Dutch company must pay €120,000 after offering healthy lunch to employees (the horror!)

Offering a free nutritious lunch at work is a smart business decision, right? Wrong! In the Netherlands, lunches are taxed by the government — and, trust us, they will get mad. 🤔

At Koppert Cress, a Dutch horticultural company, owner Rob Baan wanted to encourage healthy eating habits and provides his employees with none other than fruits, veggies, soups and salads. Lekker (for some)! 🙈

Yet, his good intentions weren’t enough — and now he has been slapped with a €120,000 tax bill.

Hey Dutchies, what’s the problem?

Dutch companies are allowed to spend money on staff tax-free, like for a Christmas party. However, lunches aren’t included in this — healthy, or not. That means Rob has to pay back all the taxes for all of his 200 employees’ lunches. 🤦‍♀️

READ MORE | Healthy living environment for kids? Not in the Netherlands, says Unicef

“The government wants the Dutch to live a healthy life. That starts with nutrition. We eat far too little fruit and vegetables. We often don’t get more than 130 grams per day. That’s because we don’t have a good lunch culture. […] I changed that,” says Rob to RTL Nieuws.

A healthy lunch should not be taxed

A lunch costs about €800 for employees with a full-time contract. Calculate in the number of staff since 2016, and you get around €120,000 to pay in taxes, simply for a healthy appetite.

“I want that money back. I objected to it, it was rejected, and then I started the lawsuit. A ton is nothing compared to my total turnover, and litigating also costs money, but it’s about the principle. A healthy lunch should not be taxed, it is not a disguised wage.”

Um, yes! Rob Baan for Prime Minister! Healthy lunches for everyone! 🇳🇱

What do you think about the unhealthy situation at Koppert Cress? Tell us in the comments below! 👇

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea has a passion for writing and sharing new ideas with the world. She enjoys film photography, Wes Anderson movies, fictional books and jazz music. She came to the Netherlands in 2019 for her media studies and has fallen in love with the country and its culture ever since. She loves to ride her bicycle in the city but also feels the need to overtake everyone on the bike lane (she's working on it).


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