31 August 2022 2 minutes
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7 Tips to help expat kids settle abroad

Moving to a new environment, having to leave your social circle behind and going to a new school with new children: a move within your own country already has a big impact on children. Let alone when you move to a completely different country. It is therefore understandable that, as a parent, you worry about your children when you move. Of course you want everything to run smoothly and you want your children to be happy. We have 7 tips to help your kids settle abroad.

Tip 1. Involve them in the moving process

Get and keep them involved! Children often get frustrated when moving house, because of a lack of control. Try to give them more control and involve them in the moving process. For example, let them unpack their own things and decorate their room, or ask for their opinion when choosing interiors (‘do you like the green or the white sofa better?’). This will make moving house more fun and later they will be able to proudly tell others what they have contributed to in the house.

Tip 2. Keep in touch with loved ones

Homesickness sucks. Just like for you, moving away from friends and family is also hard for children. The first few weeks or even months, the homesickness will be the worst and there will be times when they feel lonely. Therefore, try to keep in regular contact with friends and family. For example, schedule a time every weekend that you video call them together.

Video calls can be made via WhatsApp, Facetime (Apple users), Skype or Zoom.

Tip #3. Help make new friends

Besides maintaining contact with their old friends, it is also important to make new ones. This is always exciting, for both young and older children. Children are also reluctant to admit when they are struggling, and some children make friends more easily than others. Try to help them by scheduling playdates, going to public places like a pool or a park, and seeing if they might like to take up a hobby or sport. This will provide many opportunities to make new connections.

Tip #4. Routines

Before you moved, did you eat a traditional dish every Friday? Or did you read a bedtime story every night? Try to keep those routines. Children thrive on routines because it gives them a sense of security and stability. Plus, it’s always fun to start new routines. Here are some examples of routines you can do:

  • A weekly pancake day: on this day you make pancakes together.
  • A weekly creative day: on this day you do something creative together like painting, pottery, etc.
  • A weekly moment when you bake or cook something together.
  • Brushing teeth in the evening with a song they may choose.
  • Choosing outfits together for the next day.

Tip 5. Do new activities together

When you’re new somewhere, everything can still be scary and exciting. For children the world seems bigger than for adults. So go out together and explore the neighborhood and culture. Here are a few tips:

  • Walking through the neighborhood and looking for playgrounds
  • Going to a park for a picnic and to spot animals
  • Go to a local market, buy some delicacies and ingredients and then cook a recipe from home or from the country you live in now.

It is helpful to walk the same routes a few times during the first few weeks when exploring the neighborhood together. This helps children to recognize everything and makes them feel confident and at home. It is also useful, if they ever get lost, then they can easily find their way back.

Tip 6. Ask how things are really going

You know the situation, you ask your child how their day was and they say ‘good’, no more and no less. Choose a daily moment to talk to your child about their day, experiences and feelings. With more specific questions you will know more about what is going on, how they feel and if there is a need for more. Here are some examples of questions you can ask:

  • What was the best moment of the day?
  • What was the worst moment of the day?
  • What moment did you find challenging or exciting?
  • Who did you talk and play with at school?
  • How were the kids in your class and the teachers today?
  • Is there anything you would like more help with? (subjects at school, the language, culture…)

Tip #7. Have patience and empathy

Know when it is enough for your child. We understand that you want your child to feel at home as soon as possible and that it can be frustrating when your child refuses to cooperate because the solution is so close, but be patient and know when to take a step back. For children, sometimes it’s a lot to process as well. After all, some children adapt more quickly than others.

TOSS hopes that your children will be able to adapt quickly. Do you also have problems settling down in your new home and country? We also have some tips for you in our blog how to deal with loneliness when living abroad.

 

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7 Tips to overcome loneliness when living abroad

Moving to another place has a huge impact on your (social) life. And as an expat, you probably have traveled a very long way from home. Probably even further than most of your friends and family ever will. It is more than likely that at some point you will feel lonely, which makes sense and is completely normal. Even if you moved with or to your partner, it can still feel lonely from time to time. TOSS wants to help you out with tips on how to deal with loneliness.

