2024 is well on its way, bringing with it a whole host of new laws and regulations affecting people living and working in the Netherlands. Here’s an overview of everything you need to know about the changes to Dutch law in 2024.
Changes affecting workers
Workers in the Netherlands can expect a number of changes in 2024, many of which will affect salaries:
New income tax rates
As always, the Dutch government has adjusted tax rates and brackets on Box 1, Box 2 and Box 3 incomes in the Netherlands for 2024.
The brackets for Box 1 taxes (income from salary) will be updated as follows:
- A tax rate of 36,97 percent applies to income up to 75.518 euros
- A tax rate of 49,5 percent applies to income over 75.518 euros
By not fully adjusting the top rate income tax threshold for inflation, the government is pulling more high earners into the top tax bracket, raising additional funds. In 2024, the threshold for national insurance contributions will rise to 38.098 euros, up from 37.149 euros in 2023.
Box 2 taxes paid on income from interest in a limited company will be changed, from 26,90 percent for all earnings to a stepped system of rates:
- A tax rate of 24,5 percent on earnings up to 67.000 euros
- A tax rate of 33 percent on earnings over 67.000 euros
The Box 3 tax rate is increasing from 32 percent to 36 percent on income made from savings and investments.
30 percent ruling reduced
The Dutch government looks set on its decision to significantly reduce the 30 percent ruling, a tax advantage for highly-skilled migrants who come to the Netherlands for work. As it currently stands, recipients of the 30 percent ruling can make 30 percent of their salary exempt from taxation for 60 months. Under new plans, this would be reduced to 20 months, but a tax saving of 20 percent would apply for the next 20 months, and then a 10-percent saving would apply for the 20 months after that.
The amendment still needs to receive the Senate’s approval. If they adopt it, it will most likely be applied retroactively to new applications to the scheme from January 1, 2024.
Hourly minimum wage comes into effect
From the new year, changes to minimum wages in the Netherlands will come into effect, introducing a statutory minimum hourly wage and scrapping minimum monthly, weekly and daily wages.
This means that from January 1, 2024, employers will be obliged to pay employees at least the statutory minimum hourly wage of 13,27 euros per hour. For someone working 36 hours a week, this equates to 2.700 euros per month. The change was made because of discrepancies caused by the monthly minimum wage model, under which someone working 36 hours per week would receive the same pay (1.995 euros) as someone working 40 hours per week.
Travel allowance increasing
The maximum tax-free travel allowance will also increase slightly from January 1, 2024: from 0,21 to 0,23 euros per kilometre. This allows employees to make a slightly bigger saving on their taxes, as a higher portion of their travel expenses are considered tax-deductible. Employers can choose to offer their employees a higher travel allowance than 23 cents per kilometre, but the allowance is then considered a benefit as part of the employee’s salary package.
STAP budget abolished
From January 1, 2024, employees in the Netherlands will no longer be able to apply for the STAP budget, as the scheme is set to be replaced by a new temporary arrangement for training, although details of this have not yet been announced. The government will most likely put the remaining STAP budget of 73 million euros into the existing SLIM scheme.
Changes to social security, benefits & allowances
If you receive any benefits or allowances in the Netherlands, look out for these changes in the new year:
Health insurance premiums will increase
As is to be expected, all health insurers in the Netherlands will increase their premiums next year. The major companies are increasing the cost of their basic policies by around 8 euros per month. The eigen risico deductible will remain at 385 euros.
Healthcare allowance boost to expire
In 2023, the Dutch government increased the healthcare allowance to better support people on lower incomes. In 2024, however, that special measure will expire and the maximum healthcare allowance will decrease from 154 euros to 123 euros per month. Some people might no longer be eligible for the benefit at all.
State pension age to increase
As of 2024, the state pension age in the Netherlands will increase from 66 years and 10 months to 67 years. The retirement age will then remain at 67 until 2027. In 2028, it will rise to 67 years and three months. In 2024, this means that anyone born after January 1, 1958, will have to wait until their 67th birthday to retire and receive their state pension.
Rent allowance to increase
From January 1, 2024, the rent allowance will increase by a maximum of 416 euros, making the total allowance a maximum of 5.779 euros per year. The eligibility threshold for the allowance will also rise by 1.250 euros, meaning many people will continue to qualify for the allowance even if their earnings have gone up, while some other people may qualify for the first time.
