In a previous update we informed you about the taxation scheme for work-related expenses (‘werkkostenregeling’) which was introduced in 2011. The law allowed employers to choose between applying this new scheme or continuing to apply the former legislation if that was more beneficial or if they were not yet able to implement the new system.
On 3 July 2014 the Dutch State Secretary of Finance announced that as of 1 January 2015 the application of the new scheme will be compulsory for all employers.
Over the years, changes have been made to the initial regulations. The recently announced changes are as follows:
- the budget for work-related expenses will be reduced to 1.2% of the total wage costs
- Introduction of a 'necessity criterion' for a limited number of benefits such as tools, computers, tablets and mobiles; the benefit is tax free if the employer considers provision of the benefit is necessary for business use
- introduction of a group-based scheme: the designated benefits as well as the employment cost budget of all group companies can be combined (95% shareholding requirement)
- the tax due under the work-related expenses scheme (if the budget is exceeded) needs to be determined once a year only; any tax due may be paid in the first tax period of the subsequent calendar year
- benefits in relation to the work place – whether in kind or through cash reimbursement – will be treated in a similar way
- exemption for staff discounts on the purchase of productsto be reintroduced from 2015
- the costs to be recorded under the work-related expenses scheme should include VAT; in order to reduce a further administrative burden the employer can agree with the tax inspector on an average VAT rate.
The exact details of the new proposals will be published in September when the government budget for 2015 will be presented.
Employers who do not yet apply the work-related expenses scheme are advised to start their preparations for implementation of the new regulations now in order to be able to introduce the work-related expenses scheme with effect from 1 January 2015.
Letter of the Dutch Secretary of Finance dated 3 July 2014 (in Dutch language)
For further information or to discuss the consequences of the above, please contact Hans van Ruiten, on +31 224 6 418 or Rina Driece on +31 10 224 6 424 at Loyens & Loeff Rotterdam – www.loyensloeff.com.
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