Moving from Belgium to Nederlands - Does it worth?

Hello Friend,
I'm living in Belgium (south Brussels in Beersel) for a year, but last week I got a job offer in Nederlands, near Amersfoort.

As taxes in NL are lower than Belgium, the salary difference is around 1200 euros net more. I know this is good money, but here I have a Company Car + Fuel + Insurance + 150euros expense + Meal Voucher. In the NL offer I just have the fuel (no car).

Nederlands rents seem higher than Belgium (little far from Brussels), also the Health insurance in NL is higher (I pay 9euros to Mutualiteit). I will also need to buy a car (around 600euros leasing) + taxes + insurance.

1) So I think the extra money will only compensate the cost differences, what you guys think, are my assumptions correct? And Life quality? Equal?

2) My wife isn't working yet here in Belgium, due the language difficulty. We speak 4 languages each, but not French or Dutch, we're Learning French but takes time. It seems that only English jobs in NL are a little bit easier? Is this correct?

3) Here I'm learning Dutch for "Free", in NL they also have this kind of programs for Expats?

4) About Taxes.  I also notice that in NL that as I'm formerly married, me and my wife's income are considered together? Is possible to calculate the return value (this seems to make a huge difference)? Also the mortgage is directly deductible on taxes?^

Thanks for any help!

Hi and welcome back.

It depends; if it's a good move careerwise (i.e. a step-up your career ladder), then it's worth considering.

You seem fixated on costs; there's a website called Numbeo where you can compare a lot of life's living costs; this link will take you straight there.

While income taxes do seem quite low in the Netherlands, you then also need to add in the social taxes; you can't opt-out of them and if you don't intend to stay, then they can seem quite punitive as you don't get all the benefits.  There's an on-line tax calculator you can use to work out your taxes; this link will take you straight there.

The Dutch tax system has a thing called "Tax partner"; if you are married or in a permanent relationship, you will be regarded as being in a tax partnership; the Belastingdienst has a webpage devoted to this; this link will take you straight to it.

If you have a mortgage from a Dutch bank/financial institution, then you should be able to offset some of the costs against your taxes.

I don't know about learning Dutch for free; these things in the Netherlands are normally earnings-related; for example asylum seekers do get assistance.  I suspect you may have to pay for these yourselves.  My advice would be to ask at your local Gemeente, perhaps they organise something for Expats; here's a link to an organisation that offers NT2 course at a cost; I have no idea if they are good bad or indifferent, I learnt from my wife who as a Dutch mum is the worse kind of teacher. :)

If you have any further specific questions, please come back to us,

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

Thank you Cynic!

Yeah, I was using the Net value of this website to compare with my actual salary.

How much should I consider for Health insurance (two people no child)?

Also, this site gives me the tax for a combustion vehicle. What is the tax for Eletric Vehicles?

Hi again.

Health Insurance - cost will depend on what cover you want and how much "own risk" you are willing to pay should you use it; this link will take you to page with several suppliers and costs.

The Dutch government have a website to help you calculate your car tax, this link will take you straight there.

Expat Team

fernandoks wrote:

How much should I consider for Health insurance (two people no child)?

110 euros per person and an own risk of 385 euros per person.

Hi gentlemen,
thank you very much for the last answers!

I know that not much the place to ask, but anyone have any experience with the Visa exchange as Expat?

I mean, I have a Belgium Single Permit (still valid for more two years), and I already the sent the legalized documents to my employee.  They also required my Permit here in Belgium.

From the NL side I imagine will be pretty much the standard way, but from my Single Permit here in Belgium, it will be cancelled automatically?

Hi again.

I don't think it's a problem, assuming your new employer is registered with the IND, they apply for your work permit, once you have that, you can start work; these things can happen relatively quickly, before COVID, people had told us of getting their work permit back within 7 days; speak to your new employer and see what they have done; at the end of the day it is them who are employing you and they have a legal responsibility to only do this in accordance with the rules.

Practically, both countries are Schengen members, so you have an open border between the 2, nobody is going to stop you; the only thing you must remember to do personally is to make an appointment to register with the Gemeente where you are living within 5 working days; when you do that, you get your BSN number and can do things like open a bank account, register with a doctor, get health insurance, get your DigiD etc.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

Thank you for the great answer Cynic!

But what I'm worried about is if my Visa here in Belgium is automatically cancelled, then I may not be able to finish my actual company notice period (I have a contract established notice period). And I really don't want abandon the company without preparation.

Hi again.

I don't think there is any link between the 2; the Belgian authorities will only know if you or your employer in Belgium tells them and they will only know when you give them notice you are leaving in accordance with your contract with them.

If they choose to terminate your contract immediately; which I guess they can if, for example, you are going to work for a direct competitor, then it's one of the factors you have to take into account before you jump, so make sure you have enough money in the bank to support your family until your 1st paycheque in the Netherlands.  You don't have to disclose where you're going to, but the moment you do that, they will probably dismiss you anyway - any company would and I suspect if you were in their place, you would do the same.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

The new employee isn't a direct competitor, but I agree with you!
Thank you!

