3 October 2022 2 minutes
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Packing tips when moving abroad

Do you know how to pack when you are (temporarily) moving abroad? What to bring and what to leave behind? Chances are that you do not know what to pack and where to start, so to help you out, here are some tips for expats when packing to move abroad:

Tip 1. Start early with making a packing checklist

It is never too early to start preparing for something. Start by making a ‘to pack’ checklist today. You can make a physical one on paper, but we recommend making a digital one in the Notes app on your smartphone or in Word on your laptop. It is nice to already have one, even if you are still days (or weeks) from departure. This way you can always add things to your list if you think ‘oh, I must remember to pack this’.

Tip 2. Check the weather to pack climate-wise

Some expats tend to forget to check the climate of the country they’re moving to. For example, in the Netherlands we have a lot of rainy days. So if you’re moving here, you will have to bring clothes that are made for the rain and the cold.

We also have a maritime climate with mild summers and cold winters. So you have to make sure to pack clothes that fit the seasons in the Netherlands.

Check the climate of the country you’re moving to.

Tip 3. Do not pack (too many) things you can buy there

Try to think rationally when packing your suitcase. We get it that when packing, almost everything in your house and especially your closet might come in handy, but it is good to sometimes have a reality check with yourself. We promise you that it is easier to just buy a new bed cover abroad instead of using up much needed space with the one you have at home.

When packing clothes, try to bring good quality basics you can combine such as basic t-shirts and basic pants.

Tip 4. Roll, roll, roll your clothes

Roll as much as possible! Rolling your clothes saves a lot of space and it will give the clothes less wrinkles.

Tip: Use organizers in your suitcase.

Tip 5. Check prohibited items

Be aware of items you can not bring to the country of destination, by checking out the ‘prohibited items’ list of the airport you’re flying to and from. Some airports are stricter than others and the last thing you want is any problems at customs (and wasting useful space in your luggage).

Read here about what can not travel with you to Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands.

Tip 7. Check if your medicine is legal and if it needs any documents

If you are on any type of medication, there are a few things you need to make sure of:

  1. Check if your medicine is legal; your medicine might be illegal in certain countries. So make sure to check out local regulations before adding your medication to your luggage. The last thing you want is trouble at customs.
  2. Double up your prescription, just to be sure that you have enough until you have found a doctor abroad who can write you a new prescription.
  3. Check if you need a medicine passport or record. If you need one, you can ask your doctor or GP for this.

Another tip is to bring medicine with you in your hand luggage. Lately, airports have been very busy and your suitcase may get lost or arrive 1-2 days later. Prevent yourself from being stranded without medicine and bring some with you in your hand luggage.

Tip 8. Include documents and records in your ‘to pack’ list

Special papers, copies of your passport and other documents you have to bring: include it in your ‘to pack’ checklist. This way you will not forget any important documents and are able to double check if you have everything.

Store all your paperwork in a organizer to prevent yourself from losing it and from any damage.

Tip 9. Purchase the right adaptors

You might need a range of transformers/travel plugs. Purchasing these adaptors in advance, will save you the hassle of not being able to use your electrical devices when you reach the country of destination.

Things not to pack when moving abroad

Here are some examples of things we recommend you should leave behind.

  1. Any crockery such as plates, bowls and forks
  2. Pots and pans
  3. Bedding
  4. Toiletries such as make-up remover, deodorant, non-electric tooth brushes and razors
  5. Small furniture you can buy there such as vases, lamps and candleholders
  6. Electronics such as televisions and microwaves.

If packing and shipping is too expensive or too much of a hassle, you might want to consider rentals. Furniture rentals offer you a turn-key home as soon as you arrive, providing you anything you might need from furniture to (kitchen)appliances and everything in between.

If you need advice, please email us at info@toss-group.com or call or WhatsApp us on +31 20 261 9447.

14 April 2022 2 minutes
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9 Useful apps for your stay in the Netherlands

Which apps should you have if you are staying in the Netherlands? There are plenty! Apps that help you travel from A to B, that help you find a second-hand bike or that make sure you are always aware of the downpours in the Netherlands (and there are plenty of those). TOSS has listed 9 handy apps for you, that will make your stay in the Netherlands a lot easier!