Tip 1. Explore the neighborhood

You’re in a new environment and that can be quite overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with your surroundings. So let’s start with the basics: feeling at home. Try to explore the neighborhood and simply get out and about. Something that takes little effort, but will help enormously is going on walks in your neighborhood. It can be a short or a long walk, just try to walk every day for at least 15-30 minutes. This way you get to know the neighborhood better, little by little.

Tip 2. Be a local

Feeling like an outsider sometimes? Just fake it ‘til you make it! Try to frequently visit local cafés, markets and stores. This will not only help you get more familiar with your neighborhood, but it will also help you meet more people. You will also be welcomed by people in your neighborhood more quickly if you show your face everywhere.

Things you can do to feel like the local you are:

  • Learn the rules of living in your host country
  • Get involved with the people (join activities, do voluntary work..)
  • Learn the language
  • Become a regular at local places such as cafés, restaurants and markets

TripAdvisor is a site that may come in handy. The website is a must for finding activities, restaurants and events in any place of the world.

Tip 3. Activities and routines

Do you ever feel like you do not know where to start? Or like you do not know what you are doing or what to do? Routines create a feeling of safety and stability and joining shared activities may help you meet new people. We recommend to build a routine and join activities such as exercise classes and book/film/cook clubs. This way you will meet people who already have the same interests as you. Having a routine will also keep you busy, so that you won’t even have a chance to feel lonely.

Tip 4. Connect online

Another way to connect with more people is by joining online groups for people in your neighborhood and/or for expats who are in the same country you’re in. There are plenty of communities and chat groups on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Reddit. This way you will meet more people in your neighborhood and more people who are in your situation or have been in your situation.

There are also apps that can help you make friends such as Bumble, Lexa and Badoo.

Tip 5. Go out

Parties, markets, festivals, pubs.. you can meet people everywhere. You could for example walk into a public library or a cafe and start a small conversation with someone.

Just a tip from us, once or twice per year, IamExpat hosts the IamExpat Fair. It is interesting to attend whether you recently moved here or you’ve already lived here for quite some time. It is a great way to connect with expats and to meet companies who can help you with things such as school for your kids, a job, language courses and so much more.

The next Fair is on October 1st, 2022, and TOSS will also be there! You can find tickets via their website.

Tip 6. Adopt a pet

Who does not love a small, furry or scaly friend? People are less lonely with a pet. It makes your house more lively if you are living alone. If you want to, and are able to, get or adopt a pet. You can, for example, get a cat, dog, guinea pig, or a fish.

Keep in mind that a pet is a long term commitment and not just a solution to cope with loneliness.

Tip 7. Courses

This tip is, as the Dutch say, two flies in one clap. In the Netherlands, you do not necessarily need to learn the Dutch language, but it can come in handy and Dutch people will always appreciate it.

By following a language course, you meet more people who are more than likely also new to the country and the language. At the same time you learn the language better so that you can easily strike up a conversation with native speakers.

We recommend ExpatLanguageSchool.net for language lessons. TOSS in Holland customers who register with ExpatLanguageSchool with this code: TOSS, will receive 5% off their first contract with them.

Tip 8. Set goals

One person makes friends faster than another. Do you find it hard to find friends or to make the first move? Set goals for yourself. For example:

  • Introduce yourself to someone at least once a week
  • Go to a bar or a restaurant with someone two times a month
  • Make at least one new friend every month

Tip 9. Acceptance

This tip might sound a little bit weird, but acceptance is key. Things don’t always fall into place perfectly the first time, that’s just the way it goes – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Accept that things are going to be different and lonely sometimes, but this is part of the wonderful journey you are on.

Hopefully, these tips will help you overcome loneliness. Just remember whenever you’re feeling sad: feelings are just temporary. And always get professional help if you feel like you need it.

