A large proportion of the Netherlands’ growing pool of freelancers and self-employed workers don’t pay any tax on their income, because of tax breaks, the Volkskrant said at the weekend.
The paper used an analysis by the national statistics office CBS into freelancer income, based on figures from 2014.
The paper said that the range of tax breaks open to freelancers means they don’t pay tax on the first €24,000 of their earnings, almost four times as much as a regular worker.
Of the 849,000 registered as self-employed in 2014, 40%, or 314,000 people, paid no tax on their earnings, the Volkskrant said. Of them, 105,000 had other income from a regular part-time job.
Leiden professor Koen Caminda told the paper that freelancers get higher tax breaks than regular workers because they have to pay for their own pensions and insurance against illness and unemployment. However, ‘while the higher costs are an argument in favour of paying less tax,’ the difference did not have to be as large as it is, he said.
However, Denis Maessen, who chairs a lobby group for the self employed, said the blame should be laid at the door of the government and employers who had sacked people and then welcomed them back as freelancers.