1. DigiD app

If you’ve been following TOSS for a while, you know how highly we recommend a DigiD. Almost all residents of the Netherlands have a DigiD. This is an online proof of identity that allows the Dutch government to verify someone’s identity on the internet. For example, you need a DigiD if you want to file your tax return online or if you want to apply for a subsidy online. Curious about why you should get a DigiD and how you can apply for one? Read more here.

2. Marktplaats app

Are you looking for a second-hand television? Or maybe you’re looking for a cheap bike to feel like a local? Marktplaats is the go-to place to buy and sell used items. You can buy anything from tea towels to cars. It’s also very convenient in that you can filter the offerings by location. This allows you to see, for example, which bikes are being sold near you, so you can pick them up and use them the same day.

Please be aware. There are scammers out there on these types of second-hand apps. Always use the ‘Immediate Crossing Service’ to avoid this and never click on Tikkie or IBAN links if a seller sends them to you.

3. 9292 app

Public transportation is organized well in the Netherlands, but it can be quite overwhelming and complicated if you try to figure it out on your own. For example, you can stand on the platform and see four different trains all going past your destination. Therefore, download the 9292 app so you always know the most current and fastest route to your destination. The 9292 app also indicates delays and calculates the quickest route if you want to take into account a stopover.

4. Buienradar app

Newsflash: the weather in the Netherlands is unpredictable. Especially in the middle seasons, the weather is unpredictable. In one week time you can go from a winter coat to shorts and flip-flops. What you also don’t want is to leave your house unprepared, only to arrive somewhere completely drenched. So always be prepared with the Buienradar app. The app predicts the weather for the next 14 days and shows every day whether there will be rain showers in your area. That way you are always prepared for the weather.

5. Tikkie app

You are probably familiar with the expression “going Dutch,” and yes, this is indeed how things are done in the Netherlands. Now it is easier than ever. After you pay your bill you just send a Tikkie. Tikkie is an app that allows you to send payment requests. All you have to do is link your IBAN to the app. Then you just have to enter the amount and send the Tikkie to the person concerned. The money paid is immediately deposited into your account. If someone has not paid your Tikkie after a certain time, you will also receive a notification.

6. Thuisbezorgd app

Ah, you’ve just seen on Buienradar that it’s going to keep raining for the rest of the afternoon, so of course you don’t feel like going outside to do your shopping. Luckily, you can order food with Thuisbezorgd. Thuisbezorgd literally means ‘delivered home’ and that is the service the app offers. You choose what you want to eat through the app, pay and not much later a delivery driver is at the door. You can pay on the app with IBAN, credit card and PayPal, but also in cash to the deliverer. Simple and fast.

7. Vinted app

Shopping without spending a lot of money: it’s possible. Vinted is an app where you buy second-hand clothing, shoes and accessories. In the app you can filter by color, size, price, brand and even the condition of the items (new, unworn, worn…). Shipping never costs that much either, even if it’s from a country outside the Netherlands.

Do you have items that you don’t wear anymore, but are in a good condition? Put them on Vinted. On Vinted you can also sell clothes yourself. You don’t have to worry about delivery costs, these are paid by the person who buys your clothes. Vinted then creates a shipping label, which you only have to print and stick on the package.

8. Snappcar app

Are you someone who doesn’t need a car every day, but likes to use one every now and then? Snappcar is an app where you rent cars. You can choose from many different cars that you can rent for a day or for a weekend. You have options from city cars to wedding cars. In addition, you and the car are all-risk insured and you receive 27/4 roadside assistance from the ANWB.

9. Duolingo app

In the Netherlands, a large part of the population speaks English as a second language. So, in theory, you don’t need to be fluent in Dutch to be able to work and live here. Nevertheless, it is nice to know a few words and phrases by heart. Duolingo is a simple app that helps you learn the (Dutch) language for free and in a playful manner. Duolingo has short, daily lessons that allow you to earn points and unlock new levels. A fun way to learn real communication skills!

These were the 9 useful apps for your stay in the Netherlands. Is there an app we missed? Let us know!

 

21 February 2022 2 minutes
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Moving to the Netherland checklist

Great, you’ve decided to finally relocate! TOSS has prepared a handy checklist to help you get started on your exciting adventure into the Netherlands.

