2019 Tax plan - Outline of wage and income tax measures

Article

Outline of wage and income tax measures

2019 Tax Plan - Budget Day (Prinsjesdag)

The following lists the measures proposed in the 2019 Tax Plan in respect of the wage and income tax.

21 November 2018

Outline of wage and income tax measures

Dutch version

Back to outline 2019 Tax Plan

New box 1 rate system

A substantial decrease of wage and income tax rates will reduce the tax burden for citizens in the years to come. These rate adjustments will translate into a two bracket system effective 2021 with a base rate of 37.05% for box 1 incomes up to EUR 68,507, and a top rate of 49.5% for higher incomes. The first step toward introduction of the two-bracket system will be made in 2019 by reducing the rates in the second and third wage and income tax brackets. On the other hand, the rate in the first bracket will rise slightly. Another government decision involves freezinging of the highest income tax bracket at EUR 68,507 in the coming years. Taxpayers will thus reach the highest bracket relatively more quickly, which means tax revenues will rise. The table below summarizes the changes for 2019.

Brackets

2019

2018

Maximum first bracket

EUR 20,384

EUR 20,142

Maximum second bracket (born before 1 January 1946)

EUR 34,817

EUR 34,404

Maximum second bracket (born after 1 January 1946)

EUR 34,300

EUR 33,994

Maximum third bracket

EUR 68,507

EUR 68,507

 

Combined wage and income tax rates and national insurance contributions

2019

2018

Rate first bracket (under state pension age)

36.65%

36.55%

Rate first bracket (above state pension age)

18.75%

18.65%

Rate second bracket (under state pension age)

38.10%

40.85%

Rate second bracket (above state pension age)

20.20%

22.95%

Rate third bracket

38.10%

40.85%

Rate fourth bracket

51.75%

51.95%

 

Increase box 2 rate

From 2020 onwards, the rate for taxable income from a substantial interest (box 2) will be raised gradually to avoid the corporate income tax rate reduction having a magnet effect for private limited liability companies (BVs). This should maintain the global balance of the tax burden between entrepreneurs subject to income tax rules and shareholders of BVs. For 2020 a 1.25 percentage point box 2 rate hike up to 26.25% is envisaged. This will be followed by another 0,65 percentage point increase in 2021, so the eventual box 2 rate will be 26.9%. The effective rate increase is lower than provided for in the coalition agreement (28.5% in 2021).

Debts of majority shareholder-director to private limited liability company

The government has announced it will come up with a regulation to discourage majority shareholder-directors to borrow from  their private limited liability companies amounts in excess of EUR 500,000. If the aggregate amount of the debts exceeds this threshold, the excess will be regarded as a dividend distribution that is taxable in box 2 as from 1 January 2022. It had initially been intended to only implement a transitional regime for already existing home acquisition debts with the own private limited liability company. However, in October 2018 the government announced that new financing for the owner-occupied property, too, would not fall within the scope of the measure either. Financing for other immovable property is expressly not excluded.

The intended legislative change is not part of the 2019 Tax Plan. Instead, it will only be presented to the House of Representatives in the spring of 2019. An internet consultation will take place first. The government has chosen to already announce the measure, so majority shareholder-directors will have as much time as possible to settle excessive debt ratios with their private limited liability companies, e.g., through dividend distributions. Any dividends majority shareholder-directors distribute in 2019 will still be subject to 25%.

Tax credits

To ensure lower income groups also benefit from the proposed tax break, the cap on the general tax credit will raise gradually in 2019, 2020 and 2021 up to EUR 2,753 (2018: EUR 2,265). Note that the existing income-related phase-out to nil in the second and third bracket will be maintained.

The cap of the employed person's tax credit will be up to EUR 3,945 in 2021 (2018: EUR 3,249). On top of that, the income qualifying for accrual of employed person's tax credit will be higher. However, this tax credit decreases by 6% (2018: 3.6%) for employment incomes over EUR 34,060.

The income-related combination credit will only be corrected for inflation in 2019, but the income qualifying for accrual will be adjusted. The EUR 1,052 base amount will be cancelled, while the rate for the income qualifying for accrual will rise to 11.45% (2018: 6.159%). As a result, the cap of this tax credit will be reached at a lower employment income.

From 2020 onwards, sickness benefits paid to unemployed persons will no longer be included in the amount of employed person’s tax credit and income-related combination credit. This brings about equal treatment with Unemployment Insurance Act beneficiaries, whose benefits do not qualify for the calculation of these tax credits either.

The table below reflects the changes in tax credits in 2019 compared with 2018:

Tax credits

Amount 2019

Amount 2018

Maximum general tax credit (under state pension age)

EUR 2,477

EUR 2,265

Maximum general tax credit (above state pension age)

EUR 1,268

EUR 1,157

Phase-out percentage general tax credit

5.147%

4.683%

Minimum general tax credit

EUR 0

EUR 0

Maximum employed person’s tax credit

EUR 3.399

EUR 3,249

Phase-out percentage employed person’s tax credit

6.00%

3.60%

Minimum employed person's tax credit

EUR 0

EUR 0

Maximum income-related combination credit

EUR 2,835

EUR 2,801

Young disabled person's tax credit

EUR 737

EUR 728

Elderly person's tax credit

EUR 1,596

EUR 1,418/
EUR 72

Phase-out percentage elderly person's tax credit

15%

n.a.

