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    Foreign scientists not affected by tax measure after all
    30 november 2011 - Foreign scientists working in the Netherlands don’t have to meet a salary norm to be eligible for tax benefits after all. The House of Representatives decided on the matter last week. A lobby by VSNU, NWO and HBO-raad -in which TU/e participated as well- has probably had great influence on the decision. x46_s.jpg

    Scientific staff, at TU/e as well, was in danger of losing a tax benefit due to an imminent amendment. State Secretary Frans Weekers of Finance wants to limit the measure that implies that knowledge workers in the Netherlands don’t have to pay taxes over the first thirty percent of their wages.

    It’s now almost certain that scientific staff will be exempt from that rule. In order to finance the measure, the term of the thirty-percent rule will go from ten to eight years for new participants. In the 2012 tax plan, Weekers announced he’d even up the thirty-percent measure to fit the knowledge workers measure, which knows an income limit.

    Weekers wanted only expats with a gross income of at least fifty thousand euro to be eligible for the tax benefit. The House of Representatives has now passed a bill in which the income norm has been lowered to 35,000 (excluding the compensation).

    The minimum income for masters under thirty is 26,000, and the income norm for scientists will be cancelled altogether. The requirement for scientific staff to live at least 150 kilometers from the border to be eligible for the tax benefit remains unchanged.

    Had the previous measures been enforced, that would have had severe consequences for the scientific staff at TU/e as well, says Angelique Wouters, manager of legal status, employment conditions, and administration at DPO.

    “If, apart from the distance requirement, Weekers’ minimum income were required, only thirty percent of all current participants would be eligible for the tax benefit.” TU/e collected and supplied data for VSNU outlining the impact. On behalf of all universities, the umbrella organization for universities along with NWO and HBO-raad sent a letter to all MPs. The Senate has yet to pass the amendment, but VSNU is confident they will. (JvG)