Before your big move

  You have work

You have a job in the Netherlands and everything surrounding this new job is already arranged and signed by both parties. The last thing you want is to arrive and the job you have been hired for is canceled at the last minute. Are you having trouble finding a job that suits you? Read more about our recruitment service.

  You have a house

In some cases, employers provide accommodation and are also obligated to make the necessary housing arrangements in the Netherlands. If this is not the case, you arrange this yourself. Make sure you start your home search on time. Dutch housing market is crazy, making it difficult to find a suitable place quickly.

  You have a Visa

The Netherlands is an EU member state. This means that as a resident of the EU/EFTA you enter the country and can stay here temporarily without needing a visa. If you stay longer than four months, you must register with the government. Are you from outside the EU/EFTA? Then you can arrange an entry visa and residence permit. These must be requested by your employer.

You have your important documents ready

Such as:

  • Passport or ID card, check the expiry.
  • Birth certificate (translated if necessary)
  • Diploma
  • Plan your registration with the municipality at least 1 month before your arrival in the Netherlands

Optional: You have joined a social media group

There are many Facebook groups where expats in the Netherlands share their experiences and tips with each other. Sign up to know if this could be helpful for you. It is best to learn from people who are going through the same thing, or who have already experienced it. Did you know that TOSS also has a Facebook and Instagram page? Here we share useful tips and tricks, and facts about the Netherlands!

Once you arrive

You have registered at the municipality or gemeente

If you plan to stay in the Netherlands for more than four months, you must register with the municipality where you are going to live within five days of arrival. The municipality will then arrange a Citizen Service Number (BSN) and ensure registration in the Personal Records Database (BRP), which lists all residents of the Netherlands.

Are you staying in the Netherlands for no longer than four months? Then you register as a non-resident with the BRP. You can make an appointment at any of the 19 RNI municipalities in the Netherlands. With this, you still get a BSN.

(!) It is advisable to plan your appointment with the municipality at least 1 month in advance. They have long waiting lines, especially in larger cities.

You have applied for a DigiD

Your DigiD allows you to identify yourself when making arrangements on the internet, such as with the government, educational institutes, healthcare institutions or your pension fund. Read more about it and how to apply for one here.

You have a local bank account

If you work in the Netherlands, you must open a local bank account. With this, you receive your salary, pay your rent, bills, and groceries. You can also choose to use your foreign bank account but it can take a few days when your employer pays you from a Dutch account and you might have to pay bank and currency fees.

Take out health insurance

If you move to the Netherlands, you must take out Dutch health insurance as soon as possible. Are you registered with the municipality and do you not yet have health insurance? Then you will receive a letter about this from the Centraal Administratie Kantoor (CAK). This organization checks whether everyone in the Netherlands has health insurance. If you have not taken out insurance three months after receiving the letter, you will receive a fine from the CAK.

If you decide to take out health insurance only after four months, you do not have to pay the monthly premium from the previous months. On those four months, you will not be insured and you will not be reimbursed for the care you have received or will use.

You have registered with a General Practitioner (GP) and dentist

It is not mandatory, but it is useful. If you become ill and need medical care, it is helpful to be registered with a GP. With this, you can easily call your GP instead of looking for a practice that accepts new patients in the time you are sick. You can find GPs in your area through ZorgkaartNederland .

The general practitioner plays a central role in the healthcare system in the Netherlands. Your GP is your first point of contact when it comes to your health. He or she will refer you to other medical specialists, such as the hospital or physiotherapist.

You pay taxes

Dutch residents pay taxes both directly and indirectly. This tax money ends up with the government, which pays for facilities that residents of the Netherlands use. Think of education, infrastructure or art and culture. You will also pay this once you live in the Netherlands. You will automatically receive a letter about it.

Find more information about taxes in the Netherlands here.

You have applied for benefits

There are various surcharges in the Netherlands that cover part of the costs that you incur. As an expat, you are most likely not or almost not entitled to benefits because you have a high income. You can calculate whether you are entitled to benefits through here.

  • Childcare allowance
  • Rent allowance
  • Health care allowance
  • Child budget if you have children under the age of 18

Do you want to apply for an allowance? You can with your DigiD through the Tax Authorities or Belastingdienst website.

