Changes in Dutch Law

16 Feb 2016 | Genoveva Geppaart

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Almost 60 law changes will go into effect during 2016. The most important changes, relevant to the international community are listed below.

 

Work & Income

  • People who claim social welfare benefits must have sufficient knowledge of Dutch.  If their language skills are not sufficient, they must improve them or face benefit cuts.
  • Unemployment benefits will be cut from 38 months to a maximum of 24 months between January 2016 and April 2019.
  • Reduced tax on savings.
  • Workers have more rights to work fewer hours and to work from home. Employers may only refuse if they have very important reasons.
  • Your general tax credit (algemene heffingskorting) will depend on your income. The more you earn, the lower your general tax credit will be.
  • If you are fired after having worked at least 2 years with one employer (also if your contract will not be renewed), you are entitled to a transition compensation (transitie vergoeding). This compensation will be increased.
  • If you are working as a self-employed person (ZZP) and you need social welfare, the money you saved for your retirement does not count as savings up to a maximum of €225,000. This means that you do not have to use the money saved for your retirement any more before you are entitled to social welfare.

 

Children

  • Day care and after school subsidies will be increased.
  • Supplementary child benefits will increase.
  • Additional child benefits rise.
  • Cost of tuition is not taxable for children who qualify for study finance.
  • Tutoring and practical trainings are incorporated into the education system.
  • Parents can give their children up to €53,016 tax free to help them buy a house or pay for an expensive college course.

 

Housing

  • Owners of an energy neutral home qualify for higher mortgages.
  • Energy efficiency subsidies are available for solar water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, biomass boilers and wood pellet stoves.
  • A discount on energy tax is available when you generate sustainable power with others.
  • The energy tax will rise.
  • The maximum rent that still offers the possibility of a rental subsidy (huurtoeslag) will remain the same during 3 years: €699.48 per month.

 

Healthcare

  • Own risk for basic health insurance rises by €10.00 to €385.00
  • After-hours pharmacies may not charge more than €45.00  per prescription.
  • The maximum health care subsidy (zorgtoeslag) will increase to €998.00  (annually) for singles and to €1905.00 for couples.

 

Consumer prices

  • The price of passports and identity cards will go down.
  • Everyone will get a personal inbox for digital messages from the government, e.g. the tax authorities.
  • You have to pay for plastic bags in shops.
  • Cigarettes and shag will become more expensive.
  • The cost of an integration test for people coming to the Netherlands to get married or as part of a family reunion is cut from €350.00 to €150.00

Transport

  • You cannot pay road tax annually any more, but have to pay it monthly or quarterly as of 1 July 2016.
  • High-speed e-bikes (electronic bikes which have a maximum speed of 45 km/hour) will qualify for the moped licence plates free of charge.
  • If you have an electric car, you do not have to pay road tax any more.

 

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