Subsidies, excise duties, and more Prinsjesdag plans

On Prinsjesdag 2023 (Budget Day in the Netherlands), the Dutch government announced numerous plans for 2024 that will affect your business. Below is an overview of subsidies, excise duties, climate-related measures, and more.

For more updates about Budget Day in the Netherlands in English, check the Prinsjesdag homepage.

Rules and regulations for businesses in the Netherlands

Check for a list of all the government plans announced on Prinsjesdag that will impact businesses.

Travel allowance goes up

If you reimburse the travel expenses of your staff, different rules will apply in 2024. The untaxed travel allowance will increase to €0.23 per kilometre in 2024. That is 2 cents more than in 2023.

In 2023, you may reimburse €0.21 per kilometre tax-free. You do not deduct any payroll tax on this. You can also pay a higher amount per kilometre. But anything above €0.21 is considered wages by the Tax Administration and is not tax-free.

You do not need to pay payroll tax for a public transport card

In 2024, the government wants to make it easier to provide and reimburse your employees for a public transport card. Your employee will then not have to pay payroll tax on its cost. The only condition is that your employee also uses the card for business purposes.

Currently, you must keep records for this. You must prove that the value of the public transport card does not exceed the real business travel costs. On the difference between the higher value and the actual business travel costs, your employee must payroll tax.

Do you want to help offer your employees other financial benefits? The work-related costs scheme (WKR) may be an option.

Subsidies for company vehicles

If you buy or lease an electric company vehicle, you can again apply for a subsidy of up to €5,000 in 2024. This year, the €33 million budget for the subsidy scheme for zero-emission commercial vehicles (SEBA) was already used by August. In 2024, the SEBA budget will be €21.3 million. The new application period opens on 9 January 2024.

If you want to buy or lease a zero-emission truck, you can apply for the purchase subsidy zero-emission trucks (AanZET) in 2024. €4 million will be made available. Keep in mind that in 2023, this subsidy budget was used up within a day.

You can also buy a car privately and use it for business.

Video: Prinsjesdag plans for (sustainable) transport

The Energy Investment Allowance will be reduced

If you invest in energy-saving and sustainable business assets, you may be eligible for the Energy Investment Allowance (EIA). This allows you to deduct a percentage of the cost of your investment from your profit. As a result, you pay less tax.

The EIA for entrepreneurs will be extended by 5 years, until 2028. However, the percentage you are able to deduct goes down from 45.5% to 40% in 2024. The minimum investment is €2,500, and the maximum investment is €136 million.

The amount you can deduct will go down every year. Do you have a big business investment planned? It may be wise to do this in 2023. That means you can benefit from the deduction of 45.5% of the cost of the investment.

Making business premises or rental property more sustainable

If you want to invest in insulation measures for your business, you can use the sustainable energy investment subsidy (ISDE) for the first time in 2024. The government plans to expand the scheme to include insulation. On the other hand, the subsidy can no longer be used for solar panels or wind turbines. In 2023, this is still possible.

The ISDE is a subsidy for homeowners and entrepreneurs to make their homes or business premises more sustainable. The ISDE subsidy can already be used by businesses in 2023 (in Dutch). For example, for the purchase of (hybrid) heat pumps and solar boilers. If you use the ISDE subsidy for business purposes, you cannot register this investment for the Energy Investment Allowance (EIA).

Excise duty on tobacco and alcohol goes up

To discourage smoking, new tobacco rules will apply from 1 April 2024. The excise duty on tobacco will go up by €0.27. After the increase, a packet of 20 cigarettes be 60 cents more. That means a packet of cigarettes will cost an average of €10.70.

The excise duty on alcoholic beverages goes up by 16.2% on 1 April 2024. As a result, you will pay 50 cents more for a crate of beer. A bottle of wine will cost 13 cents more.

Increases to excise duty

To discourage smoking, new tobacco rules will apply from 1 April 2024. Excise duty on tobacco will go up. A pack of 20 cigarettes will cost 60 cents more. After the excise duto goes up, a packet of cigarettes will cost on average around €10.70.

Excise duty on alcoholic beverages will go up by 16.2% on 1 April 2024. As a result, you will pay 50 cents more for a crate of beer. A bottle of wine will cost around 13 cents more.

Changes to Energy tax

If you are a low-volume user ('kleinverbruiker'), in 2024 you will pay more tax for gas and less for electricity. The government also wants to be able to quickly adjust those tax rates for low-volume users. To do that, the government proposes to divide the lowest tax brackets for gas and electricity into 2 parts.