You have exchanged your foreign driving license with a Dutch one

The Netherlands is well organized in terms of roads and infrastructure. It’s great to know in advance if you can drive to work or get around with a car. But is your driving license valid here? This really depends on the date you acquired your license, the country you come from, or if you are a highly skilled migrant.

Read more about the validity of your driving license in the Netherlands.

You have a Dutch SIM

With a Dutch SIM, it’s easy to stay connected with your new colleagues and friends. If you want to use certain services in the Netherlands, such as opening a bank account, Tikkie, or taking out health insurance, it is worth switching to a Dutch number.

TOSS makes it easy for you as an expat moving in the Netherlands. We help you with all the preparations and documents before your big move. We offer wide range of services such as immigration, registering at the municipality (BSN), finding a place to stay, furniture rental, and you name it. Want us to arrange an airport pick-up? We can definitely do that and many more too!

Want to know more or need help? Contact us!

6 December 2021 2 minutes
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What if you have to return back home because of COVID?

Closed borders, lockdowns, and face masks: many expats make the choice to return to their home country because of COVID. Countries across the world addressed to different rules and regulations to contain the virus. The measures in the Netherlands constantly change with press conference held every 2 weeks.  

We understand that as an expat, you may be returning home with a fear of closed borders and flight bans. How does this continue now that you are in your home country? What about your work, insurance, and residence permit?! 

Your stay and duration

You are back in your home country, what about your residence permit? An important factor that is considered is your main residence and the duration of your stay in a country outside the Netherlands. 

Main residence 

Your main residence is defined where you spend most of your time in. This place is the center of all your personal and economic interests, such as your work and your home. If you want to keep your residence permit, it is important that your main residence is and remains in the Netherlands. This also applies if you are staying in another country. 

If you have lived and worked in the Netherlands, then it is your main residence. Do you want to keep it that way? Prevent actions that make the Netherlands no longer your main residence, for example: 

  • Deregistering from Personal Records Database or Basisregistratie Personen (BRP) in Dutch 
  • Terminating your employment contract 
  • Canceling your Dutch bank account 

Duration of the stay 

The duration of your stay is important for maintaining your residence permit. If you want to keep this, you must meet the requirements for the duration of the stay abroad. There are strict rules about this and it differs per residence permit. Expats with a residence permit for a certain period, are able to stay abroad for a maximum of 6 months. For highly skilled migrants, this can often be 8 months. Do you want to keep your residence permit in the Netherlands? Make sure that you do not overstay than your allowed time in another country. 

Traveling to the Netherlands 

This of course differs per country and the COVID measures that apply there. Some countries may ask for a QR code before entering the Netherlands or want you to go into quarantine first. Through this link you can see the current state of affairs regarding entry into the Netherlands. Moreover, traveling back to the Netherlands is no problem, as long as you have a valid residence permit. 

Social insurances 

Do you have an employment contract with a Dutch employer? Then you are insured for the Dutch national and employee insurance schemes, including The Healthcare Insurance Act or Zorgverzekeringswet (Zvw). These insurances continue in the event if you are temporarily abroad. 

If you are no longer living in the Netherlands, or if the employment contract with your Dutch employer is terminated, then your insurance will no longer apply.  

If you are going to work in a country that the Netherlands has not included in the social security treaty, then you will be obliged to take out the insurance and pay premiums in that country. The employer in the Netherlands is obliged to pay these premiums in the country of employment. This additional obligation happens because there is no social security treaty that prevents double insurance. It is useful to make clear agreements about your country of employment with your employer. 

European Social Security Regulation 

If you work for a longer period in your country of origin, questions may arise about the applicable social security system based on the European Social Security Regulation. This happens when you work more than 25% of your working hours in a country outside the Netherlands. 

Are you seconded to the Netherlands by a foreign employer? Then the situation is different again. You are often insured in the country where your employer is located. It is good to contact your employer about this. 

Employment law/working conditions

Just as the Netherlands can close its borders, other countries can too. What happens if you unintentionally stay abroad longer? 

