The Netherlands: on 25 May 2012, the Spring Memorandum 2012 was presented to the Dutch parliament. This Memorandum contains further details on the fiscal measures agreed upon in the Lower House for the 2013 Budget. The main additions and changes to the agreement are summarized below:
(a) Crisis levy on high incomes. Incomes (including bonuses) in excess of € 150,000 in 2012 will be subject to a one-off withholding tax of 16% in 2013. The employer is liable for payment of the tax.
(b) Excessive severance payments. Employers must withhold tax at a rate of 75% on excessive severance payments. Currently, this is 30%.
The VAT rate on solar panels will not be reduced to 6% (i.e. it remains at 19%). Plans are to grant a subsidy instead.
(a) Tax brackets and credits. For 2013, no adjustment of the tax brackets or tax credits.
(b) Vitality package. The Tax Plan 2012 eliminated the continuation bonus for employees aged 62 and over, and replaced it with an employment bonus with effect from 1 January 2013. This employment bonus will, however, be abolished (i.e. not enter into effect).
(c) Box 3 investments. For certain investments in Box 3 (income from savings and investment), the credits and exemptions are changed as follows:
the tax credit available for so-called "green" investments will remain 0.7% in 2013; and
the credits and exemptions for social investments and investments in venture capital will be abolished with effect from 1 January 2013.
(d) Employee travel expenses. Travel expenses reimbursed to the employee for commuting are, with effect from 1 January 2013, no longer tax free. Transitional rules apply for travel arrangements concluded before 25 May 2012.
(e) Company car. With effect from 1 January 2013, commuting will be considered private use of the company car. Transitional rules apply for lease contracts concluded before 25 May 2012.
(f) Reimbursement facility. The reimbursement facility, under which an employer may grant a tax-free general employment cost compensation (currently, 1.4%), will be increased to 1.6% for 2013, and 2.1% from 2014.
Starting 1 January 2013 the retirement age will be increased with one month. Starting 2019, the retirement age will be set at 66 years of age. Starting 2024
At this stage it is not certain which of the aforementioned changes will be accepted in Parliament. We will keep you informed.
Corney VerstedenHLB Van Daal & Partners
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