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On 1 January 2024 numerous payroll-related changes were once again introduced that affect employers and directors/major shareholders (DGAs). These include the reduction in the fixed budget under the work-related expenses scheme (WKR) and the restriction of the 30% scheme. Which ten changes stand out in particular?

1. Fixed budget under work-related expenses scheme decreasing in 2024

Administratie

With effect from 1 January 2024 the fixed budget under the work-related expenses scheme has been reduced to 1.92% on the first € 400,000 of the wage bill (2023: 3%). It will remain at 1.18% on the excess amount of the wage bill.

2. Customary salary for DGAs in 2024

The standard amount under the customary salary scheme for a DGA and his/her co-working partner is increasing to € 56,000 in 2024 (2023: € 51,000). This scheme applies to anyone who has a substantial shareholding in a company (or whose partner has such a substantial shareholding) and also works for that company. They must receive a salary that is ‘customary’ for such work. The standard amount of € 56,000 is one of the elements used to assess what is customary.

3. Increase in travel allowance in 2024

This year the exempted travel allowance for the costs of business travel, including commuting, has increased to € 0.23 per kilometre. This allowance applies to all forms of transport and therefore also to kilometres travelled by bicycle or moped, for example. The increase to € 0.23 per kilometre is also applicable to a DGA who is employed by his/her company.

4. Expansion of exemption for public transport

From 2024 simpler rules will apply to tax-free public transport season tickets. As of this year it no longer matters whether such a season ticket is purchased by the employer and made available (employer retains ownership) or supplied (employee acquires ownership) to the employee or whether it is purchased by the employee and subsequently reimbursed. The only condition is that it is also used for business purposes, e.g. commuting. If that is the case, a specific exemption applies to a public transport season ticket that has been made available, supplied or reimbursed. The amended rules also apply to the making available, supply or reimbursement of an off-peak pass.

5. Introduction of statutory minimum hourly wage

From 1 January 2024 a statutory minimum hourly wage applies, amounting to € 13.27 per hour for employees aged 21 and above. This means that the salary scales in many collective labour agreements will need to be adjusted and recalculated, as there are no longer any fixed monthly, weekly or daily amounts.

Please note: The statutory minimum hourly wage that applies, in view of the employee’s age, must be indicated on the payslip, along with the period to which the payslip relates.

6. Untaxed volunteer’s allowance increasing to € 2,100 in 2024

You can grant volunteers who perform voluntary work within your organisation an allowance that will not be taxed by the Tax and Customs Administration. On 1 January 2024 the level of the maximum untaxed volunteer’s allowance increased to € 2,100 per year and € 210 per month. 

The volunteer’s allowance must not exceed the maximum amounts and the volunteer must not carry out the work in question as part of his/her profession. The Tax and Customs Administration assumes that the work is not carried out on a professional basis if the maximum hourly allowance in 2024 amounts to € 5.50. For volunteers under the age of 21 this maximum hourly allowance is € 3.25 in 2024.

7. Changes to 30% scheme

The 30% scheme is a tax facility under which, subject to strict conditions, up to 30% of the salary may be paid free of tax to employees recruited from abroad. This scheme has been restricted with effect from 2024. In 2024, for example, the 30% scheme can only be applied to a salary not exceeding € 233,000. This maximum does not apply in 2024 if you were already applying the 30% scheme for the employee concerned in the last pay period of 2022.

The 30% scheme is also being scaled back with effect from 2024. For the first 20 months you will be able to pay 30% of the salary free of tax as an expense allowance. This will then fall to a level of 20% for the next 20 months and to 10% for the 20 months after that. This does not apply in 2024 if you were already applying the 30% scheme for the employee concerned in the last pay period of 2023.

The application of the 30% scheme is subject to a number of conditions. One is that the employee has specific expertise that is scarce or not available at all on the Dutch labour market. An employee is considered to meet this specific expertise requirement if his/her pay is above a set salary standard. In 2023 the employee’s salary had to amount to at least € 41,954, but this is rising to € 46,107 from 2024. No salary standard applies to employees who work at a research institute in scientific research or education or employees who are doctors in training to become a specialist (AIOSs). In the case of incoming employees who are under the age of 30 and have obtained a master’s degree a salary standard of € 31,891 applied in 2023. This is rising to € 35,048 in 2024.

8. Compulsory reporting on employees’ business travel and commuting

From 1 July 2024 employers who employ 100 or more people will be required to report on the business travel and commuting journeys of their employees. The employers concerned must report, for example, the total number of kilometres that their employees have travelled for business and commuting purposes, but also the annual total of kilometres travelled, broken down by mode of transport and fuel type. The data for 2024 must be submitted by 30 June 2025 at the latest.

9. Increase in homeworking allowance and other standard amounts

In 2024, subject to certain conditions, you can pay your employees an untaxed allowance of € 2.35 per day (2023: € 2.15) for the additional costs associated with working from home. The standard amount set for the value of meals in company canteens (or similar areas) or at staff parties in the workplace is also rising in 2024. In 2023 this was € 3.55 per meal and in 2024 amounts to € 3.90 per meal.

10. Increase in salary assessable for contributions

In 2024 the maximum salary assessable for contributions is increasing to € 71,628 from € 66,956 in 2023. For employees with an assessable salary above € 66,956 an employer may therefore owe higher contributions, even though the contribution percentages for certain employee insurance schemes have fallen compared with 2023. The contribution payable under the Healthcare Insurance Act (Zvw) may also rise for employees and DGAs with an assessable salary above € 66,956. The maximum healthcare insurance contribution payable for employees in 2024 amounts to € 4,706 (an increase of € 233 compared with 2023). In the case of DGAs the maximum level of this contribution in 2024 is € 3,811 (an increase of € 175 compared with 2023).