Benefits & allowances

In the Netherlands students can apply for different benefits and allowances (‘toeslagen’). These are created by the Dutch government to help lower income groups, usually including students, with their basic monthly costs for living. Especially the payment of rent and Dutch health insurance. For that reason, it is important to look into the possibility of applying for healthcare allowance (‘zorgtoeslag’) and rent benefit (‘huurtoeslag’). Last but not least, you might be eligible for different Dutch tax benefits.

Dutch Healthcare allowance

Healthcare allowance or healthcare benefit (‘zorgtoeslag’) is financial aid by the government for lower income groups to contribute in the costs of Dutch healthcare insurance. In the Netherlands social security is not financed through taxes. Therefore, all Dutch residents and citizens need to take out their own healthcare insurance. In 2021, the maximum amount of healthcare allowance you can receive is €107,- (for individuals) and €207,- (for partners). To find out if you qualify for the general conditions you can visit our page with extensive information on healthcare allowance.

The healthcare allowance is calculated taking into account your income, capital and fiscal partner (‘toeslagpartner’). The total of your assets minus your debts is your capital. Examples of assets are company shares, personal savings or ownership of a holiday home. What are the income and capital requirements in 2021 to be able to apply for healthcare allowance?

Income Capital

Individual

Max. €31.138

Max. €118.479

Fiscal partners

Max. €39.979

Max. €149.819

You can use our healthcare allowance calculator to figure out how much ‘zorgtoeslag’ you can receive.

When is someone my ‘Toeslagpartner’?

The toeslagpartner is a fiscal partner. There are several situations in which someone can be your fiscal partner. Only 1 person can be your toeslagpartner, therefore the following situations are prioritized in this order:

  • You and your partner signed a cohabitation contract;
  • Together with your partner you have a child or;
  • Acknowledged a child from someone else;
  • You’re partners for a pension scheme;
  • You live in an owner-occupied home;
  • One of the fellow residents is a child under 18 years old;
  • You’re fiscal partners for the income tax;
  • Last year you were fiscal partners.

Dutch Rent benefit

The rent benefit or housing allowance in the Netherlands is a government contribution in the payment of your monthly rent. To qualify for rent benefit, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

  • You’re 18 years or older
  • You’re living in the Netherlands
  • You have the Dutch nationality or are legally residing in the Netherlands
  • You’ve signed a rental lease contract with your landlord
  • You’re paying rent and can prove this by presenting a bank statement
  • You’ve rented an independent space to live
  • You and your fellow residents are registered with your home address at your local municipality
  • Your income and capital, as well as that of your fiscal partner, can’t be too high
  • Your rent and service costs can’t be too high (this variable depends on other factors such as your age, the rent and household composition)

What is an independent living space?

An independent living space can be described as a home with private access. You need to be able to lock the front door from both the inside and the outside. Furthermore, you need to have your own kitchen and toilet. Student homes that share a kitchen and toilet are not considered independent. However, in case you live in a student home where you only share the front door and stairs you might still qualify for rent allowance. Another exception is student housing complexes that have been designated rent benefit before the 1st of July 1997.

What is the maximum rent to apply for rent allowance?

To qualify for rent allowance, different conditions apply depending on your age and if you are a parent. If you are:

  • Under the age of 23 years old without a child: maximum rent of €442,46 (2021)
  • Above the age of 23 years old: maximum rent of €752,33 (2021)
  • A parent and have a child living with you: maximum rent of €752,33 (2021)

The indicated age limit applies to all members of the household. If any of the members is above the age of 23 years old, the high maximum rent applies.

What is the maximum capital to apply for rent allowance?

A maximum capital is established in order to apply for rent allowance in 2021. Capital can include savings, shares, cryptocurrency and in case you’re a parent of a child under the age of 18 years old, the capital of your child.

Capital

Individual

Max. €31.340

Fiscal partners

Max. €62.680

Every other fellow resident

Max. €31.340

Apply for healthcare or rent allowance

The easiest way to apply for healthcare or rent allowance is online by means of your DigiD. You can visit the website of the Belastingdienst (Tax Authority) and access the ‘Mijn toeslagen’ (My Allowances) section. If you have any questions, you can also call the Tax Information Line.

Dutch tax benefits

If you work and study at the same time, you might qualify for certain Dutch tax breaks. We will discuss the ‘algemene heffingskorting’ (general tax credit) and ‘arbeidskorting’ (labour tax credit).

Algemene heffingskorting (general tax credit)

The general tax credit, the so called ‘algemene heffingskorting’, is a tax deduction applied to your income tax. If you can receive the general tax credit mainly depends on your income. Your employer is responsible for calculating and crediting the general tax credit through your salary. Personally you don’t have to undertake any action to receive the credit. The credit can amount to:

  • €2.711 (income under €20.711)
  • €2.711 minus 5,672% (taxable income – €20.711) for incomes in the range of €20.711 to €68.507
  • If you earn over €68.507 you don’t qualify for general tax credit

Arbeidskorting (labour tax credit)

The arbeidskorting, also called loonheffingskorting, is a labour tax credit that every person that works in the Netherlands can receive. In this case, your employer is also responsible for calculating and applying the labour tax credit to your salary. If you’re a freelancer or have your own company, it’s not until your annual tax return when the credits are finally calculated. Depending of your income, the labour tax credit can amount to:

  • You earn between €0-€9,921: (2,812% x income)
  • You earn between €9,921-€21.430: €279 + (28,812% x income minus €9.921)
  • You earn between €21.430-€34.954: €3.595 + (1,656% x income minus €21.430)
  • You earn between €34.954-€98.604: €3.819 + (6% x income minus €34.954)
  • You earn over €98.604: you are not entitled to labour tax credit