 2023, a transitional rule is provided under which the 30% facility will not be scaled back during the 5 year their 30% facility is in place.

Change of withholding agent (employer) for employees from outside the Netherlands

When the employee changes jobs, the 30% Tax Facility may be continued as usual. The period between the old and the new employment must not exceed 3 months. A new joint request together with the new employer must be submitted and the new employer must prove that the employee still fulfils the condition of possessing scarce, specific expertise.

Partial Non-Resident Taxpayer status

Employees making use of the 30% Tax Facility can opt to be treated as a partiële buitenlandse belastingplicht (partial non-resident tax payer) even if they are a resident taxpayer. This means that the employee will not be taxed on income from investment and savings outside the Netherlands.

The partial foreign taxpayer status will be abolished from January 1, 2025. However, this amendment is also subject to a transitional rule. Employees who are applying the 30% facility in December 2023 will still be able to use this tax scheme until December 31, 2026 at the latest.

Capping 30% facility

The 2023 Tax Plan regulated that the tax free allowance that can be paid based on the 30% facility would be capped. This capping will take effect from January 1, 2024. From then on, a tax free allowance of maximum 30% of salary up to the ‘Balkenende norm’ can be paid. In 2024, this income norm will be € 233,000 and thus an employer can give a maximum tax free allowance of € 69,900.

The capping applies to employees using the 30% facility from January 1, 2023.

School fees

In addition to the 30% Tax Facility, school fees for an international school (or for the international department of a school in the Netherlands), may be reimbursed free of tax.

This is permitted if:

  • The curriculum at the school (department) is based on a international system.
  • The school (department) is in principle only open to children of seconded employees.

Go to our Education & Careers section for a list of international schools in the Maastricht Region.

Exchanging driving licences

Employees who qualify for the 30% ruling and their family members can exchange any foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence. To apply for the exchange of the driving licence under this rule, bring the following items to the municipal office desk for driving licences:

  • Complete a gezondheidsverklaring (Certificate of Fitness Statement) form at the Centraal Bureau RijvaardigheidsbewijzenCBR website. A DigiD is required to do so. The form is only in Dutch. There is a fee for the form (digitally).
  • Take this form with to the municipality, along with the following documents:
    • Current valid driving licence, which will not be returned;
    • Passport or identity card;
    • Passport-sized photo taken according to Dutch regulations;
    • Proof of qualification for the 30% Tax Facility;
    • Cash or debit/credit card to pay the exchange fee.

When the licence is ready for collection the applicant will be notified. A passport or identity card is required for proof of identity when collecting the new licence.