Breedte test

30% ruling and the 150-km limitation

The Court of Justice of the European Union determined that, in principle, the 150-kilometer criterion in the Dutch 30% ruling does not violate European Union (EU) law.

150 km criterion no obstacle

The 150-kilometer limitation means that people who lived in an area that is maximally 150 kilometers from the Dutch border before moving to the Netherlands are not subject to the 30% ruling. This means that their labour conditions are less attractive than if the 30% ruling would be applicable. And this means that it will take the employers more effort to bring those people to the Netherlands.

The limitation had become an issue because some companies found it to be contrary to the principle of the free movement of employees throughout the European Union. Many companies with employees from Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and even (small parts of) the United Kingdom hoped that the limitation would be abolished by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The Court of Justice of the European Union issued its decision on February 24, 2015 and decided that the 150-km criterion is no obstacle to the free movement of employees, despite the roughness of the regulation. It would be different if the limits, as meant by the 150 km limitation, would over-compensate the actual extraterritorial costs systematically.

The next step is that the Dutch national Court of Justice will have to examine and determine whether there is indeed a systematic over-compensation for the employees in concern. This step is pending and will take some time as it will be hard for the national court to find the relevant information with employers whose employees live on 150 km or less from the Dutch border. (Information on employees who claim actual extra costs)

In short, this means that the current regulations of the Dutch authorities with regards to the 30% ruling will stay in tact for the time being.

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