If you have an employment contract with a Dutch employer or recognized sponsor and work in the Netherlands, then the Dutch employment law applies. The employment law regulates all matters regarding your rights and obligations as an employee. The employment law aspects must be assessed based on this. Keeping the contract and continued payment of wages are essential for maintaining your residence permit in the Netherlands. 

Is your stay abroad taking longer than expected? It is best to contact your employer and make arrangements on this. There is a chance that you can carry out your work in your home country. 

Tax

Are you wondering if you are a tax resident in the Netherlands? Let’s say you have worked in the Netherlands until you had to leave due to the pandemic and the 30% ruling has been applied for and received. Based on this situation, Dutch payroll taxes such as wage tax and insurance premiums are withheld and remitted from your wages. Because of the 30% ruling, wages have been reduced under the Dutch employment law. As a result of this reduction, you will be reimbursed the tax-free 30% ruling. For this, you must keep your main residence in the Netherlands. This means you: 

  • Remain registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP) 
  • Maintain an employment relationship with your employer 
  • Maintain a bank account in the Netherlands 
  • Have not submitted an emigration declaration to the tax authorities in the Netherlands 

The above points are important, because they determine whether you maintain a so-called ‘personal relationship of a lasting nature’ in the Netherlands during your employment. Do you meet all these requirements? You are probably a tax resident of the Netherlands. 

Tax resident of the Netherlands

Are you a tax resident of the Netherlands? It is the duty of the Netherlands to levy tax on your world income, whether you earn it here or in another country. 

If you stay outside the Netherlands for more than 183 days per tax year, your wages will be taxed abroad. Your salary is also taxed abroad if you work for or are employed by a non-Dutch employer. 

If you make use of the 30% ruling in the Netherlands, it does not apply abroad. The foreign tax authorities will charge tax on this, so that you have less net salary remaining. Depending on your employment law agreements, you can recover the loss from your employer. 

Pension

What about the pension that you build up in the Netherlands? If you are employed by a Dutch employer, you may participate in the Dutch pension scheme or pensioenregeling. This continues when you temporarily stay and work abroad. If your salary is taxed abroad in accordance with the tax treaties, it is quite possible that the employer’s contribution from the pension is taxed as salary. It is also possible that the employee contribution is no longer deductible. This in turn can result in a change, often lower than net salary. 

In short, it is important to maintain good contact with your employer and to make clear agreements. Together you have a solution. Did everything go smoothly and do you want to travel back to the Netherlands? Read more through this link on how to prepare for your trip and what you can expect. 

Do you have any questions left? Contact us!

26 October 2021 2 minutes
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What is a DigiD and how do you get one?

Almost all residents of the Netherlands have a DigiD. This is an online proof of identity that allows the Dutch government to verify someone’s identity on the internet. For example, you need a DigiD if you want to file your tax return online or if you want to apply for a subsidy online. Curious about why you should get DigiD and how you can apply for one? Read on!

General advantages of DigiD

DigiD was launched in 2003, this was then known as the ‘New Authentication Provision’. In 2004, the name was changed to DigiD, which is short for ‘Digital Identity’.

What are the general advantages of having a DigiD?

  • Free of charge
  • Easy to use
  • Always access to your personal information
  • Access to the Dutch Corona Check App
  • Apply online for your subsidies, arrange education, and more
  • Secure and reliable login to government sites

Main advantage of DigiD

The main advantage of DigiD is that you can easily arrange your allowances online. Do you know which allowances, benefits, and discounts you are entitled to as a resident in the Netherlands?

  • Healthcare allowance: The Dutch government pays its residents for health insurance. The amount of healthcare allowance you receive depends on the level of your income. You can apply for this allowance via www.toeslagen.nl.
  • General tax credit: Everyone in the Netherlands is entitled to a general tax credit. This is a discount on your income tax and national insurance contributions. Your employer will arrange this discount for you.
  • Children’s allowance: The Dutch government contributes every quarter to the costs associated with raising a child. If you have children under the age of 18, you can request this via www.svb.nl.
  • Children’s benefit: This is a monthly contribution on top of the child benefit. The allowance is income-related and can be applied for via www.toeslagen.nl.
  • Rent benefit: Are you renting a home? The Dutch government will help you with your rental costs if your rent is too much in relation to your income. You can apply for this allowance via www.belastingdienst.nl.
  • Childcare benefit: Do you take your children to daycare in the Netherlands? The Dutch government will help you with your costs by means of an income-related allowance. You can request this via www.toeslagen.nl with your DigiD.
  • Unemployment benefit: Are you unemployed or will you be unemployed soon? If you have worked for 26 weeks in the past 36 weeks, you can apply for unemployment benefits. You can apply for the benefit via www.uwv.nl.