Childcare allowance to increase
The Dutch government will also increase the childcare allowance paid to working parents whose children attend a registered childcare facility in the Netherlands. Originally, the government announced that maximum hourly reimbursement would rise to 9,65 euros for daycare, 8,30 euros for out-of-school care and 7,24 euros for childminder care.
The Senate later adopted a proposal to raise the allowance even further (to 10,25 euros, 9,12 euros and 7,53 euros per hour, respectively), to bring it in line with current prices. The lower (original) 2024 rates will already have been paid out to parents at the end of December, but the additional increased rates will likely apply as soon as the Senate passes the proposal.
If your childcare costs more than the maximum reimbursement, you are expected to cover the difference yourself. If your childcare is cheaper, the government will cover only the hourly rate you are charged.
Pension funds to increase payouts
Four of the major pension funds in the Netherlands have announced that they will increase their pension benefits next year. Those who receive pensions from ABP will see their benefits rise by 3 percent, PME is increasing payouts by 3,26 percent, and PFZW by 4,8 percent. PGB is raising pensions by the most: 5,2 percent.
Changes for consumers
There are also some important changes affecting consumers in the Netherlands in 2024:
Energy price cap to be scrapped
In 2023 consumers benefited from an energy price cap, which brought down the cost of electricity and gas. This cap will expire on January 1, however, leaving customers to foot their higher bills themselves. Anyone who finds themselves in trouble can apply to the Energy Emergency Fund for support. According to calculations by the comparison site Independer, a family with average consumption can expect to pay around 13 euros more per month.
Soft drinks, fruit juices and oat milk will be more expensive
In a bid to encourage people to make healthier choices, the government is increasing its “lemonade tax” on non-alcoholic drinks. However, it’s not only fizzy drinks that are set to become more expensive in the new year; the tax also covers things like plant-based alternatives to dairy, like oat milk, the cost of which will rise by 17 cents per litre next year. To encourage more people to drink water, the government is abolishing the consumption tax on mineral water.
Flight tax will increase
Airfares are set to get more expensive in 2024, as the flight tax will increase next year to 28,58 euros, up from 26,43 euros in 2023. The 2024 rate is four times higher than it was in 2022.
Alcohol and cigarette duties to increase
Higher duties (taxes) will apply to alcohol and cigarettes from next year. A case of beer will become around 27 cents more expensive, while a bottle of wine will be around 7 cents more expensive.
The cost of a pack of cigarettes will rise to around 11,10 euros from April 2024, while a 50-gram packet of tobacco will cost around 24,62 euros. With the higher duties, the government wants to discourage the use of alcohol and tobacco and raise money for support schemes.
Ban on flavoured vapes
From January 1, 2024, shops in the Netherlands will only be allowed to sell tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes. This means that vapes containing liquids with sweet or fruity flavours will not be available in the new year, as the government attempts to stop vapes appealing to children and young people.
Other law changes
And finally, there are a few other new laws coming in 2024 worthy of mention:
Parents can give combined surnames to children
From 2024, there will also be a change made to the issuing of Dutch names. The government has passed a new law that means that from January 1, 2024, children born in the Netherlands will be able to be registered with both of their parents’ surnames. Previously, parents had to choose one partner’s surname for their child when applying for a birth certificate, but now it will be possible to put a double-barrel surname.
Traffic fines to increase
A word of warning to take extra care while driving: next year traffic fines will increase once again. Being caught not wearing a seatbelt, for instance, could land you a fine of 180 euros (previously 160 euros). Using your mobile phone while driving carries a fine of 420 euros (up from 380 euros), and unnecessarily driving on the left could result in a fine of 270 euros.
No more tourist buses in Amsterdam
Big tourist buses will no longer be welcome in the city centre of Amsterdam from next year, after the municipality voted to oust the more than 300 buses that drive through the centre every day. The only exception to the ban is a route that takes people from Weesperstraat through Valkenburgerstraat onto Kattenburgerstraat.
Interest on student loans increasing
The interest that graduates pay on their loans after studying in the Netherlands is set to rise to its highest level in 14 years in 2024. The rate is going up from 0,46 to 2,56 percent for most students, although those who received the basic grant (before 2015) will pay an even higher rate of 2,95 percent, up from 1,78 percent previously.
Say hello to 2024
All in all, 2024 looks set to be a busy year with lots of changes incoming. Think we’ve missed a major change off our list? Let us know in the comments below.
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