How will the 2020 Dutch budget affect the expat community?

Published:  20 Sep at 6 PM
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In these troubled times, the word ‘budget’ can send expats’ hearts sinking, in case their purchasing power is limited by increased costs or even swingeing taxation!

As every expat is - or at least should be – aware, the economic state of a country can have a direct influence on salaries, especially if they’re paid in the home country’s currency. Luckily for expatriate professionals in the Netherlands, their chosen country’s economy is in a reasonably stable state, with its national debt due to decrease to less than 50 per cent of its GDP. The Dutch cabinet’s attitude is that working should be adequately rewarded, and has decided to increase both the general tax credit and the employed workers’ tax credit. If you’re earning, say, 25,000 euros a year, you’ll be better off next year by 380 euros. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s far better than nothing!

In addition, the tax break for freelancers is being reduced to 7,030 euros and is intended to reduce further to a stated amount of 5,000 euros. As those employed will see their tax credit increasing, the advantage of a lower tax credit won’t be noticed. If you’ve emigrated with your family, the news is good as child budget benefits are to be hiked and more families will be able to claim. Households with average energy bills will see the tax on energy reduced by 100 euros, and ‘own risk’ healthcare payments will remain as they are.

As regards premiums for health insurance, providers will make their changes public by November 12, but government hints are projecting an increase of three euros per month. To offset the extra charge, healthcare allowances will go up by 67 euros annually for singles and 95 euros for families. It’s good news for expat students at Dutch universities, as they’ll now be asked to pay just 50 per cent of their course costs during their first year of study and, for those studying to be teachers, the discount will apply for two full years. All in all, for expats who remember budget day in their home countries, the Dutch version seems sensible as well as non-controversial.
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