 

1 August 2022 2 minutes
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New Paid Parental Leave Act as of August 2, 2022

Parental leave: a statutory regulation designed to give parents the opportunity to temporarily work less to get used to the new situation. Your employees are also entitled to parental leave when they have had a child.

In this article, you will read about what parental leave entails, whether your employee is entitled to it and what changes will be made to parental leave. It is expected that many parents will make use of the new regulation. It is therefore important that you, as an employer, are prepared for this.

The rules before August 2, 2022

The current rule regarding parental leave is as follows: Dutch employees who are parents or caregivers are entitled to 26 weeks of parental leave until the child’s 8th birthday. This leave is unpaid, unless otherwise agreed upon in the terms of employment, or CAO. The number of hours of parental leave depends on the number of hours your employee works per week. This is based on the number of working hours per week as agreed in the employment contract.

Calculation: The parental leave amounts to 26 x the number of hours that your employee works. Does the employee work 32 hours? Then he/she is entitled to 26 x 32 hours of parental leave.

The employee decides how they take and distribute the parental leave. The leave does not have to be taken in one go. A number of hours per day spread over several weeks and months is possible.

Is my employee entitled to parental leave?

Your employee is entitled to parental leave if he/she

  • is the legal parent of the biological, adoptive, foster or stepchild;
  • Is not the legal parent of the child, but is caring for, and raising the child (living at the same address).

The new rules on paid parental leave after 2 August 2022

Due to a European directive, parental leave will soon change. As of August 2022, both parents will be entitled to 70% wage payment from the UWV for the first 9 weeks of parental leave. Also for paid leave, the rule is: the parent can decide how they take this leave.

  • Paid parental leave can only be taken during the child’s first year of life. If he/she does not use this, these weeks can be used unpaid until the child is 8 years old;
  • The remaining 17 weeks of parental leave are unpaid;
  • It is possible that your employer supplements the paid parental leave allowance, check this in the collective agreement and employment contract.

As an employer, can you refuse a request from an employee to take (paid) parental leave?

No, you cannot just do that. You cannot refuse the request itself, but you can refuse the distribution of the working hours/leave hours if the leave would cause serious problems for the company (this is called “important company or service interest”). This could include schedule problems or production or safety problems. In that case, you must consult with the employee about a different distribution of the leave hours. Please note that you can do this up to four weeks prior to the parental leave starting date.

What leave arrangements are there in total after 2 August 2022?

We’ve listed them for you:

  • Maternity leave/childbirth leave
    During your pregnancy you are entitled to 6 weeks of maternity leave and at least 10 weeks of childbirth leave, so a total of 16 weeks at 100% salary for the mother of the child.
  • Calamity leave
    Day of delivery, at 100% payout salary for the partner/other parent of the child.
  • Birth leave
    One time the number of working hours per week at 100% pay for the partner/other parent of the child.
  • Additional birth leave
    Up to a maximum of 5 weeks during which the partner/other parent of the child receives 70% of their salary. The UWV pays these weeks of leave. The employee must take these weeks of leave within 6 months after the birth of the child.
  • Parental leave
    26 (working) weeks of which 9 weeks at 70% of the salary and 17 weeks unpaid.

TOSS makes it easy for you
Are you outsourcing your legal employment to TOSS by means of payrolling or temporary staffing? If so, we will take care of matters such as payroll administration, drawing up employment contracts and the payment of wages. We have knowledge of (all) collective labor agreements, HR and legislation and regulations. We also advise you on matters such as notice periods.

Would you like to know whether it is interesting for you to pay your employees via payroll or temporary employment? Then get in touch with us. TOSS will be happy to help you.

 

14 July 2022 2 minutes
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The (un)importance of learning Dutch

If you are planning to move to the Netherlands, you will probably have also thought about learning Dutch. Maybe you have already started a language course and are trying to learn as much as possible before you emigrate.

Why you do not need to be fluent right away

Learning the language is part of the process if you want to live and work abroad. But you really don’t need to be fluent in Dutch before you leave because most Dutchies master the English language. The most important thing is that you have a basis and can more or less understand people approaching you, or that you can manage when you go shopping, for example.

