Cross-border workers: the financial implications of working from home

The coronavirus pandemic has left many people adjusting our future plans, wellbeing, and even our dreaded taxes. That is particularly the case in case you are a cross border employee. 

In case you dwell in a single nation however work in one other, that’s you! Whereas it could be nice to have such geographical separation between your work and private life, it does affect your taxes and social safety — particularly in a pandemic. 

We teamed up with Daniel over at HBK to sort out this difficult subject. He supplied us some readability to assist wrap your heads across the completely different definitions — so let’s dive proper in! 

What sort of taxpayer are you?

Earlier than we bounce into the nitty-gritty, there’s one defining issue: whether or not you might be thought of a resident taxpayer or a non-resident taxpayer by the Belastingdienst (Dutch Tax Company). That is depending on plenty of components:

Resident taxpayer

“When you’ve got household, private ties, and a majority of your financial pursuits within the Netherlands you’ll be classed as a resident taxpayer — even should you really work overseas,” explains Daniel.

As a resident taxpayer of the Netherlands you might be taxable to your worldwide earnings. Nevertheless, should you (partly) work overseas, (part of) your earnings referring to the work days overseas could change into taxable within the nation the place you’re employed (if sure situations are met.)

Bounce to see resident taxpayer implications

Non-resident taxpayer

Nevertheless, if nearly all of your private and financial pursuits are positioned in one other (EU) nation, however you’re employed within the Netherlands, then you’ll be thought of a non-resident taxpayer within the eyes of the Dutch taxation system. 

As a non-resident taxpayer who works within the Netherlands, you’ll solely be taxable for the earnings referring to your Dutch working days (supplied that sure situations are met).

Bounce to see non-resident taxpayer implications

Distant staff 

Through the pandemic, many cross border staff have discovered themselves changing into distant staff. Basically, they’re spending extra of their time working from their nation of residence, as an alternative of the nation of labor. 

A distant employee is outlined as somebody who works for a corporation however outdoors of the standard workplace atmosphere. Within the pandemic, many people have discovered ourselves establishing our personal makeshift workplace areas inside our houses, thus changing into distant staff. 

Photo-of-cross-border-worker-sitting-at-desk-working-from-home
Working from house has change into the norm for many people, however there are essential tax implications for cross-border staff. Picture: Annie Spratt/Unsplash

That is the place issues change into completely different. For almost all of us, the change to distant work means nothing greater than a considerably decreased commute (mattress to workplace chair) and a few new again ache. 

Nevertheless, for cross border staff, there will be important implications on the subject of taxation and social safety. 

READ MORE| Netherlands ranked the seventh finest nation for distant working

Tax implications for cross-border staff 

Okay, so what are the tax implications for cross-border staff? As we mentioned above, to start to grasp the implications for cross border staff that you must firstly decide whether or not you’re a resident or non-resident taxpayer. 

Following from this, you additionally want to find out whether or not you might be working for a Dutch employer or working for a overseas employer. What occurs by way of taxation varies relying on the place you fall alongside this spectrum.  

A bit confused? Don’t be! We’ll run by means of some essential definitions and the assorted eventualities with you. 

The 183-day rule

In case you’re uncertain about whether or not or not you stand to lose a few of your taxation advantages that you must ask your self the next query: 

  1. What number of days have I been working from right here?

Particularly, that you must calculate whether or not you spent greater than 183 days outdoors of the nation of residence. Why this quantity? Daniel makes use of an instance to elucidate: 

“If Louis, who’s a resident of the Netherlands and works for a Dutch employer, briefly returns to France to stick with his relations throughout the pandemic, he will likely be accountable for taxation in France on his French work days if he spends greater than 183 days in France,” he says.

Resident cross-border staff and Dutch earnings tax legal responsibility

In case you are thought of a resident employee, and usually work in a distinct nation however now work from your house within the Netherlands, chances are you’ll discover that by the tip of the 12 months nearly all of your wage is taxable right here — as an alternative of the nation in which you’d usually work. 

In the meantime, any wage that you just earned whereas within the nation the place you normally work will likely be taxable there. 

Because of this, chances are you’ll find yourself in a state of affairs the place it’s important to pay a considerable quantity of earnings tax within the Netherlands, whereas you possibly can declare taxes again within the nation the place you normally work and the place your employer is predicated.

