ACCESS NL > Dual careers in the Netherlands > Working in the Netherlands > Employment contracts > I want to know whether or not the employers in the Netherlands are obliged to pay a majority of the employee’s travel to work expenses, and if they’re not, is there a way I can claim it back in taxes?

Employment contracts

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I want to know whether or not the employers in the Netherlands are obliged to pay a majority of the employee’s travel to work expenses, and if they're not, is there a way I can claim it back in taxes?

It is not compulsory, but most companies in The Netherlands reimburse employee’s costs for commuting to work. In the collectieve arbeidsovereenkomst – CAO (collective labour agreement), company regulations or in your work contract you can find the applicable rules.

If you take your own car or bicycle to work, your employer can reimburse €0.19 cents per kilometre. These costs are not deductible from your income for tax purposes.

Travel costs are tax deductible if you receive insufficient or no reimbursement from your employer under the following conditions:

  • you use public transport to and from work with both addresses being in the Netherlands
  • you travel more than 10 km one way
  • you have a declaration from the transportation provider (openbaar vervoer verklaring – OV-verklaring) or from your employer (reisverklaring) as proof that you have used public transport. Bear in mind that you should keep any paper tickets that you have used to travel to and from work

If you have a personal OV-chipkaart, as of 2016 you no longer have to request an OV-verklaring. NS sends your data directly to the Belastingdienst (Tax Office). Although it is good to know that you can find an overview of all your trips and the costs at ov-chipkaart.nl (you can change the language to English at the top right of the website). This overview is kept for 18 months.

If you are unsure of what situation applies to you, visit the Belastingdienst website for more information on where to apply for the openbaarvervoerverklaring or reisverklaring. This will depend on the ticket you use (in Dutch only):
www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontentnl/belastingdienst/prive/auto_en_vervoer/u_reist_naar_uw_werk/openbaar_vervoer/voorwaarden_reisaftrek_openbaar_vervoer/openbaarvervoerverklaring_of_reisverklaring

If you have to request an OV-verklaring you can find the form on the NS website. Please note that you cannot claim a deduction if the employer bought the tickets for you. If your travel expenses have partially been covered by your employer, you can only claim the part that has not been covered.

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