Why deepening in the Dutch language could be useful

Surely, situations in which a good command of the language in speech and writing proves to be more important will occur. You will regularly receive mail from various authorities, it can be important for your safety and that of others, it can be useful at work, or beneficial when looking for new social contacts, to name a few. Whatever your situation, there is almost always a reason for either a little language support or a full language course.

Language tip

There may not be a lot of time for a 4-day course though, as most expats come to the Netherlands to work. ExpatLanguageSchool.net offers flexible and personalized 1-on-1 language courses at times that suit you, both face-to-face and online. The courses are provided by certified native speakers who have experienced life as an expat first-hand. So, whether you want to improve your English or want to fully master Dutch (or any other language for that matter), TOSS can recommend them wholeheartedly.

TOSS in Holland customers who register with ExpatLanguageSchool.net with this code: TOSS, will receive 5% discount on their first contract with them!

About ExpatLanguageSchool.net

We are ExpatLanguageSchool.net, a group of independent teachers who are expats themselves. We understand what it means to work and raise a family abroad. We provide (amongst others) Dutch, English, French and German tutoring sessions, whether you need just 1 or 2 sessions for support or a full-fledged language course. We believed in “online teaching” from the start, before everybody else did.

30 May 2022 2 minutes
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Holiday allowance and vacation days in the Netherlands

It is May, the month when a large part of the Netherlands receives their holiday allowance and uses up their vacation days. Everyone who works in the Netherlands is entitled to this. How much holiday allowance you get and when it is paid out differs per collective labor agreement. Most people receive their holiday allowance in May or June, but there are also people whose holiday allowance is paid out every month. Curious about how holiday allowance and vacation days work in the Netherlands? TOSS explains all!

Holiday allowance in the Netherlands

In most cases, your holiday allowance is calculated over the gross annual salary, i.e. the gross salary you earned during the past year. In case of illness and pregnancy the accumulation of your holiday allowance continues. Payments such as profit sharing and year-end bonuses do not, in most cases, count towards the calculation of your holiday allowance.

Calculating holiday allowance

The amount of holiday allowance you get is 8% of your gross annual salary. Suppose your gross annual salary is EUR 36,500.00 then you do the following:

EUR 36,500.00 x 8% = EUR 2,920.00

Your (gross) holiday allowance is then EUR 2,920.00. This amount is paid to you on top of your normal salary.

Vacation days in the Netherlands

There are two different types of vacation days in the Netherlands, statutory and above-statutory vacation days.

Statutory vacation days

Everyone who works in the Netherlands is entitled to vacation days, which are called statutory vacation days. When using your vacation days, your employer must continue to pay you.

Calculating vacation days

You are entitled to at least 4 times the number of hours you work per week. Do you work 40 hours a week? Then do the following:

40 hours x 4 = 160 hours

This means that you are entitled to at least 160 hours of vacation. If you work 8 hours a day, this makes 20 days in total.

Above-statutory vacation days

If you have more vacation days than the statutory number, then you speak of ‘above-statutory’ vacation days. This may be determined by the prevailing collective labor agreement or your employer may routinely offer more than the statutory minimum.

In the Netherlands, it is common for someone to be entitled to 24 or 25 days on a full-time basis. Unlike statutory vacation days, you do not have to use these within one and a half years. Many people save up the vacation days in excess of the statutory minimum.

Paying out above-statutory vacation days

With some employers it is possible to have your above-statutory vacation days paid out to you. Your employment contract will tell you whether this is possible through your employer.

Now you know what the situation is with holiday allowance and vacation days in the Netherlands. Do you still have questions about this subject? Please contact us!

 

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!

