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Measures for employers – Tax Plan 2022

19 oktober 2021 | Door:  Matthijs van Dorssen

From the long-awaited introduction of the homeworking allowance and the STAP scheme through to the reduction in the fixed budget under the work-related expenses scheme, the 2022 Tax Plan entails various changes and consequences for employers. Find out what you need to be aware of as an employer below.

Introduction of untaxed homeworking allowance of 2 euros

Working from home has become much more common as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Employers want to offer their employees an allowance to compensate them for the additional costs they incur due to homeworking. Nibud (National Institute for Family Finance Information) had previously calculated that the additional costs of working from home amount to 2 euros per day. The costs that Nibud took into account here related to extra water and electricity consumption, heating, coffee, tea and toilet paper. This amount has been adopted by the government, which is introducing a specific exemption from tax for an allowance of 2 euros per day or part-day worked from home.

Mixed working days

As an employer you can grant either a travel allowance or a homeworking allowance for a working day, but not both. In this situation you can choose which allowance you wish to apply. If, during a homeworking day, the employee travels to a business meeting that is not at his/her place of work, a travel allowance may be granted for this trip without the homeworking allowance being affected.

Please note: Does your employee have a company car, a public transport card or a company bicycle? In that case the homeworking allowance can only be applied if, on the day in question, the employee does not use the car, bicycle or public transport to travel to his/her regular place of work.

Administration

The government expects you, as the employer, to make agreements with your employee on the number of days when he/she will work from home. On the basis of these agreements you can then grant a fixed travel allowance for commuting and a fixed homeworking allowance. That means you will not have to keep records of the days on which the employee travels to work and the days on which he/she works from home. If there is a one-off change to the pattern, this does not result in an adjustment to the fixed allowances. These fixed allowances must, however, be adjusted in the event of more regular changes.

If you make use of this scheme, you need to set out in writing for which days or for how many days the allowance in question is being granted (there is no prescribed format for doing this).

Example 

With regard to the travel allowance, at present you can grant your employee a fixed travel allowance per month if he/she travels to a regular place of work on at least 128 days per calendar year. This allowance is based on 214 working days per year. The same method is taken as a basis for the homeworking allowance. In both cases (travel expenses and homeworking) you, as the employer, must plausibly demonstrate together with your employee, by means of written agreements, that he/she spends, for example, one day working at home and four days in the workplace. If not all days are worked, the maximum allowance must be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Your employee works 5 days, of which 3 at a regular place of work and 2 at home. The commuting distance is a round trip of 40 kilometers per day.

Travel allowance: 3 days/5 days x 214 days = 129 days x 40 kilometers x  0.19 =  980.40 euros per year and 81.70 euros per month.

Homeworking allowance: 2 days/5 days x 214 days = 86 days x  2 =  172 euros per year and 14.33 euros per month.

On the basis of the proposed scheme a total fixed allowance of 96,03 euros per month may be granted.

Under the current scheme the untaxed travel allowance amounts to 1,626.40 euros per year and 135.53 euros per month (214 days x 40 kilometers x  0.19). In the example the employee travels to the workplace on at least 128 days, which means that 214 days can be taken as a basis under the current scheme. This means that the untaxed fixed allowance will be lower on the basis of the new scheme. The new combined fixed allowance works out lower from a commuting distance of six kilometers or more.

Please note: Is your employee currently receiving a travel allowance, but also working from home? If so, you will need to take action before January 1st 2022!

The temporary increase in the fixed budget under the work-related expenses scheme is being withdrawn

As a result of the coronavirus crisis, in 2020 and 2021 the fixed budget under the work-related expenses scheme was increased to 3% on the first € 400,000 of the taxable wage bill. In 2022 the normal rate of 1.7% will apply again on the first € 400.000.

Taxation of share options at a more beneficial moment for employees

Paying employees in the form of share options is becoming more attractive. This will allow start-ups and scale-ups to attract talent more easily, for example. It will also boost new business development in the Netherlands.

At present, the employee pays tax on share options as soon as the option right received is converted into shares. In many cases the employee will not have sufficient funds to pay the tax at that moment, as it is not yet possible to sell the shares. In addition, the company may not have the funds to pay out the share option in cash. For these reasons it will now be possible to defer the moment of taxation until the shares become marketable. The tax can then be paid from (a portion of) the proceeds from the shares sold. 

The employee must inform the employer in writing of the chosen moment of taxation by the time the option right is exercised at the latest. This can be either the moment:

If the employee is not yet permitted to sell the shares due to a contractual agreement, the moment of taxation is deferred for up to a maximum of 5 years after the company’s listing. If the company was already listed when the share option right is exercised, the moment of taxation is deferred for up to a maximum of 5 years after the exercising of the option right. At the end of this period the shares are deemed to be marketable and the share option rights are taxed at their fair value at that time. Any dividends that have been paid out up to this point are also included in the levy as taxable salary.

It is possible that further regulations may be introduced for unlisted companies. The above changes will not apply to share option rights that are taxed before January 1st  2022.