For instance: Michael lives within the south of the Netherlands along with his household, however commutes to Luxembourg for work. Based on the Belastingdienst he’s a resident taxpayer. Nevertheless, since Could 2020 he has labored remotely at house. Now, his wage will likely be accountable for taxation within the Netherlands as an alternative of in Luxembourg, which may result in a bureaucratic nightmare. 

Do you could have a Dutch or overseas employer?

No matter the place you’re employed, as a resident taxpayer, your employer could also be both Dutch or overseas. This has implications for a way you, as a cross border employee, can declare tax reduction. Daniel provides a useful rationalization to assist us perceive. 

A resident taxpayer with a overseas employer 

Let’s take into account your tax state of affairs in case you are a resident taxpayer with a overseas employer. 

For instance, you could have a French employer (who pays your wage). You may declare a reduction to keep away from double taxation for the earnings referring to the French work days (no matter what number of days you spent/labored in France. Which means that the 183 day rule doesn’t play a job on this situation.)

A resident taxpayer with a Dutch employer 

Alternatively in case you are a resident taxpayer with a Dutch employer then the state of affairs is barely completely different. 

When you’ve got a Dutch employer (who pays your wage), then you possibly can solely declare a reduction to keep away from double taxation for the earnings referring to the French work days whenever you spent greater than 183 days in France.

The state of affairs can also be barely completely different in case you are a non-resident cross-border employee. Let’s sort out this situation. 

Non-resident cross-border staff: Dutch earnings tax legal responsibility

To start, let’s recap on what a non-resident cross-border employee is. To make clear, Daniel provides us the instance of a non-resident employee who works within the Netherlands however lives overseas.

For instance: Freya, who’s a resident of France, usually commutes to her Dutch job from her house in France. When coronavirus hit, she began working from her French house. As a result of she labored nearly all of her time in France, most of her wage will likely be accountable for taxation in France, not the Netherlands.

Do you could have a Dutch or overseas employer?

Once more, as a non-resident cross-border employee, your tax state of affairs will differ relying on whether or not your employer is Dutch or overseas. Very like with resident cross-border staff, the distinction is seen in how the 183 day rule will be utilized in your state of affairs. 

Time for some helpful examples? We thought so. 

A non-resident taxpayer with a Dutch employer 

In case you are a non-resident taxpayer with a Dutch employer (who pays your wage), you might be solely taxable for the earnings referring to your Dutch work days. That is no matter what number of days you spent/labored within the Netherlands. I.e. the 183 day rule doesn’t play a job on this situation.)

30% ruling and non-resident cross-border staff 

Below the 30% ruling, incoming staff could also be entitled to maintain 30% of their wage, together with reimbursement for shifting prices — tax-free! 

If non-resident cross-border staff with a Dutch employer work at home (i.e overseas) throughout the pandemic, they could discover that they lose out on a number of the allowances of the 30% ruling. 

Why? The 30% ruling is just relevant on earnings that was earned whereas working within the Netherlands. If all of the sudden your earnings was thought of to be earned in France, for instance, you may lose part of that tax profit. 

A non-resident taxpayer a overseas employer 

In case you are a non-resident taxpayer with a French employer (who pays your wage), your wage will solely change into taxable within the Netherlands for the earnings referring to your Dutch work days should you spent greater than 183 days within the Netherlands.

A couple of exceptions: Belgium, Germany

As with every part, there are a number of exceptions — and we love to listen to about them on the subject of tax. 

Sure international locations have teamed up throughout this time of confusion to attempt to make life a little bit bit simpler for cross border staff. The magic phrases listed here are bilateral agreements. Particularly bilateral agreements between the Netherlands and Belgium, and the Netherlands and Germany. 

These agreements imply that cross-border staff who’re pressured to work remotely from house as a consequence of coronavirus will nonetheless be accountable for taxation within the nation through which they had been meant to be working.

For instance: “Sam lives in Belgium however normally works within the Netherlands. Now, as a result of pandemic, Sam is working remotely from Belgium. Because of a bilateral settlement between Belgium and the Netherlands, the Belgian tax workplace will look the opposite method. Sam’s wage will proceed to be taxable within the Netherlands.” 

This is similar for cross-border staff who dwell and work between the Netherlands and Germany. 

In case you’re nonetheless unsure of whether or not you possibly can profit from these agreements, you possibly can at all times attain out to tax consultants like HBK for some steerage.

Notice: that these bilateral agreements with Belgium and Germany are in place till the tip of June. At this level it’s uncertain whether or not the agreements with each international locations will likely be prolonged.