 

16 February 2022 2 minutes
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Expecting a baby in the Netherlands

Congratulations, you are expecting a baby in the Netherlands! You are probably already making many arrangements: from buying the diapers to decorating the baby’s room. Naturally, you want to be as well prepared with everything as possible, so it can be a little overwhelming to be expecting a baby in a country where care is arranged differently than in your home country. But don’t worry, TOSS will help you with this. Read below about what you should prepare for if you are expecting a baby in the Netherlands.

4 things you need to arrange before the birth

Everything you have to make arrangements for ahead of time, before the delivery.

1.    Health insurance

If you live and work in the Netherlands, you are obligated  to take out a basic health insurance. During pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum period, you often incur extra costs.  It is therefore good to check what your insurance covers.  If there are services missing, you can take out additional coverage or change insurers at the end of the calendar year.  This way you can avoid unexpected extra costs.

2.     Arranging maternity care

Maternity care is there for you right away after the birth of your baby. For example, the maternity nurse comes to your home for the first few days after birth to guide you and your partner. Think of things such as taking care of the skin, and washing and feeding your baby. We recommend arranging for maternity care well before the birth of your baby. Around the 10-week mark, for example, or after the first ultrasound.

Tip: Check with your healthcare insurer to see which maternity agencies they have contracts with. Often you can receive a small reimbursement.

3.     Arranging for childcare and school

It will take a few more months and years, but it is good to be on time with this. In busy cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht, childcare and primary schools often have waiting lists.  Therefore, look for suitable schools and facilities and ask the relevant organization if there is a waiting list.

4.     Request leave

In the Netherlands you are entitled to leave before and after childbirth.  This refers to two types of leave: pregnancy leave and maternity leave. In total, you are entitled to at least 16 weeks of leave.

Pregnancy leave

You are entitled to 6 weeks of pregnancy leave. Less than 6 weeks is also allowed, but you are obligated to go on maternity leave no later than 4 weeks before your due date. Any unused weeks will then be added to your maternity leave.

You arrange pregnancy leave with your employer. Your employer may not reject the leave. In addition, you decide when you tell your employer that you are expecting a baby. The sooner, the better. As soon as your employer is aware, you are legally entitled to extra protection. You must declare your leave no later than 3 weeks before the start of your leave.

Maternity leave

You are entitled to at least 10 weeks of maternity leave. The maternity leave starts the day after your baby’s birth. If you have taken less than 6 weeks of pregnancy leave, the remaining weeks will be added to the maternity leave. Suppose you have 4 weeks of pregnancy leave before you give birth, then you can add the remaining 2 weeks to your maternity leave. Your maternity leave will then last a total of 12 weeks.

Leave for your partner

Your partner is also entitled to leave. After giving birth, your partner is entitled to a maximum of 5 days of paid paternity leave. In addition, since July 1st, 2020 it has been possible to receive additional paternity leave. This lasts 5 weeks with a payment benefit of 70% of the (maximum) daily wage.

Optional: parental leave

In addition to the maternity leave, it is possible to take parental leave. This applies to you and your partner. The duration of the leave is 26 times the number of working hours per week. Parental leave is completely unpaid under Dutch law, but some employers choose to continue to pay part of the salary. It is good to contact your employer about this.

Will your child be under the age of 1 on August 2nd, 2022? Then you are entitled to the new parental leave scheme. You will have 9 weeks of parental leave with a wage payment of 70% of the (maximum) daily wage.

 

5 things you need to arrange after giving birth

Everything you have to make arrangements for after the delivery.

1.    Make a birth declaration

Your child does not yet have proof of identity after giving birth to them. For this reason, you must register the birth of your child within a maximum of 3 days after delivery. You do this at the municipality in which your child was born. After this you will receive a birth certificate from the registrar. The birth certificate is a legal proof of the birth of your child. Without a birth certificate, your child has no identification and you cannot insure them, register for schools or request an ID for them later.

