The 30% ruling for PhD graduates

Posted onCategoriesEnglish articles

The 30% ruling is for expats working in the Netherlands. PhD graduates do normally not meet the 150 kilometres requirement, due to this there is an exception for the 30% ruling for PhD graduates. 

Incoming employees / Expats
If you were recruited outside of the Netherlands or seconded by an employer to work in the Netherlands, your employer may provide you with 30% of your salary tax free. Not all of the employees which were recruited or seconded can make use of the 30% ruling. Only when the requirements are met and the employee and employer received the approval from the Dutch tax office, the 30% ruling can be taken into account.

30% ruling requirements

  • You have an employment relationship;
  • In the 24 months before your first working day in the Netherlands, you lived at least 16 months more than 150 kilometres in a straight line from the Dutch border;
  • You have specific expertise that is not or barely available on the Dutch labour market;
  • You received the approval from the Dutch tax office.

For a more detailed explanation of these requirements, we would like to refer you to one of our previous article regarding the 30% ruling.

Soumaya Touzani - 30% ruling for PhD graduates
Soumaya Touzani – 30% ruling for PhD graduates

Doctoral research in the Netherlands/ 30% ruling for PhD graduates
One of the requirements for the 30% ruling is that in the 24 months prior to your first working day in the Netherlands, you lived at least 16 months in a straight line away from the Dutch border. The tax office is very strict with the 150 kilometres requirement. Students who come to the Netherlands to do their doctoral research (PhD research) normally start to work after their graduation. In some cases a student starts employment a bit before, but still while being already 8 months in the Netherlands. Due to this the 30% ruling for PhD graduates normally does not meet the 150 kilometres requirement.

Exceptional law for 30% ruling for PhD graduates
There is an specific exception for the 30% ruling for PhD graduates. PhD graduates who found a job within one year after the graduation date may be eligible for the 30% ruling if:

  • the PhD graduate lived in the 24 months prior to the doctoral research at least 16 months more than 150 kilometres in a straight line from the Dutch border.

It is also for PhD graduates mandatory to have specific expertise and to receive the approval from the Dutch tax office. If you are going to work as a scientific researcher at a research institution such as an university, you are automatically considered to have specific expertise.

Orange Tax Services
We have extensive experience with the 30% ruling application for PhD graduates. Please contact us if you need assistance with the 30% ruling as a PhD graduate. My name is Soumaya Touzani and I am the 30% ruling expert within Orange Tax Services.