Wednesday 10 August 2022

Tax office to get tough on ‘fake freelancers’ in healthcare, IT, building

The tax office is to crack down on ‘fake freelancers’ who work via agencies and are effectively employed by them, the Volkskrant says on Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of people who work in healthcare, construction, IT and education will lose their official freelance status and must instead sign employment contracts with the agencies that effectively employ them, the paper says.

The agencies must then deduct taxes and premiums from their wages, bringing in millions of euros extra in tax.

Tax breaks

So far, 20% of healthcare freelancers have lost their right to work as a ZZP’er – as the self-employed are known in Dutch. One school group, for example, employed 120 teachers on a self-employed basis.

To qualify as a freelancer, which has generous tax breaks attached, a person needs to have at least three clients and can show they will work a given number of hours.

Last year, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said he wanted to stop employers using freelance status as a way of getting around employment laws.

The number of official freelancers in the Netherlands has almost doubled from 470,000 in 2000 to 800,000 now.

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