Working temporarily in another country - what are the consequences of being seconded?

Is your employer sending you from the Netherlands to another country (temporarily) to work there? Or is he sending you from another country to the Netherlands? This may have consequences for your tax liability and social security.

Consequences of the secondment for your tax liability

In the case of short and long-term secondments, it is important to know in which country you live. You may have emigrated for tax purposes.

Read more about this on page I am moving abroad – would you call this emigration?

Consequences of the secondment for your social security

If you live in the Netherlands, you are almost always compulsorily insured for the Dutch national insurance schemes (AOW, Anw, Wlz) and the Health Insurance Act. If you also work in the Netherlands, you will also be insured under the employee insurance schemes, such as the WW, WIA and ZW. If you start working outside the Netherlands for an employer based there, you will, in principle, no longer be compulsorily insured in the Netherlands. The general rule is that you are insured in the country where you work.

On rijksoverheid.nl (Dutch) you can read for which social insurances you are compulsorily insured.

Social security in the case of temporary secondment

Do you work in the Netherlands and are you temporarily posted to another country by your employer? In that case, the Dutch social insurance schemes may continue to apply under certain conditions. If the Dutch social insurances no longer apply then it is usually possible to continue certain insurances on a voluntary basis. In the case of a (temporary) secondment to a country other than the Netherlands, it is very important that, before the secondment, you check what the consequences are for your social security and for the social security of your family members who accompany you.

Read more about social security when being posted to another country at the following websites:

You live in the Netherlands and work in a treaty country

The Netherlands has concluded tax treaties with many countries to avoid double taxation. These are the treaty countries. A tax treaty states which country may levy tax on your salary.

Is the country to which you have been posted and where you work allowed to levy tax? Then your employer does not have to deduct income tax from your wages. If the Netherlands may levy tax on your income, your Dutch employer must deduct payroll taxes (payroll tax and, if there is an insurance obligation, also national insurance contributions and employee insurance contributions). If your employer has questions about this, he can call the Tax Information Line for Non-resident Tax Issues.

You live in the Netherlands and work in a country without a treaty with the Netherlands

If you work in a country without a tax treaty with the Netherlands, you can determine on the basis of Dutch legislation whether your employer must deduct income tax from your wages. If you are entitled to avoid double taxation, the country to which you have been posted may levy tax. In that case, your Dutch employer does not have to deduct any wage tax from your pay. If your employer has any questions about this, he can call the Tax Information Line for Non-resident Tax Issues.

If the Netherlands may levy tax on your wages, your Dutch employer must deduct tax from your wages. If you are insured for national insurance in the Netherlands, your employer will also deduct national insurance contributions and employee insurance contributions from your wages.

You live and work outside the Netherlands and you have a Dutch employer

The country where you live and work can almost always levy tax on your wages. Your Dutch employer is usually not required to withhold taxes. If your employer has any questions about this, he can call the Tax Information Line for Non-resident Tax Issues.

You are coming to work in the Netherlands - how does the 30% facility work?

If you come to work in the Netherlands, you may be eligible for a special cost reimbursement scheme: the 30% facility. This scheme means that your employer may give you 30% of your salary including allowance as a (non-taxed) reimbursement for the extra costs of the temporary stay in the Netherlands. Read all about the 30% facility.

Seconded government employees

Do you have the Dutch nationality and do you work for the Dutch government? If you are sent to work outside the Netherlands, we will treat you as if you lived in the Netherlands in a number of situations. This scheme is also called the residence fiction (woonplaatsfictie). The scheme also applies to partners and children of expatriated persons. The children must be younger than 27 years of age and must be substantially supported by the seconded person.

Below you can read in which situations you remain a resident tax payer.

Diplomatic missions and permanent representatives

You will be deployed as a member of a Dutch diplomatic, permanent or consular representation outside the Netherlands. Members of a Dutch diplomatic or consular representation outside the Netherlands are:

  • diplomats
  • consular representatives
  • administrative, technical and service staff of a Dutch diplomatic mission or consular post outside the Netherlands

You are also subject to national taxation (a resident tax payer) if you belong to the permanent representations of large international organisations. Examples of such organisations are the European Union (EU), NATO, the United Nations (UN) or the OECD.

Other deployments in the civil service

You are deployed in the following situations:

  • You work for the Dutch government.
  • You work outside the Netherlands.
  • You work within the framework of a treaty (Memorandum of Understanding) to which the Netherlands is a party.

This is the case, for example, if you perform peacekeeping tasks as a soldier or if you are stationed outside the Netherlands as an aid worker.

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