Working in the Netherlands: 5 things to get you started

So you’ve started working in the Netherlands. Great! You’ve landed a job in the 6th happiest country in the world, and the 6th happiest country for expats too! But chances are that you, being an outsider, don’t know all that needs to be done once you start living/working/saving in the Netherlands, and might miss out on a few benefits. No worries! Here’s our list to the rescue, for all you need to know about working in the Netherlands when money is involved (and it could save you struggling).

Working in the Netherlands: what shall I do?

Prequel: Get a BSN/ Open a bank account/ Get health insurance

We’ve got you covered for the basics; check our list by Emma Brown to get started.

Also: want to know which bank offers you the highest interest rate on your savings? This website is quite handy for comparing banking products. After you’ve done this, you can go on to our list of what to do next!

1. Get a DigiD

This is an account that will allow you to access several government websites (and apply for facilities/benefits). Get one and you’ll have the world in your hands! This can save you a fortune if you’re struggling to make ends meet. Don’t forget to research what you may be entitled to.

2. 30% facility for incoming employees

If you come to work in the Netherlands, you can possibly get a reimbursement for the costs that you incurred when moving (such as plane tickets). Also, your employer may provide you with 30% of your wage tax-free; this “30% facility” rule applies if you were recruited outside of the Netherlands, and meet certain conditions:

  • You work for an employer that is registered with the Dutch tax office and pays payroll tax;
  • You did not reside within 150 km from the Dutch border for the last 18 out of 24 months at the time of hiring;
  • Your salary is at least 37,000 per year (28,125 if you’re a PhD or Master’s graduate; any amount if you’re conducting scientific research).

Here you can apply for the 30% facility. You’ll also need your employer to agree, of course.

A very controversial government move has meant that the 30% ruling can only be applied for 5 years, rather than the promised 8 years. This means that you can only have the 30% ruling for the first 5 years from 1st January 2019. 

3. Toeslagen (allowances)

You can ask for allowance on several things: your rent, your health insurance, your child care. To apply for them you also need to meet certain conditions – check here for health insurance, here for housing, here for child care and here for other child-related expenses.

To apply for these allowances, you’ll need to access Mijn Toeslagen with your DigiD – told you it would come handy! Once you’re in, you’ll need to give several info – if you’re not that fluent in Dutch, I suggest getting the Google translation tool on your browser to translate the website, as it is only in Dutch.

(And don’t worry too much, there’s always the possibility of a loan if you don’t get it on time)

4. Tax declaration

You need to declare your taxes to the tax agency! Chances are that, if you have an employer, you might get a tax return. Your first tax return is usually a nice one – so more money is going to come in (don’t forget to file for it, it’s worth it)!

How? You’ll also need a DigiD. You can do your declaration online, or – even easier – you can use an app! Available for Apple and Android.

5. What else?

There are some other deductions and discounts – check here to see if any of them applies to you! These are things such as study deductions, travel expenses and mortgage deductions. Click the link above and have a gander – you never know what you could be entitled to.

That’s it! Hopefully you’ll be a pro at working in the Netherlands (and saving some money along the way). So, how was working in the Netherlands for you when you first started? Don’t forget to share your experiences with us in the comments!

Aurora Signorazzi
Aurora comes from the majestic Italian capital, and is working on her PhD in virology at the University of Groningen. She has been living in the Netherlands for four years and is by now familiar with many Dutch habits... But still finds plenty of reasons to be pleasantly amazed (most of the time) by this industrious country and its brutally honest inhabitants!



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