2.    Notifying insurance companies

Children are insured free of charge in the Netherlands until the age of 18. For this reason, you must inform your insurers about the birth of your child. This must be done within 4 months after delivery. With the following insurances you must report that you have given birth to a child:

  • Health insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Funeral insurance

In addition to the above insurances, you also have insurance policies where children are insured as standard procedure if you have family coverage. Check this with the following insurance policies:

  • Liability insurance
  • Legal expenses insurance

3.    Applying for the child benefit

The Dutch government contributes quarterly to the costs associated with raising a child. You request this after the birth via www.svb.nl.  If you have other children under the age of 18, you can also apply for this for them.  If you later give birth to a second child, the child benefit is automatically calculated.

4.    Request a supplementary child budget

This is a monthly contribution on top of the child benefit. Not everyone is entitled to this. To be eligible for the supplementary child budget, you must meet certain requirements, for example:

  • A maximum level of (joint) income
  • A maximum worth of (joint) assets
  • A Dutch nationality or a valid residence permit

You can request the supplementary child budget via www.toeslagen.nl.

5.    Request a childcare allowance

Are you going to use childcare in the Netherlands? The Dutch government will help cover your costs by means of an income-related allowance.  For this, you and your partner must each meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • You or your partner works
  • You or your partner are enrolled in a training course
  • You or your partner are on a path to work
  • You or your partner are enrolled in an integration course

You can apply for childcare allowance via www.toeslagen.nl.

You can easily request the above benefits and allowances online using your DigiD. Don’t have a DigiD yet? Read our blog to request this!

In short, if you are expecting a baby, you have a lot to arrange.  Hopefully you now know what to do. TOSS wishes you a lot of luck and fun with the little one.

 

Want to know more or need help? Contact us!

3 February 2022 2 minutes
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Taxes in the Netherlands

Do you live or work in the Netherlands? Then you pay taxes. There are many different taxes in the Netherlands. Every Dutch resident pays taxes, both directly and indirectly. These end up with the government, which then pays for facilities that you use as a resident. You can think of education, infrastructure or, for example, art and culture. Do you know what type of taxes there are? Read them below.”

Direct or indirect taxation?

There are two forms of taxation in the Netherlands: direct and indirect. In the Netherlands, there are many different taxes. Every resident of the Netherlands pays taxes, both direct and indirect. These end up with the government, which then pays for facilities that you, as a resident, use. You can think about such things as education, infrastructure, or for example, art and culture. Do you know what kinds of taxes there are? Read about them below.

Direct taxation

You are dealing with direct tax when you, as a taxpayer, pay the tax yourself. An example of this is income tax. You yourself pay the tax that is calculated based on your income and assets. This is not something your employer or someone else does for you.

Kinds of taxation that are direct:

  • Wage Tax
  • Income Tax
  • Corporate Tax
  • Profit Tax
  • Gambling Tax
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Vehicle Tax
  • Insurance Tax
  • Transfer Tax

Indirect taxation

Indirect tax is the opposite of direct tax. This is where someone else pays your tax, while you are the one liable for the tax. An example of this is sales tax (VAT). The sales tax is included by the retailer in the selling price, so individuals pay it indirectly.

Indirect taxation kinds:

  • Sales Tax (VAT)
  • Import Tax
  • Excise Duty
  • Tax on Cars (BPM)

Kinds of taxes

Hereunder are all the various kinds of taxes in the Netherlands.

Wage Tax

Wage tax is calculated on your salary as an employee. Usually your employer already calculates this for you and deducts it automatically. What you then receive in your account is your net wage.

Income Tax

You pay tax on your work and income. The amount of this tax depends on your income. You also have to declare your income tax in the Netherlands every year. You then calculate whether you have paid enough tax. If you have paid too much you will get a refund and if you have paid too little you will have to make an additional payment.

Corporate Tax

Are you an entrepreneur and do you own a limited liability company, private company or cooperative? If so, you pay corporate income tax. You calculate the corporate tax based on the taxable profit of your company.

Gambling Tax

Do you take part in gambling or are you an organizer of it? Then you pay tax on it. You only pay tax on the profit that you make. This amount must be more than 449 EU, because amounts below 449 EU are not taxed.

