Changes in Dutch Law
2016-02-16 | By ACCESS
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.