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TOSS in Holland
July 10, 2023
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Everything You Need to Know About Travel allowance in the Netherlands: A Guide for Employers and Employees

Travel expense reimbursement is an important topic for both employers and employees. Whether you commute to the office daily, travel to clients regularly, or visit different locations for work, it’s essential to be aware of the options and rules regarding travel expense reimbursement. In this blog, you will find everything you need to know about it.

Is travel allowance mandatory in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, reimbursement of travel allowance by employers is not required by law unless it is in the collective bargaining agreement. Many employers reimburse travel expenses even though it is not in their collective bargaining agreement (cao). Reimbursing travel allowance is fair and should be discussed during the job interview.

Does travel expense reimbursement apply to every mode of transportation?

Yes, travel allowance applies to every mode of transportation. Whether the employee commutes to the office by bike, public transport, or car, they are entitled to travel allowance. Even carpooling qualifies for reimbursement. Employers have the choice to reimburse either based on the number of kilometers or the actual incurred costs.

Fixed travel allowance

The exempted travel expense reimbursement for personal transportation has been increased to EUR 0,21 per kilometer in 2023, and it will be further raised to EUR 0,22 in 2024. This can be done based on the actual number of kilometers traveled or through a fixed reimbursement. Opting for a fixed reimbursement reduces administrative burdens, and there is no need for adjustments when an employee occasionally works from home, is sick, or on leave.

Formula for calculating fixed travel allowance

If you want to calculate the amount of travel expenses, there is a formula, which may be more complex than you initially think. First, calculate the distance between home and work. The tax authorities consider the most commonly used route as the standard. Taking the shortest route as a starting point is not applicable. Often, the route via the highway is chosen, which may be longer in terms of distance but faster.

The following formula can be used to calculate monthly travel expense reimbursement:

Monthly travel expense reimbursement EUR 0,21 x distance from home to work x 2 x 214 / 12.

Thus, the employee receives the same amount of travel expenses every month, based on the monthly average, taking into account the number of working and non-working days in that month.

This calculation assumes 214 working days per year.

Variable travel allowance

Variable travel expense reimbursement can be provided to an employee in situations where the employee’s travel patterns and needs vary. Here are some examples of when a variable travel expense reimbursement may be appropriate. For instance, if an employee works at different locations, has flexible working days, uses different modes of transportation, or has varying distances to travel, such as visiting clients.

Public transportation costs

The complete costs for traveling by public transportation can be reimbursed. The employee needs to submit original transport tickets as proof. If an employee uses an OV-chipkaart (public transport card), they can download a declaration overview from www.ov-chipkaart.nl.

Variable travel allowance

If an employee uses their own car, scooter, bicycle, motorcycle, etc., the employer can offer a tax-free reimbursement of EUR 0,21 per kilometer. To qualify for this, the employee must provide a complete declaration overview. The overview should include at least the date, postal code, house number, and city of both the starting and ending points of the journey. If any of this information is missing, unfortunately, no reimbursement can be provided.

If the employee uses a company car, it is not possible to receive a variable travel expense reimbursement since the employee already benefits from using the company car.

Are homeworkers eligible for travel expense allowance?

Employees who work from home often incur additional expenses such as heating, toilet paper, coffee and tea, water, and electricity. A home office allowance can be provided to compensate for these extra expenses. It is not mandatory, but there may be rules regarding it in the collective labor agreement (cao). If there are no provisions in the cao, agreements regarding the home office allowance can be made between the employer and the employee.

How high can the home office allowance be in 2023?

Starting from 2022, the option to provide a tax-free home office allowance was introduced. In 2022, this allowance was EUR 2,00 per day. Now, it has increased to EUR 2,15 per day.

The employer and the employee can make agreements regarding a fixed home office allowance based on the expected number of work-from-home days per week, eliminating the need to track whether the employee worked from home or in the office.

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