United Expats of the Netherlands: It’s not too late to object to 30-Percent Ruling changes

Despite the best efforts of United Expats of the Netherlands, the legislation reducing the 30-Percent Ruling for expats is now law.

BUT, it’s not too late to contest the changes legally.

As of 1 January, the proposed 30-Percent Ruling changes are law. Recipients of the tax break for highly skilled internationals began receiving notifications of this decision in late December from the Belastingdienst, the Dutch national tax service.

You can send a Belastingdienst Notification Letter, which might be considered as a legal objection. But to be considered formally, all objection letters must be submitted within six weeks of the time you were notified of the changes.

United Expats of the Netherlands, the non-profit foundation contesting the retroactive cuts to the ruling, has commissioned a template objection letter as a resource for the UENL community.

“It is critical that anyone who wishes to engage in potential legal action (with or without UENL behind them) must submit the objection letter within 6 weeks of their notification from the Belastingdiest,” stated Jessica Piotrowski, spokeswoman for United Expats.

From their website:

This Objection Letter is provided as a community resource with the SOLE goal to facilitate the ability of the affected individual to object to the legislation via a thorough, comprehensive, and robust letter. The use of this letter is an individual decision.  It is up to every community member to assess his or her own legal position and decide whether sending this Objection Letter is in his or her own best legal interest.

You can download the objection letter here.

“Read the FAQ, agree to the download terms, download and fill out the letter, then mail it to the Belastingdienst,” Jessica said. “The letter is a comprehensive objection letter that we commissioned with our law firm (prepared in Dutch).

“We did this a resource for our community of affected individuals.”


The 30-Percent ruling was created in 2006 as an incentive to attract highly skilled internationals, addressing the “extraterritorial costs” of moving and other expenses. It allowed internationals to deduct 30-percent of their income taxes.

In April 2018, Dutch parliament proposed to reduce the duration of the 30-Percent Ruling to five years from eight yearsfor both current and future recipients of the policy.


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.

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