30% (tax) rule

Coming to work in the Netherlands may entail extra expenses, so-called extraterritorial expenses. The 30% rule is a Dutch tax exemption for employees who were hired from abroad. Under the '30% rule', certain categories of international staff can receive approximately 30% of their gross salary tax-free. This is to compensate them for any extra costs they incur in order to live in the Netherlands. HR Services is responsible for initiating the application process for this 30% rule. Every new employee receives a questionnaire from HR Services. On the basis of this questionnaire, HR Services determines whether the employee qualifies for the 30% rule.

Set of requirements

To qualify for the 30% rule, the following requirements must be met:

  • You must have been recruited from abroad.
  • You must have lived more than 150 km from the Dutch border for at least 16 months during the 2 years prior to your first working day in the Netherlands.
  • You also need to have paid employment at Delft University of Technology in a scientific position or must meet the income criteria if you have a different position.
  • If you have used the 30% rule before, there cannot have been a gap of more than 3 months between the new and previous contracts.

You might be eligible:

  • If you have finished your PhD in the Netherlands or at a university located within 150 km of the Dutch border, have found a new job within a year, and have lived more than 150 kilometres from the Dutch border for longer than 16 months in the 24 months preceding the commencement of your doctoral research.
  • If you are already living in the Netherlands, but the centre of your social and economic life was still outside the Netherlands.


  • You pay less tax and fewer social premiums.
  • You get a 30% net allowance on your salary.
  • You can exchange your driving licence for a Dutch license at a lower rate.


  • You save less for your pension.
  • You receive less holiday allowance and a smaller year-end bonus.
  • All your benefits will be based on the lower gross salary.

Maximum term of the rule:

  • As of 1 January 2019, the maximum term of the 30% rule has been shortened from 8 years to 5 years.
  • Earlier visits to the Netherlands in the 25 years prior to the appointment will be deducted from the 5-year term.

More information

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