Sunday 15 September 2019

What changes in 2015? A round-up of new laws and taxes

tax envelopeAs every year, a string of changes to taxes, employment law, housing and other laws come into effect on January 1. Most were announced in the September budget or were scheduled in previous years.

Here is a round-up of the main changes.

Work

The minimum wage goes up by €10 a month to €1,502 for an adult.

Temporary workers must be offered a permanent contract after three temporary contracts. The ‘rest’ period in between temporary contracts which don’t lead to a permanent job goes up from three to six months

People working in the public sector will no longer able to earn more than a minister – some €178,000 including pension contributions and expenses. The ceiling will not apply to the housing and healthcare sectors until 2016.

Entrepreneurs from outside the EU will be able to get a temporary one-year residency permit to launch a start-up.

Income tax is going up 0.25 percentage point to 36.5% over the first tax band (up to €19,822). The second tax band is being expanded from €56,531 to €57,585.

New fathers will be able to take three days unpaid leave as well as the traditional two paid days.

Personal finance

The temporary ruling allowing parents to give €100,000 tax free to their children to buy a home has been scrapped. From this year, the limit on tax-free gifts is €52,572.

Tax on tobacco is going up, adding 9 cents to the price of a packet of cigarettes. Road and petrol taxes will also increase marginally.

The official state retirement age goes up by one month to 65 years three months.

Pensioners will no longer get extra benefits if they have a partner who is not yet retired.

People earning over €20,000 face an extra tax payment averaging around €150 this year because changes to the tax system were not implemented in 2014.

Housing

Maximum mortgages have been reduced from 104% to 103% of the value of the property. The national mortgage guarantee scheme is being cut as well.

The rental ceiling on rent-controlled property goes up from €699 to €710 and people will not be able sign a new social housing contract if they earn more than €34,991 a year.

Transport

Only fully electric company cars will now qualify for low income tax charge of 4%.

The tax break on company bikes provided by employers is being scrapped.

Train and public transport travel will become more expensive. Train fares are rising by 2%.

Other

Student grants will be abolished from the coming academic year for new students.

Local councils take over responsibility for youth social care and long-term care services from the state.

People have to pay the first €375 of their heathcare costs, a rise of €15 on 2014. Help with paying healthcare insurance premiums for those on low incomes is being cut.

The chipknip – a Dutch-developed electronic purse system – will no longer operate.

The home copying tax on computers, laptops, smartphones and e-readers is being cut by 30%. The tax on a smart phone will now be €3.50.

Sources: Nos, ANP, Volkskrant

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