Single elderly person's tax credit

EUR 429

EUR 423

 

Maximum rate for deductible items

From 2020 onwards, the maximum rate of deductible items in box 1 will be reduced by 3 percentage points annually until the base rate of 37.05% is reached in 2023. Mortgage interest deduction is already being phased out, but this will be accelerated. Other deductible items in box 1 affected by the measure are the SME profit exemption, the exemption on making available assets, the entrepreneur’s allowance, and personal deductible items. As regards the two first items, the measure only applies if the profit or the result, respectively, in the related year is positive. The table below sets out the proposed adjustments (2018 figures included for comparison).

Year

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

Maximum mortgage interest relief rate

49.5%

49.0%

46.0%

43.0%

40.0%

37.05%

Maximum rate other deductible items

51.95%

51.75%

46.0%

43.0%

40.0%

37.05%

 

The budgetary gain of accelerated phase-out of the mortgage interest relief rate will be used to reduce the percentage of the notional rental value for owner-occupiers in annual steps to 0.45% in 2023 for owner-occupied properties with a WOZ value between EUR 75,000 and EUR 1,060,000. The notional rental value for owner-occupiers will be maintained at 2.35% insofar as the WOZ value exceeds the latter amount. The reduction does not apply to the notional addition for private use of homes that are part of a company’s assets.

Protective assessment annuities and pensions

The legislature codifies a Dutch Supreme Court ruling of 2017, in which the highest court of the Netherlands judged that imposing a protective assessment relating to pension and annuity entitlements upon emigration may under certain circumstances constitute a breach of treaty faith. This concerns cases in which the applicable tax treaty provided for exclusive taxation in the state of residence, and

  • premiums for the annuity entitlement were paid before 1 January 1992, or in the period from 1 January 2001 up to and including 15 July 2009; or
  • entitlements and contributions to a pension scheme in the period prior to 16 July 2009 have not been included as wages.

The rationale is that the fair value of the respective entitlements was taxed in the Netherlands in the periods mentioned. The Netherlands thus in fact appropriated taxing powers that pertained to the treaty partner. Also, the premium deduction was not conditional in that period. Compartmentalisation should be applied when a protective assessment also relates to premiums which were paid in that period.

Extension of exemption for foster care allowances

Effective 2019, foster care compensations granted for taking care of foster children will be permanently exempted from income tax. The legislature’s goal is to avoid any discussions about whether this represents a source of income. Anticipating more detailed decision-making, the government had already proposed to extend the current temporary exemption to 1 January 2020. But a final decision has now been made in favour of a structural exemption.

Limitation of 30% facility term

Effective 1 January 2019, the term of the so-called 30% facility for extraterritorial employees will be reduced from eight to five years. This shorter term also affects the possibility to opt for partial non-resident tax liability in income tax. The reason for the legislative amendment is an evaluation of 30% facility which showed that about 80% of the applicants only use the facility for five years.

Although the government had initially been reluctant to bear in mind existing cases, the financial resources for a transitional scheme have now been found. Employees for whom the term of the 30% facility was set to expire in 2019 or 2020, are permitted to maintain the original termination date of the decision. Employees for whom the 30% facility would expire in 2021, 2022, or 2023 without the legislative amendment, can continue to apply the facility through 31 December 2020. If the current termination date of the 30% facility is 1 January 2024 or later, the term will be limited by three years. In that case the transitional scheme will not have any effect.


See also: Announced adjustments to 2019 tax plans

Fixed notional addition for employer-provided bicycles

The use of bicycles for commuting will be encouraged as from 1 January 2020 by determining the value of the personal benefit of employer-provided bicycles based on a fixed sum. The tax step-up is set at 7% of the recommended consumer retail price.

Raising caps on tax exemption for volunteers

Volunteers can now receive a maximum payment of EUR 150 a month (capped at a maximum of EUR 1,500 a year) without liability for payroll taxes. The government proposes to raise this to EUR 170 a month and EUR 1,700 a year as of 1 January 2019.

Tax credit for non-resident taxpayers

The 2018 Tax Plan provided that as from 2019, only the tax component of tax credits to which non-qualifying non-resident taxpayers from the respective country are entitled is applied for wage tax purposes. This means that qualifying non-resident taxpayers will have to claim their entitlement to the tax component of non-work related income tax credits.

To align Dutch legislation with EU laws, the government now proposes to lay down that - where appropriate - non-qualifying non-resident taxpayers who are residents of an EU/EEA Member State are still entitled to the tax component of the employed person’s tax credit and the income-related combination credit in income tax.

R&D tax rebate

People carrying on a business in which R&D activities are performed and who are responsible for making deductions at source, can avail themselves of the R&D tax rebate for the costs and expenditures involved. To this end, they need to have an R&D statement and meet various administrative conditions. With the abolition of the dividend withholding tax being called off, the government has decided to free up extra money to encourage innovative activities. To this end, the tax rebate percentage in the second bracket (R&D base > EUR 350,000) will be raised to 16%, up from 14%, in 2020.

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