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    Looking ahead to Prinsjesdag 2021

    19 August 2021

    Man carrying suitcase containing the budget of the Dutch Government

    Traditionally, Athora Netherlands publishes the Prinsjesdagspecial, an extensive analysis of the most important changes in the cabinet plans, the day after Prinsjesdag. Kees van Oostwaard, senior tax lawyer at Athora Netherlands, looks ahead now; what do we already know about the tax plans?

    The government is outgoing and it is not yet clear whether there will be a new cabinet on Prinsjesdag - September 21. If the current caretaker government presents the Tax Plan 2022, no far-reaching measures are expected to be presented. However, the current cabinet has already published a list of the overall contents of the tax plan. In addition, for the first time this year the Upper and Lower Houses will receive the package of tax plans under embargo a few days before Prince's Day, so that they have more time to study the legislation prior to the parliamentary debate on the tax legislation.


    After the conclusion of the Pension Agreement in 2020, the introduction of the resulting statutory changes was scheduled for January 1, 2022. That date will not be met, partly because of the many reactions to the consultation version of the bill. Minister Koolmees has since indicated that the aim is now to introduce the plans on January 1, 2023. Submission of the plans to the Lower House is expected in early 2022.

    One of the things we are waiting for is the amendment of the legislation that has already been passed for 'the lump sum'. During the debate in the Lower House in November 2020, it was laid down that 'the lump sum' may be received at the time when the benefit takes effect or in February following the year in which the state pension age is reached. This creates more complexity in the administration at the pension provider. The Senate therefore instructed Minister Koolmees to come up with an alternative implementation that is less complicated. It is possible that Minister Koolmees will present such an alternative to parliament in the slipstream of Prinsjesdag.

    Annuities and endowment policies

    No changes are currently expected in the area of annuities and endowment insurances.

    Owned home

    The overview of the announced proposals for Prinsjesdag also includes changes to the owner-occupied home scheme, without further explanation. These changes relate to the joint purchase and financing of an owner-occupied home by tax partners and on the death of one of the partners.
    A reformulation of the anti-abuse provision in the transfer tax of the home value limit for the starters exemption has been announced.

    In addition, a regulation has been announced on how to take into account unforeseen circumstances that arise before the house is obtained in possession, while the purchase can no longer be dissolved. It is expected that the government will clarify how in unforeseen cases a starter may still not use the house as his main residence and the starter's exemption may still be maintained. For the starters exemption, it is after all necessary that the home is used as the main residence.

    Box 3

    Box 3, income from savings and investments, continues to attract attention, especially when it comes to the low interest that savers receive on their assets. The North Netherlands District Court recently ruled that the capital gains tax for 2017 and 2018 violates the prohibition of discrimination in Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This does not yet force the Tax Authorities to change the levy. That is up to the legislature.

    Recently, the Deputy Minister of Finance informed the Lower House about the legal problems with a (temporary) rebuttal rule for a demarcated group of taxpayers with (almost) only savings. He also sent the results of a study on the availability of information required for a box-3 levy based on actual returns to the Lower House. A levy based on actual returns will not be announced during the upcoming Budget Day. However, just before the summer recess, the Lower House did pass a motion calling on the Cabinet to come up with an interim solution for savings in Box 3. The development of plans for a levy based on actual returns will in any event be left to a new cabinet.

    Kees van Oostwaard, Fiscal Affairs Athora Netherlands