The Migrantic partners write a weekly tax and/or immigration law column in a local newspaper. These columns are also featured below.

Newsflash 2019 Budget: 30% ruling to be decreased to 5 years: new transition measure for existing cases; how Unilever indirectly made expats in the Netherlands happy!

Moderately good news for many expats that felt justifiably cheated by the Dutch government since their 30% tax ruling duration was about to be shortened from 8 to 5 years on the 1st of January 2019 without any transition period. See our last newsflash about this here.

As Unilever decided to keep its UK head office and not move to the Netherlands, the Dutch government decided not to provide the foreign resident shareholders with the welcome gift to abolish the Dutch dividend withholding tax.

Part of the 1.9 billion Euro savings by keeping this tax will now be used by the Dutch government to create a (much too limited) transition period for expats that would otherwise lose their 30% ruling in 2019 or 2020 while their original 8 year duration had not lapsed.

A lot of Dutch news agencies mentioned yesterday that the measure to decrease the duration to 5 years of the 30% ruling is postponed for 2 years altogether. That is not correct.

A person requesting the 30% ruling after 1 January 2019 will only obtain the ruling for 5 years, also persons having the obtained the ruling on say 1 January 2016 will lose their ruling on 1 January 2021 (instead of 1 January 2024).

We still feel that for these persons the full 8 years should be granted as this duration is explicitly mentioned in the ruling itself.

From the information at our disposal now, it is also not clear if a person having obtained the 30% ruling in 2014 will have a 1 year or a 2 year transition period as from 1 January 2019 (likely only one year).

Although this is definitely an improvement, we still feel that litigation is worth a try for people who will be affected by this measure (ruling obtained in 2016, 2017 or 2018). Please notify Migrantic that you want to be included in our upcoming class action suit against the Dutch State under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) if the Bill would pass Parliament.

Tax specialist