Monday 10 August 2020

Expat campaigners plan legal challenge if no 30% ruling transition period

Menno Snel. Photo: Henriette Guest via

International workers in the Netherlands, who are fighting to change the government’s mind on plans to cut an expat tax break, say they will take legal advice if tax minister Menno Snel does not bring in a transition period.

The government will present its 2019 plans to parliament next week, including an overhaul of several tax measures and campaigners are hoping the cabinet has softened its line on the 30% ruling.

Tax minister Menno Snel confirmed in July he is to cut the duration of the tax break from eight to five years, without a transition period. This means thousands of expats face losing thousands of euros a year which they had been told earlier they would get.

‘If on Tuesday we learn that there is no such transitional period included in the 2019 budget, we will be commissioning a legal opinion to ascertain the legality of this decision,’ Jessica Piotrowski, spokeswoman for the United Expats foundation, told

‘We have opened up a crowdfunding campaign to cover these costs, and in only a few short hours, the response has been nothing short of incredible. There is power in numbers, and our community of affected expats and supporters is evidence of that.’


The crowdfunding campaign, the second launched by the foundation, had reached over half its €18,000 goal by Friday morning. ‘Destroy international employees to attract international employers. Stupid? Yes! Illegal? Let’s find out,’ the website states.

The government plans to scrap the tax on dividends as a way of attracting more foreign firms to move to the Netherlands.


White collar union VCP, the FNV union federation, several opposition political parties including the Socialists, employers organisations, universities, multinationals and tech firms have all called on the government to rethink its decision.

Research by the International Community Advisory Panel shows the plan will lead to a brain drain, damage the reputation of the Netherlands abroad and have a major financial impact on thousands of expats.

Some 54% said they had less trust in the government and 75% said they were told about the ruling by their employer.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.