Inheritance Tax

You have to deal with inheritance tax when you inherit something from a deceased person. The Tax Authorities impose this on all possessions and debts left behind by the deceased person, examples of which are sums of money or valuable objects.

Gift Tax

When you receive a large sum of money, you pay gift tax on it. How much tax you pay depends somewhat on the donor. For example, you pay less tax if the donor is a parent and you will pay more if you receive the money from an aunt.

Capital Gains Tax or Wealth Tax

Capital gains tax is levied on your assets.

Sales Tax (VAT)

As an individual, you pay sales tax (VAT) indirectly when you buy goods such as food, movie tickets or a new sofa. Entrepreneurs include sales tax in their cost price for their products. In this way you indirectly pay the sales tax for them.

Import Tax or Customs Duties

You pay customs duties when you transport goods from across the border to the Netherlands. Entrepreneurs who work with foreign customers or wholesalers often have to deal with this, but you may also have to deal with it if, for example, you order clothing or other items from abroad.

Excise Taxes

Excise taxes are similar to sales taxes. This is a type of tax that, like sales tax, is levied on goods. The difference is the type of goods on which it is levied. The Dutch government uses excise tax to discourage the consumption of certain goods, such as alcohol, gasoline and cigarettes.

Taxation on Cars (BPM)

Are you buying or importing a passenger car, delivery van or other motorcycle? Then you have to deal with BPM.

Motor Vehicle Tax or Road Tax

Are you under the age of 40 and in possession of a motor vehicle? Then you pay motor vehicle tax. Motor vehicle tax is also known as road tax. You pay the road tax once every quarter (three months).

Insurance Tax

In the Netherlands, you are obligated to be insured. You pay insurance premium tax on these insurances.

Transfer Tax

Are you getting an existing home, vacation home, retail or commercial property from someone? Then you have to pay transfer tax. If you knowingly buy a home, which you will not live in, you also pay 8% tax.

Environmental Taxes

Businesses and households pay environmental taxes once in a while. Examples of environmental taxes are the energy tax, the tax on tap water and the waste substances tax. Environmental taxes have been used by the Dutch government to stimulate the more efficient use of fuels.

Property Tax

Do you own a house, vacation home or apartment in the Netherlands? Then you pay property tax (OZB) every year. The amount differs per municipality.

Hopefully this blog has helped you receive more insight into the various taxes in the Netherlands.

 

Would you like to know more about taxes in the Netherlands? Contact us!

23 November 2021 2 minutes
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Retirement age in the Netherlands

Do you know until which age you must work in the Netherlands? The Dutch government arranges a basic pension for everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands. This right is covered by the National Old Age Pensions Act or Algemene Ouderdomswet (AOW) in Dutch. You will only receive your basic pension when you reach AOW pension or retirement agewhich depends on your date of birth. 

How does it work?

As of 1 January 2013, the Dutch government has decided to gradually increase the retirement age. In the course of 2013 to 2019, the retirement age went from 65 to 66. In 2023, the Dutch government aims for a retirement age of 67 years. The retirement age grows with the average life expectancy in the Netherlands, the higher the life expectancy, the higher the retirement age. 

If you were born after 31 December 1960, your retirement age will be at least 67 but the exact age has not yet been fixed. The retirement age is announced five years in advance. 

AOW pension age for people born on a certain date

Year  AOW pension age  Applicable to people born 
2020 66 + 4 months After 31 August 1953 and before 1 September 1954
2021 66 + 4 months After 31 August 1954 and before 1 September 1955
2022 66 + 7 months After 31 August 1955 and before 1 June 1956
2023 66 + 10 months After 31 May 1956 and before 1 March 1957
2024 67 years After 28 February 1957 and before 1 January 1958
2025 67 years After 31 December 1957 and before 1 January 1959
2026 67 years After 31 December 1958 and before 1 January 1960 

Source: Rijksoverheid

Curious until which age you must work in the Netherlands? You can calculate it through this link.

 

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!