An Expat’s Guide to the 30% tax ruling in the Netherlands

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If you are an expat entrepreneur eyeing the Netherlands as your next business hub, you’re in the right place! As a seasoned Dutch accounting firm, Lead Out Finance is here to help you unlock the doors to a lucrative tax advantage: the 30% tax ruling. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll reveal the secrets behind this exclusive tax scheme, and its 2023 salary requirements, conditions, and applicability for those keen on setting up a BV (Besloten Vennootschap) over a ZZP (Zelfstandige Zonder Personeel)


Dive into the blog below to discover how you can make the most of the 30% tax ruling and transform your business prospects in the Netherlands.

What is the 30 percent ruling?

The (Belastingdienst) 30% tax ruling is a generous tax advantage offered by the Dutch government to attract skilled foreign professionals to work and invest in the Netherlands. Under this ruling, qualified expats are eligible to receive a tax-free allowance of up to 30% of their gross salary, effectively reducing their overall income tax burden.

30% Tax Ruling Requirements

To be eligible for the 30% tax ruling, expats must meet specific requirements set by the Dutch tax authorities (Belastingdienst) and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND):


  • The expat must have been recruited or transferred from abroad by a Dutch employer.
  • The expat must possess specific expertise or skills that are scarce in the Dutch labor market.
  • The expat’s taxable salary, excluding the 30% allowance, must meet or exceed the 2023 salary requirements (more on this below).

30% Ruling Salary Requirements for 2023

The exact threshold will vary from year to year but for 2023, the minimum taxable salary requirements to qualify for the 30% tax ruling are as follows:

    • General income minimum: €38,961
    • Employees under 30 with a master’s degree: €29,616
    • Scientific researchers: No minimum salary requirement


  • These figures exclude the 30% tax-free allowance and are adjusted annually for inflation.


30% Tax Ruling Conditions

To maintain eligibility for the 30% tax ruling, expats must continue to meet the above requirements throughout the duration of their employment in the Netherlands. The ruling is granted for a maximum period of five years, with the possibility of extension if specific conditions are met.

Benefits of the 30% Tax Ruling for BV Business Owners

If you have read our article about the differences between a BV and a ZZP and are considering setting up a BV, the 30% tax ruling can provide significant benefits by: 


  • Increasing income retention: The tax-free allowance provided by the 30% tax ruling allows you to retain more of your income, reducing your overall tax burden. This extra income can be reinvested into your business, fueling growth and expansion, and enabling you to capitalize on new opportunities that may arise.


  • Enhancing cash flow: With the reduced tax obligation, your business will enjoy improved cash flow. This financial flexibility allows you to manage your business operations more efficiently, ensuring you have the necessary resources to meet both short-term and long-term goals.


  • Helping you attract top talent: The 30% tax ruling can also make your BV more attractive to highly skilled professionals from abroad. By offering this tax incentive, you can draw in the best talent to help drive your business forward and maintain a competitive edge in the market.


  • Affording the advantage of corporate tax perks: In addition to the 30% tax ruling, BV owners can benefit from various corporate tax advantages available in the Netherlands. These include reduced corporate tax rates on profits, tax exemptions on certain forms of income, and the opportunity to utilize tax treaties to minimize double taxation risks.


  • Future expansion opportunities: The 30% tax ruling can help create a solid financial foundation for your BV, enabling you to explore expansion opportunities both domestically and internationally. With the financial benefits you gain, you can invest in new markets, partnerships, and technologies, positioning your business for long-term success.

Common questions about the 30% ruling in the Netherlands:

A: The primary purpose of the 30% tax ruling is to attract highly skilled expats to work and invest in the Netherlands. It offers a tax advantage by providing a tax-free allowance of up to 30% of the gross salary, effectively reducing the overall income tax burden for eligible individuals.

A: The 30% tax ruling is granted for a maximum period of five years, with the possibility of extension if specific conditions are met. The ruling’s duration can be reduced if the individual has previously worked or lived in the Netherlands within the 25 years prior to their current employment.

A: Yes, the 30% tax ruling can be applied retroactively if you meet the eligibility requirements and submit your application within four months of starting your employment in the Netherlands. If approved, the ruling will apply from the start date of your employment contract.

A: Yes, you can change employers while benefiting from the 30% tax ruling. However, you must find a new job within three months of leaving your previous employer and meet the eligibility criteria with your new employer. The new employer must also apply for the 30% tax ruling on your behalf.

A: The 30% tax ruling primarily targets employees working for a Dutch employer. However, entrepreneurs who set up a BV (Besloten Vennootschap) and pay themselves a salary as a director or employee of the company may be eligible for the 30% tax ruling if they meet the required conditions.

A: To apply for the 30% tax ruling, you and your Dutch employer must submit a joint application to the Dutch tax authorities (Belastingdienst). It is advisable to work with a trusted Dutch accounting firm or tax advisor, such as Lead Out Finance, to help guide you through the application process and ensure all necessary documentation is submitted correctly.

A: While your family members cannot directly benefit from the 30% tax allowance on their income, they may benefit indirectly through the tax exemption on deemed income from a substantial shareholding (box 2 income) and the tax exemption for assets and savings (box 3 income) if you choose the partial non-resident taxpayer status.

Lead Out Finance can help you utilize the 30% tax ruling for your BV

One of the most important steps in an expats journey is finding a trusted partner to guide them through the steps and business structures that make the most sense for them. 


At Lead Out Finance, we pride ourselves on our transparency and trustworthiness, ensuring that you make informed decisions that best suit your business needs. Our knowledgeable team and trusted partners are here to help you navigate the Dutch tax system and make the most of the 30% tax ruling.

With years of experience as a professional Dutch accounting firm, we understand the complexities of the Dutch tax system and are here to guide you through the process. If you’re an expat looking to start or expand your business in the Netherlands and are considering the BV route, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for guidance on the 30% tax ruling and other tax advantages. Together, we can help you build a successful and thriving business in the Netherlands.

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