30-Percent Tax Ruling (updated): United Expats commissions legal opinion in response to 2019 Dutch Budget Proposal

(Editor’s note: Agence France-Presse wants to interview expats affected by changes in the 30-Percent Ruling. See below.)

On Tuesday 18 September, at approximately 15:00, the Dutch government announced the 2019 budget plans. As expected, the duration of the 30-Percent Tax Rule is proposed to be decreased to five years from eight effective 1 January 2019.

However, much to the frustration of the United Expats of the Netherlands (UENL) Foundation, the plan does not include a transition period for current recipients.

At UENL, we see this as an ill-planned, harsh and unfair policy that will dramatically affect the lives of thousands of expats and their families living and working in the Netherlands.

Moreover, we believe that a law that lacks standard transitional measures may be illegal. As such, UENL Stichting (Foundation) will be commissioning a legal opinion immediately to assess this legality of this proposal.



AS UENL spokeswoman Jessica Taylor Piotrowski notes:

A deal is a deal. This plan will have significant and dramatic consequences for international professionals and their families. The government’s 2019 planned budget shows that it would rather provide benefits to international corporations than honour its commitment to international employees. This is illogical and misdirected.  

As such, we will be commissioning immediately a legal opinion to ascertain the legality of this proposal. Our community of members has raised nearly 20,000 euros to fund this effort, with this number quickly growing. At UENL, we will continue to fight for those affected. To significantly disrupt the lives of so many families by breaking an existing deal is counter to the principles of the Netherlands and, even more, may violate Dutch and European law. A deal is a deal.


UNEL began as a grassroots organization in April 2018 and formed an official Stichting (foundation) in August 2018. The group is comprised of highly skilled professionals living and working in the Netherlands, and formed in response to a proposal of the Dutch Ministry of Finance to reduce the term length of 30-Percent Tax Ruling. Since its inception, UENL has been encouraging the government to stand by the deal they made with current recipients of the 30-Percent Tax Ruling so that any changes apply to future expats, not to those already here.

With more than 40,000 signatures on its petition, 8,000+ members on Facebook, and global and local media coverage, UENL continues to raise awareness of the consequences of this proposal. Now, UENL will be leading the effort to assess the legality of the government’s decision to exclude a transitional period from the 2019 budget. In their video, “A Question for Premier Rutte,” UENL members highlight how their lives will be dramatically affected by the lack of transitional regulation and call upon the government to stand by their word. Afspraak is Afspraak.


UENL just learned there is, in fact, NO intended transition period for the 30-Percent Ruling in the 2019 budget. This means the legal opining (see above)  WILL go forward. We plan to begin this week or next.

For those of you who already contributed to our GoFundMe campaign to finance the Legal Opinion, THANK YOU!  We surpassed our goal within almost 48 hours. This is due to all of us coming together, combining our talent and resources to make sure our message is heard loud and clear.

The more money we raise, the stronger we can fight.

Any additional money we raise will go to cover any additional legal or operational costs UENL may encounter during the second phase of this fight, so please considering contributing if you have not already, and sharing the GoFundMe link.

Agence France-Presse seeking interviews

Good morning, my name is Jan Hennop and I am a foreign correspondent for Agence France-Presse international news agency in The Hague. I am working on a story about the Dutch government’s announcement that they are scrapping the 30 percent tax law for expats. If you are affected by this decision, I would like to hear from you. Please send me a mail on the following address: [email protected]. Please don’t forget to include your name, how long you’ve lived in the Netherlands, and how you stand to be affected by the loss of the 30 percent tax break. Thank you so much in advance for your voice!
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