How do you request a DigiD?

There is no harm in having a DigiD. How do you apply for this? It is important to know in advance that you need to have a valid BSN (Citizen Service Number). In the steps below, you can read about how to request and activate your DigiD.

Step 1. Go to the DigiD website

Go to this link to request for a DigiD.

Step 2. Fill in your personal data

  • BSN (Citizen Service Number)
  • Date of birth
  • Postal code
  • House number and addition

Step 3. Add your phone number

This is not a mandatory option, but we recommend you add a phone number. This makes logging in easier and more secure via 2FA authentication.

Step 4. Create login details

Choose a username and password that you will remember. If necessary, write your login details down somewhere so you don’t forget them. Never use a password with your name or a password you use for multiple different accounts. Never share your login details with anyone else.

Step 5. Wait for the letter

Within 3 working days, you will receive a letter in your mailbox. You will receive this letter at the address you entered in Step 1. It contains a unique code for activating your DigiD.

Step 6. Download the app

This step is not mandatory and mainly for ease of use. Download the DigiD app on your phone. You can use the app to log in and check your DigiD account. The app is secured with a pin code that you can create yourself.

It’s that simple to apply for your DigiD! This small effort saves a lot of time and effort in the future, mainly during your stay in the Netherlands. Furthermore, always keep your login details private and never use the same passwords.

Do you have any questions left? Contact us!

12 April 2021 2 minutes
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Moving to The Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant

Awesome! You have amazing skills and now you have decided to use them to go after your dream job in The Netherlands. This makes you a prime candidate for TOSS to work with and we are here to assist you through each step to building your life here.

There are a lot of things that need to be arranged when you’re moving to The Netherlands. We want to make sure your focus can be on your job because we know your time is valuable.

TOSS can arrange a recognized sponsor with the IND, which will become your legal employer. By signing an employment agreement with them, you can be hired directly.

Work and Residence Permit

As a highly skilled migrant, also called ‘knowledge migrant’, you will be able to obtain a work and residence permit in one.

The moment your employment agreement is signed and you have submitted all necessary documents to your employer they can apply through the online portal with the IND. The IND states that after 6-7 weeks you could expect the entrance visa will be ready to be picked up.

This visa can only be applied for by an employer with the IND sponsorship. It means that they are already audited and recognized by the IND, which speeds up the application process.

IND Recognized Sponsorship

It could be that you have found a vacancy that fits you well but it turns out that the employer is not on the recognized sponsor list of the IND.

No worries, TOSS can help you out.

As a recognized sponsor with the IND, TOSS can become your legal employer. By signing an employment agreement with us, we can hire you directly with our payroll services. Thereafter we can assign you to your employer.

Granted Visa

If your employment agreement is signed and the visa is granted you can travel to The Netherlands and start working in The Netherlands!

Over the years we have done hundreds of applications with a 100% track record of approvals by the IND. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information on TOSSimmigration services.

30% Ruling

If you come to work in The Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant you are entitled to an income that is above the standard set by the government. In that case you may be eligible for the 30% Ruling. This means that your employer may provide you with 30% of your gross salary untaxed, including reimbursements. This untaxed portion of your salary helps with the extra costs for a temporary stay outside your country of origin. You are eligible if you have specific expertise that is not available or is scarce in the Dutch labor market and if you meet a few other conditions.

TOSS and the Highly Skilled Migrant

During the visa application, but also when you have arrived in the Netherlands, we still have a duty of care and will assist you in finding a place to stay. We can set you up and get you organized with all other mandatory and applications, such as:

  • Social Security Number (‘BSN’);
  • Bank Account Number (IBAN);
  • Health Insurance;
  • 30% Ruling.

Contact us and find out how TOSS can be of service to you.