September 2014

Budget 2015 On 16 September 2014 the Dutch budget for 2015 was presented to Parliament. With respect to taxation measures, the budget hardly contains anything noteworthy. But this may be the calm before the storm, as the government has been gearing up for some time to start a tax reform. Future reform measures would likely center upon a shift in taxation from labour to capital, in order to stimulate job growth. For now, however, there are no major changes contained in the budget. There are lots of little changes packed in the budget, but nothing of major importance stands out. This is illustrated, we believe, by the few items we deem interesting enough to mention here as they potentially impact on large groups of tax payers: Wage tax

Changes in the “Werkkostenregeling”. Since 2011, two system exist side-by-side with respect to the tax free treatment of certain reimbursements or issuance of benefits in kind by the employer. The employer is free to choose which one to use. Starting 2015, only the system which is known as the “werkkostenregeling” (WKR) will survive and become the only system applicable. Based on the experience with this system so far, certain changes are now proposed that would make this system more practical to use. Tightening of the rules regarding wages for directors/substantial shareholders (“gebruikelijkloonregeling”). A person who is both (co-)owner and employee or director of a company is required to receive a minimum amount of taxable wages. This amount is in principle determined by “benchmarking” against an amount paid in comparable situations where an employee is not a substantial shareholder. Currently, the tax payer is allowed to deviate 30% from the benchmark. It is now proposed to decrease this margin to 25%. Besides, some other changes are proposed that should make the rules regarding the “gebruikelijkloonregeling” a bit clearer and easier to use for the tax authorities. In many cases, individual rulings have been granted to gain certainty on the amount of the wages in question. These rulings will, in principle, lapse. To soften the blow, the government assures that the tax authorities will accept the same amount of wages in 2015 as were due in 2013, but increased with a factor 75/70.

Late payment interest

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Late payment interest introduced with respect to dividend withholding tax. Currently, any late payments of dividend withholding tax by the tax payer or repayments by the tax authorities are free from late payment interest. It is now proposed, starting 2015, to change that and subject late (re)payment of dividend withholding tax to late payment interest, which is currently at a 4% rate. No late payment interest anymore on revising a preliminary assessment within the minimum filing period. Currently, no interest is due on tax payable on a preliminary assessment, provided a request for a preliminary assessment is filed within four months after year-end or a tax return is filed three months from year-end. This rule does not apply to a request to revise a preliminary assessment. It is now

September 2014

proposed to treat both situations equally and to apply the rule for initial preliminary assessments also to the revision of preliminary assessments. One-bank-account rule

One-bank-account rule alleviated. As from 1 December 2013 all personal income tax refunds, government allowance payments (‘toeslagen’) and VAT refunds could only be paid out to one bank account number. This bank account number had to be provided by filing a special form and including several documents to proof that the bank account number provided is correct. This measure was deemed necessary due to the increased fraud with bank account numbers and tax refunds. The Dutch Government has decided that as from 1 January 2015 this measure will no longer apply for VAT refunds as it was a too heavy burden of both the Dutch Tax Authorities and the tax payers. On the other hand, the system for a tax payer with a Dutch bank account number will be made more efficient. As from 1 January 2015 all Dutch banks will have to register the Dutch tax identification number of the private individuals. This way the Dutch Tax Authorities can easily verify whether the bank account number provided by the tax payer is correct. For foreign tax payers without a Dutch bank account number, the procedure will remain as it was.


Contact Person

WTS World Tax Service BV P.O. Box 19201 3001 BE Rotterdam

Denis Pouw [email protected] Tel: +31 10 217 9173

Disclaimer: –This Info letter is intended to provide information on general developments in Dutch taxation. It is not intended as an advice or opinion and should not be relied upon in a specific situation without obtaining proper tax advice.

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