New rules and benefits: what changes in 2017?

Dutch parliamentA number of new laws and amendment to existing legislation come into effect on January 1, 2017. In addition, the minimum wage, pensions and other benefits will go up. Here’s a round-up of the main changes.

Work and income
The minimum wage for the over-23s rises 2.2% to €1409.93 net, €1,537.20 gross.

Take-home pay will go up between 1% and 1.26% on average due to changes in various work-related premiums. Income tax in the second tax band is rising from 40.4% to 40.8%.

The tax on assets is being completely overhauled and the current 1.2% tax  will be replaced by three separate tax bands. The first €25,000 of assets is tax free, the next €75,000 will be taxed at 0.87%, up to €975,000 the tax will be 1.41% and above that 1.65%.

The state pension age rises to 65 years and nine months.

The state pension will go up to €1,199.40 for a single person and €1,640.36 for a couple.

Unemployment benefit (ww) for someone who loses their job in the first three months of 2017 will be paid for 33 months, one month less than in 2016.

The maximum healthcare benefit (zorgtoeslag) will rise €5 a month to €88

Directors and major shareholders of start-ups will be able to pay themselves the minimum wage, rather than some €44,000, for the first three years of operation.

Salaries may no longer be paid entirely in cash. At least the equivalent of the minimum wage must be paid into a bank account.


Family matters
The childcare allowance will go up to €8.18 per hour for daycare and €6.69 for after-school care to a maximum €230 a month.

Child benefit will go up marginally to €198.38 a quarter for a child under six, €240.89 for children aged six to 12 and €283.40 for children up to and including 17.

The maximum special child allowance for low income families will rise by up to €100 a year, taking the maximum for a first child to €1,142 a year.

Students at a vocational college (mbo) will qualify for a free student travel card.

 

Housing
Anyone can make a tax-free donation of up to €100,000 toward the cost of a home for someone aged 18 to 40. The donation may also be spread over three years.

The maximum new home buyers can borrow will go down from 102% to 101% of the purchase price.

The mortgage tax relief for mortgage holders earning over €67,072 gross will be cut from 50.5% to 50%.

The Nationale Hypotheekgarantie or national mortgage guarantee will cover homes valued up to €247,450 from January 2017

Apartment owners’ associations (Vereniging van Eigenaren) will by law have to start reserving 0.5% of the estimate cost of rebuilding the property on an annual basis.

Energy bills are expected to rise by some €56 a year, around half of which is due to tax increases.

Social housing rents will rise by 2.8% in 2017 for low income households and 4.3% for tenants who earn more than the limit for social housing.

Housing benefit will rise by €10.50 a month.

 

Other changes
All health insurance companies will be required to employ a complaints officer and healthcare providers are required by law to inform patients if something has gone wrong during their treatment.

The tax benefits of using a hybrid company car will disappear and only fully electric cars are subject to 4% company car tax.

High-speed electric bikes must be equipped with a licence plate.

The police are allowed to start testing violent arrestees for drink and drugs. The scheme is expected to be rolled out nationwide by July.

Refugees with a residency permit will no longer have priority for social housing from April.

Companies doing business with the government are required to use an automated, electronic billing system.

A single, new package of rules will replace the three laws which currently manage nature and wildlife protection.

This story was amended on January 2 to change a mistake in the pension age.