We love this little list from Elsevier magazine so much – the 10 most hated Dutch taxes. There are of course, many more.
1. Erfenisbelasting – inheritance tax
First levied in the 16th century, this is a tax on your inheritance. A widow of widower gets the first €627,367 of their partner’s wealth tax free but children only get €18,868 before they have to pay tax. We love the precision of those odd €367 and €868 euros. If you leave money to a mate, they can only accept €2,092 tax free. The actual tax itself ranges from 10% to 40% depending on how much money is involved and your relationship to the deceased.
2. Vermogensrendementsheffing – asset tax
This is a tax which assumes you make a 4% return on your assets and should, therefore pay 30% tax on this fictional increase. Given interest rates on savings are well below this at the moment, you are actually losing money on your rainy day set-aside. You don’t have to pay tax on the first €21,139 – that calculation down to the last euro again…
3. Energiebelasting – energy tax
You pay 11.85 cents tax for every kilowatt hour of electricity you use and 18.94 cents for every cubic meter of gas. Then you pay 21% value-added tax over the total energy bill – or tax on your tax.
4. Onroerendezaakbelasting (ozb) – property tax
If you are a home owner, you pay tax based on the value of your property to help pay for everything your local council provides, like schools, street lighting etc. Tenants do not have to pay towards this.
5. Brandstofaccijns – fuel tax
The reason Dutch petrol, diesel and lpg is among the most expensive on the planet. At least 60% of the cost of a litre of petrol is due to tax.
6. Assurantiebelasting – insurance tax
We all know the Dutch love insurance – perhaps a nice list for a future occasion – so this is a guaranteed moneymaker for the treasury. You pay 21% tax over the cost of all your insurance policies.
7. Tabaksaccijns – tobacco duty
Smokers hate them but non smokers think they should be much higher. And if everyone stopped smoking, the government would have to find an extra €2.3bn to fill the gap.
8. Bijtelling leaseauto – company car tax
If you have a company car and drive more than 500 kilometres a year in it for private reasons, you have to pay tax. The taxman will add 25% of the catalogue value of your car to your income and you’ll pay tax on it – how much depends on whether your car is electric, a hybrid, or heavily polluting. The rates are currently the subject of intense political lobbying.
9. Leidingwaterbelasting – drinking water tax
This has been steadily increasing over the years. In 2014, you pay 0.33 cents in tax for every cubic metre of mains water you use. You can check out this and all the other environment-related taxes on the tax office website.
10. Loon en inkomstenbelasting – income tax
The Dutch top tariff of 52% on earnings over €56,532 is among the highest in the world – most countries with such a high top rate don’t start levying it on such a low income. The government has agreed to cut it by a fraction, very slowly, over a number of years……
The one thing the tax office has pledged to cut is the number of blue envelopes it sends. They want us to do it all online and are working out ways to help all those who are not computer literate do their duty as well.