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Top 10 changes for employers and directors/major shareholders in 2023

On 1 January 2023 numerous changes were once again introduced that affect employers and direc-tors/major shareholders (DGAs). These include the additional increase applied to the work-related expenses scheme and the abolition of the efficiency margin for determining the customary salary of DGAs. Which ten changes stand out in particular?

1. Fixed budget under work-related expenses scheme rising in 2023

Top 10 employers

With effect from 1 January 2023 the fixed budget under the work-related expenses scheme has been increased temporarily to 3% on the first € 400,000 of the wage bill. On the excess amount of your wage bill it amounts to 1.18%. This increase will apply for one year. The percentage will be reduced to 1.92% on the first € 400,000 of the wage bill from 2024.

2. Customary salary for DGAs in 2023

The standard amount under the customary salary scheme for DGAs is increasing to € 51,000 in 2023 (2022: € 48,000). This scheme applies to anyone who has a substantial shareholding in a company and also works for that company. A partner of a DGA who carries out work within the company also falls under the scheme. In their payroll tax return they must include a salary that is ‘customary’ for such work.

Abolition of efficiency margin
The efficiency margin has been abolished with effect from 2023. To determine the level of the customary salary, the DGA can therefore no longer take 75% of the salary for the most comparable position as a basis. From 2023 the reference amount will be 100% of the salary for the most comparable position.

3. Increase in travel and homeworking allowance in 2023

This year the exempted travel allowance for employees who use their own transport has increased to € 0.21 per km. This will rise to € 0.22 per km from 2024.

Employees can receive a travel allowance for commuting on days when they travel to a regular place of work. This allowance can be paid on the basis of the kilometres actually travelled, but you also have the option of granting a fixed allowance.

Homeworking allowance
With effect from 2023 the exempted homeworking allowance has increased to € 2.15 per day. The travel and homeworking allowances are exempt and are not charged to the fixed budget under the work-related expenses scheme.

4. Significant increase in statutory minimum wage

The statutory minimum wage has increased by as much as 10.15% with effect from 1 January 2023. This brings the minimum wage for employees aged 21 and above to € 1,934.20 per month. The minimum wage is adjusted in line with wages under collective labour agreements on 1 January and 1 July each year. It is applicable to a full working week. How many hours per week this amounts to differs from sector to sector. It can be 40 hours, although some sectors employ a shorter working week of 38 or 36 hours, for example. The minimum youth wages are a fixed percentage derived from the minimum wage for employees aged 21 and above and are therefore also increasing by 10.15%.

5. Objection against additional payroll tax assessment

In an additional payroll tax assessment the Tax and Customs Administration determines the amount of tax or contributions to be paid, but often also other matters too, such as tax interest and penalties. From 2023 you no longer have to lodge an objection separately against all these different elements: an objection against one element will be considered an objection against them all. The same will apply if you wish to appeal against the decision on your objection.

6. Time limit for charging interest in event of additional payroll tax assessments

If you ask the Tax and Customs Administration to impose an additional payroll tax assessment or if you send a correction report that results in an additional assessment, in certain situations you will be charged tax interest. From 2023 the Tax and Customs Administration will charge the tax interest for no more than ten weeks after receiving your request, even if it takes longer than this to deal with it.

7. Untaxed volunteer’s allowance increasing to € 1,900 in 2023

You can grant volunteers who perform voluntary work within your organisation an allowance that will not be taxed by the tax authorities. This maximum untaxed volunteer’s allowance is indexed annually. On 1 January 2023 the level of the maximum untaxed volunteer’s allowance increased to € 1,900 per year.

8. Correction of applied anonymous rate

You must apply the anonymous rate if an employee has failed to provide his/her (full or correct) details, such as his/her name, address or citizen service number. If you receive the (full/correct) details from your employee during the course of the year, you then apply the regular rate from that point on. Up to the end of 2022 it was not permitted to correct an earlier deduction that had been based on the anonymous rate. The employee could offset this deduction later via his/her income tax return, which could then result in the employee receiving a refund.

From 2023 an earlier deduction of payroll tax/national insurance contributions at the anonymous rate can now be corrected after you receive the full/correct details. It is only possible to do so in the same year. Corrections must be sent for the returns submitted earlier that year.

9. Standard amounts for 30% scheme

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. This salary standard is indexed annually. For 2023 the salary standard has been set at a taxable annual salary of € 41,954 (2022: € 39,467). This salary standard of € 41,954 excludes the final-levy components and therefore excludes the 30% allowance. In most cases the scarcity of the expertise is no longer subject to specific checks, but it is checked if, for example, all workers with certain expertise meet the salary standard.

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. 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 applies in 2023 (2022: € 30,001). The master’s degree must be comparable with a master’s degree from a Dutch university.

10. Practical learning subsidy scheme

The practical learning subsidy is an allowance for the costs that employers incur for supporting an apprentice, participant or student. This scheme was due to run until the end of the 2021/2022 academic year. However, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has decided to extend it by a further year. You can therefore also apply for a practical learning subsidy for the 2022/2023 academic year. In 2023 the period for submitting applications runs from Friday 2 June 2023 to Friday 15 September 2023 at 5 p.m.