The new first bracket will be the same as the usage limit of the one-off price cap for low-volume users in 2023. Also known as small consumers, this includes households, self-employed professionals, and companies and associations with low energy consumption. The rates for the new first and second brackets remain the same for now. But the split makes it easier to separate them.

For gas use in 2024, the first tax bracket will be for 0 to 1,000 m3. The new second tax bracket is from 1,000 to 170,000 m3. In 2023, the tax is 49 euro cents per m3 for 0 to 170,000 m3. In 2024, it will be 53 cents for the new first and second brackets.

For electricity in 2024, the first tax bracket will be for 0 to 2,900 kWh. The new second tax bracket will be for 2,900 to 10,000 kWh. Currently, in 2023, the tax rate for electricity is 13 cents per kilowatt hour. In 2024, that will go down to 0.099 cents for the new first and second brackets.

No jail sentence for incorrect customs declaration

The government no longer wants you to be criminally prosecuted if you accidentally make a mistake in your customs declaration.

If you intentionally make an incorrect customs declaration, you risk a prison sentence of up to 6 years and a fine. But even if you accidentally make a mistake, you could face a fine and up to 6 months in prison.

The government wants entrepreneurs not to be criminally prosecuted when they accidentally make a mistake. Instead, you will receive an administrative fine from Customs. You will not get a note on your criminal record. The period over which Customs can recover your fine will be reduced from 5 to 3 years.

The 30% ruling for highly skilled migrants will be limited

If you want to hire foreign employees with special knowledge or skills, the 30% ruling will be limited from next year. From 1 January 2024, you can only apply the rule to a maximum amount. This amount will be set every year.

You can also no longer give unlimited tax-free reimbursement for the extra costs your employee has due to moving to the Netherlands. You must also tell the Tax Administration how you reimburse these costs.

Video: These are the main tax plans announced on Prinsjesdag 2023

Business succession scheme scaled down and simplified

When inheriting or being given a business, you get tax exemptions if you use the Business Succession Scheme (BOR). The government wants to take the first step towards simplifying and scaling down that scheme in 2024.

Thanks to the BOR, you get tax exemptions on your business assets when you are given or inherit a business. If you have leased immovable property to third parties, it will fall under investment assets by default from next year. As a result, it can no longer fall under the BOR.

The BOR will be further restricted in 2025. Business assets of more than €100,000 that you use partly privately may then no longer be counted as business assets. The exemption to consider 5% of investment assets as business assets will also expire that year.

The 100% tax exemption through the BOR will increase from around €1.2 to €1.5 million in 2025. The exemption for the amount above this €1.5 million falls from 83% to 70%.

In addition to the BOR, you can also use the Transfer Scheme (doorschuifregeling, DSR) when you inherit or receive. Then the donor or testator (the deceased who leaves the inheritance) pays no income tax. The tax claim passes to the receiver.

The government also wants to amend the DSR. Currently, it only applies if the receiver has been employed by the company for 36 months at the time of receiving the company. With effect from 2025, this requirement will disappear. Both the BOR and the DSR will then require the receiver to be at least 21 years old.

Minimum monthly wage becomes the minimum hourly wage

Do you employ workers who earn the minimum wage? From 1 January 2024, there will be a statutory minimum hourly wage. This change means that the minimum hourly wage will become the same for everyone.

Currently, the minimum wage is set per month. As a result, employees who work 40 hours a week earn a lower hourly wage than employees who work less than 40 hours.

Private vehicle and motorcycle tax to go up

If you want to privately buy or import a new car that you drive for business, it will become more expensive in 2025. The private vehicle and motorcycle tax (bpm) will go up then.

Bpm has 2 parts: a fixed part and a variable part. That variable part is linked to the vehicle's emissions. The less emission of CO2, the less you pay. The fixed part of the bpm is €400 in 2023. The government wants to increase this to around €600 in 2025. The variable part of the bpm will not change.

If you are considering buying a company van, you can use the bpm tax exemption until 31 December 2024.

What is smarter, a company car or private car? Read here what you need to consider.

Video: Excise duty on alcohol and tobacco going up in 2024

Please note: it is not yet certain when exactly the amendments to the law will take effect

A legislative amendment or bill is subject to its passing through the upper and lower houses of parliament, or proclamation of the Order in Council (Algemene Maatregel van Bestuur, AMvB) or ministerial decree and publication in the Staatsblad or Staatscourant (Government Gazette, in Dutch). This means that the dates or information mentioned in this article may still change.