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On Prinsjesdag (Budget Day), 18 September 2018, the government presented its plans for 2019. How will these plans affect entrepreneurs in the Netherlands? This page offers an overview of the proposed new and amended rules and regulations.
Official Budget Day documents
The plans presented are from the Speech from the Throne (Troonrede), the Budget Memorandum 2019, the central government budget, plans from each of the government departments, and other official Budget Day documents.
Budget Day announcements
The measures that were announced on Prinsjesdag are not definitive: some are still subject to acceptance by the upper and lower houses of parliament.
The Ministry of Justice and Security has announced its intention to simplify the immigration procedure for highly skilled migrants and knowledge workers. One of the steps to be taken is an extension of electronic services for highly skilled migrants. The simplification process should also make it easier for startups to hire international talents. As yet, no date is set for the realisation of this intention.
Directors of private limited companies (BV's), who have taken out a loan from their BV's current account of over €500,000, will be taxed for this debt in their income tax return. The measure is due to become effective on 1 January 2020. See Income tax (IB) and health care insurance premium (ZVW)
If you are an entrepreneur who provides services or goods which fall under the lower VAT category, you will need to increase your VAT prices in the New Year. Services which are invoiced in 2018 remain at the 6% rate, even if the work is carried out in 2019. For instance ticket sales in 2018 for a performance in 2019 need only charge 6% VAT or paintwork carried out in 2019, but paid in 2018 can also still carry the 6% rate.
The small businesses scheme (KOR) is expected to be modernised as of 1 January 2020. Subject to this measure being adopted in the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament, entrepreneurs with a turnover under €20,000 will be exempt from paying VAT. This means they will no longer charge their customers VAT. In addition, they will no longer be required to fill in a VAT return, nor will they be able to deduct VAT paid by them from their monthly or quarterly VAT returns. They will also be exempt from keeping VAT records. See Small businesses scheme (KOR)
If between 2014 and 2016 you received financial support for self-employed professionals earning less than they would on welfare benefits (besluit bijstandsverlening zelfstandigen, BBZ), you are eligible for compensation. This is because you were required to add the loan as a grant to your income on your tax return. As a result, other allowances may have been reclaimed. See Financial support for self-employed professionals (Bbz)
Companies will no longer be allowed to use buildings in company use for depreciation in their corporate income tax return, unless these buildings are in the company books for a value that exceeds the Valuation of Immovable Property (WOZ) value. This measure is part of the Tax Plan 2019. It was already in place for buildings that were used as investment property.
From 2020, dividend tax will be abolished. This is one of the measures announced in the 2019 Tax Plan. The measure is meant to make the Netherlands a more attractive country for large companies to locate their headquarters in. See Dividend tax
From 2020 onwards, taxi companies will no longer be able to get a refund of Private Vehicle and Motorcycle Tax (bpm) for the purchase of new cars, the Tax Plan 2019 announces. This way, government hopes to encourage taxi companies to invest in cars that emit less CO2, or none at all. The bpm rate for these environmentally friendly vehicles is considerably lower or even non-existent. See Private vehicle and motorcycle tax (BPM)
The Dutch government plans to change the income tax in box 1 (income on wages and property). The current income tax in box 1, with 4 tax brackets, will be gradually replaced by 2 tax brackets. See Income tax (IB) and health care insurance premium (ZVW)
From 2020 onwards, the maximum tariff for deductible costs for entrepreneurs will be phased out. The purpose of this measure is to reduce the tax differences between entrepreneurs and employees. See Income tax (IB) and health care insurance premium (ZVW)
As of 1 January 2020, personnel riding a lease bicycle no longer have to keep track of their private use of the vehicle and calculate the additional tax themselves. A standard value will be used to determine the amount of additional tax. Also, employees will be able to lease both a car and a bicycle.
From 2019 onwards, public and private limited companies (bv and nv) will no longer be able to offset corporate losses with future profits for 9 years in their corporate tax return, but only for 6 years. So, if your business suffers a loss in 2018, you are allowed to carry it forward until 2027. If your business suffers a loss in 2019, you will have to deduct it in 2025 at the latest. Corporate income tax (VPB)
From 2019, the corporate income tax (vpb) rate for public and private limited companies (bv and nv) will be reduced gradually in three steps. By 2021, the first bracket will be reduced to 16%, and the second bracket to 22.5%. The measure, which has yet to be accepted by Parliament, is intended to make entrepreneurship more attractive. See Corporate income tax (VPB)
If you own more than 5% of the shares in a public or private limited company, you have a substantial interest. The taxation for your income from these shares, which you list under box 2 in your income tax return, will increase from 25 to 26.9% in 2021. See Income tax (IB) and health care insurance premium (ZVW)
The rules for charging VAT for sports services offered by sports accommodations or organisations will be extended: not only services to members may be exempt, but also to non-members. Also, the exemption will no longer only apply to not-for-profit organisations. See VAT rates and exemptions
Justice and security
In 2019, the government is expected to launch a small-scale trial for the supply of cannabis to so-called coffeeshops. The trial will involve a closed supply system to coffeeshops through growers with a special licence. The cannabis will be subject to quality controls. The closed system will exclude criminal activity from the supply chain. See Cannabis cafe (coffeeshop)
Under the new budget the use of mediation in court cases is due to be expanded in criminal law. Mediation can have a positive effect on settlements in court cases, which is why the Dutch government wants to promote out of court settlements, both with or without intervention by a mediator. No date has been set for the implementation of this measure yet. See Arbitration, binding advice and mediation
In 2019 the Dutch government will invest heavily in tackling cybercrime. The threat of cybercrime is a fast-growing and serious problem, both inside the Netherlands and beyond. The magnitude and severity of its consequences should not be underestimated. Therefore, under the new budget the government proposes an integral approach to tackle the problem of digital theft (for example identity theft, data theft), extortion, fraud, cyberattacks on websites, and industrial espionage. See Preventing and fighting crime
Running your business, personnel
As of 1 January 2019, the next of kin of victims of incidents (for instance: industrial accidents) for which you as entrepreneur are liable, will be entitled to compensation. The victims must have either suffered serious and lasting bodily harm, or lost their lives, in the incident. Next of kin relatives are: the victim’s partner, children, stepchildren and parents. Depending on the situation, the compensation will amount to between €12,500 and €20,000, payable by the liable party. See Reporting industrial accidents
From 1 January 2019, the paid paternity leave for your employees is extended to a week, and they can take up to five weeks unpaid leave. Also, employees who adopt or foster a child will be entitled to longer adoption or foster parent leave. The leave is to increase from 4 to 6 weeks. See Leave schemes
As of 1 April 2019, shop owners will no longer obliged to adhere to changes to obligatory opening hours made without their prior consent . If you are a shop owner who has signed a contract to open during evening shopping, you will be obliged to stick to this arrangement. See trading hours.
More opportunities are to be created for trial periods to make it more attractive for employers to offer a fixed contract rather than a flexible one. See trial periods.
Fixed and flexible contracts are to be brought in line with one another with regard to transition payments to make it more attractive for employers to offer a fixed contract rather than a flexible one. See transition payments.
Cumulative grounds for dismissal is to be added to the list of reasonable grounds for dismissal to make it more attractive for employers to offer a fixed contract rather than a flexible one. See dismissal procedures.