Tax implications for cross-border employers throughout the pandemic

Employers of cross border staff may face implications if their worker is working remotely from a distinct nation. Relying on the nation concerned, the employer may be required to arrange a payroll and withhold taxes within the nation the place the worker works remotely. 

Due to this fact, it is necessary for employers to get knowledgeable concerning the implications they could face if the worker works remotely outdoors the nation through which the employer is predicated.  

Yup, it appears like the implications of the pandemic for cross-border employers are additionally fairly important! 

Social safety and cross-border staff throughout the pandemic

Now that we’ve coated taxes, we additionally want to speak about social safety and cross-border work throughout the pandemic. As you possibly can think about, it’s no good being coated within the Netherlands if that you must obtain the advantages in France. 

So what can cross border staff do about their social safety? And the way has it been affected by the pandemic? 

Social safety as a resident employee

Normally, you obtain social welfare from the nation through which you’re employed. For instance, in case you are a resident of the Netherlands however work in Belgium, you’ll have social safety in Belgium. 

Nevertheless, in EU/EEA international locations and Switzerland, should you spend greater than 25% of your work hours working out of your nation of residence as an alternative of your nation of labor, then you need to obtain social safety in your nation of residence. 

Photo-of-cross-border-worker-looking-out-window
Cross-border staff should additionally take into account the implications of working from house on their social safety. Picture: TJ Dragotta/Unsplash.

Now, on condition that many resident cross border staff are at present dwelling and dealing from the Netherlands as an alternative of their nation of labor, some modifications needed to be made.

Social safety as a non-resident employee

The predicament is comparable for non-resident cross border staff, explains Daniel. 

“When you’ve got a Belgian who works within the Netherlands, then he will likely be given social safety within the Netherlands. Nevertheless, if he spends greater than 25% of his time working in Belgium, then he’ll change into socially insured in Belgium.”

Exceptions: the SVB and COVID-19

Nevertheless, if this rule continued to use this 12 months, there could be lots of hassle and confusion for cross-border staff and their employers. Fortunately, some exceptions have been made in mild of the pandemic. 

Nevertheless, the SVB have introduced that cross-border staff who’re at present pressured to work at home as a result of pandemic will not have to regulate their social safety location if the house nation is contained in the EU/EER/Switzerland — which means you don’t have to fret a couple of change in your social safety place. This is applicable to each non-resident and resident taxpayers. 

Social safety and implications for cross-border employers

Normally, when an worker must obtain social safety of their resident nation (e.g Netherlands) as an alternative of the nation through which they work (e.g Belgium), the Belgian firm might want to register their enterprise within the worker’s resident nation (Netherlands) in an effort to pay the social safety contributions due on behalf of that worker.

As you possibly can think about, this can be a little bit of a trek for employers. Fortunately, the above exception for staff additionally applies to employers, which means they won’t need to register their enterprise in a distinct nation if their worker should work remotely as a result of pandemic. 

Which means that if a Dutch employer has a non-resident worker who wish to stay coated for social safety within the Netherlands (even when the workers work greater than 25% of the time within the nation of residence), they received’t need to carry a finger — the SVB will preserve that worker coated for so long as these measures are in place. On this situation additionally it is essential to test if the nation of residence introduced related stress-free measures.

Conversely, this additionally signifies that if a overseas employer has a resident worker who works greater than 25% of the time within the nation of residence (e.g Netherlands), they won’t need to change into socially insured within the Netherlands as long as the SVB’s exceptions stay. Additionally on this situation additionally it is essential to test if the nation of employment introduced related stress-free measures.

READ MORE | The information to evaluating Dutch medical insurance within the Netherlands

Lastly, Daniel advises that you just preserve your self updated on the foundations which are relevant in your nation of residency and nation of labor. Nevertheless should you stay confused a tax marketing consultant is the way in which to go. 


Phew! We all know that may be a lot to absorb, but it surely’s at all times good to maintain your self knowledgeable about your tax and social safety state of affairs — particularly throughout these occasions! 

In case you’re struggling to wrap your head round how these completely different definitions and guidelines apply to you, worry not — that’s what tax consultants are for. The staff at HBK work particularly with expats and will likely be pleased to debate how they might help you, so don’t be afraid to get in contact!

How has your work state of affairs been affected by the pandemic? Tell us of your experiences within the feedback under! 

Characteristic Picture: Saulo Mohana/Unsplash

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