Just to add - if they do dismiss you, they can only do so under the current terms of your contract with any severance pay that is due.  You should note that the holiday scheme that appears to be in use in Belgium does not apply in the Netherlands, so you can't bring days with you.

Some other useful(?) information.  If you've never heard of it, the Netherlands has something called "The Bouwvak", basically the whole country goes to sleep and anything you need doing that involves a civil servant becomes impossible:

Region     Holiday dates

North     20-7-2020 t/m 7-8-2020
Middle     3-8-2020 t/m 21-8-2020
South     27-7-2020 t/m 14-8-2020

Knowing this doesn't help you get anything done, but it sometimes helps to know why you're being ignored.

Oh! This in very nice info!
But now is clear why the company is pressing so much to get all documents this week.

LOL - yes; I only remembered when my daughter just told me she couldn't get her window replaced until "after the bouw"

Well I can add one more thing: a lot of Dutch live at the border of the Netherlands in Belgium because a lot of things are way cheaper.  ;)  And of course they are still working in The Netherlands :P

LOL - I think I'd cut my wrists at the thought of commuting from anywhere in Belgium to Amersfoort.  But yes, the EU rules do make provision for cross border workers; some of my wife's friend live in Nordhorn and commute back to the Netherlands daily.

Yeah, here in Belgium I live 60km from work, but I can make in a OK time, 30-40 min.

In Nederlands will be a little bit harder, as I won't a have a car soon (I don't believe they will make a leasing for me). So need to be Bike + Public transport acceptable distance.

Did you get enough information for the questions and points in original question ? if yes, can you answer your own question?
I am also thinking to move to the Netherlands after sometime in long term (waiting for D card by next year). I don' t have job offer yet but curious to know more about if the movement is worth it?  I 'm living in Belgium(Brussels) for last 4.2 years.
If the taxes are low and the cost of living is high then probably I would not move to the Netherlands.
Also company car is possible in Belgium so not sure if it compensate the high tax in Belgium(and how much) ?
I have below objectives to move to the Netherlands:
- Taxes are low. you get more disposable income to spend
- Private international schools are cheaper
- larger expat population and English widely recognized in day to day work

I can assure you that the taxes are way higher in the Netherlands.

I don't know if the private schools are cheaper over here, because I don't make use of them. There aren't many of them in this country.

Yes a lot of Dutch people do speak some English, but if you want to work in the Netherlands you must learn Dutch. 95% of the jobs demand that you speak Dutch.

Housing is a lot more expensive in the Netherlands

sorry for not doing that before, but after 8 months living in Netherland, I can say I made a great decision.

Here some points:
1) Money - Taxes have higher number, but the taxable income are higher in NL, I posted the 2020 numbers below. If you can apply for 30% rule then this makes a huge difference, but I don't think you can due distance (150km to the border).
In my case, the salaries here are significantly higher (Engineering Jobs), and the car in Belgium for me is more a solution they found to this low taxable values.

€ 0 - 20.711    36,65%
€ 20.712 - 68.507    38,10%
€ 68.508+    51,75%

€ 0-13,540    25%
€ 13,540-23,900    40%
€ 23,900-41,360    45%
€41,360+    50%   

2) Culture and Living - IT and Engineering jobs are easily found in English. But other jobs, for sure you need the Dutch.  But in NL with just the English you can live well, and feel welcome. Of course if you want to merge into social groups, you need learn Dutch.
As you stated, "larger expat population and English widely recognized in day to day work", this is true, but I can assure the Dutch are more reserved people, but they are also more polite and respectful.

3) Housing and General costs - Everything costs more here, and rent MUCH more. Again, in my case the salary difference compensated everything. One thing about rent, is that in NL makes much more sense in buying a house then renting, obviously only if you have the intention of staying longer (you can find mortgages near 1,5% a year).

For my point of view, quality of life here is higher than Belgium, also a more welcoming place for Expats. This together with the Higher salaries made NL my new home.

I would really recommend you to find a job before so you can get a better understanding of your situation.

thanks for the information. It helps.

Is there any other benefits does company gives you in Netherlands? like meal coupon, car, other allowances ?
Basesd on your tax rates given, I can see there will be difference of +/- 1000€ in salaries on belgium and netherlands( for same gross 4800 € pm,without car and same family).
Also in netherlands also, is it 13.92 salary or counted for 12 months ?

Here you have 12 + Holliday allowances (8% per month, so 12,96%).
Meal voucher are not common in NL. Car also not usual, only in jobs you need the car (like sales). 

You usually get Travel Allowances per km (usually 0,14-0,19cents per km). Some companies you have a year bonus, and others they pay you the Health Insurance. But this is company specific.