Dutch Contractor Financial Checklist 2014
If moving to the Netherlands or paying income tax to the Dutch authorities, expatriates are expected to purchase health insurance through a Dutch insurance company. Health insurance packages are variable, certainly depending on the package selected. Prices can range from €95 to €350.
This is a must have if living and working in the Netherlands. Should you, your children, partner or pet damage another individual’s property then your party will be held responsible for costs; you will be expected to have this insurance cover. Usually included in your household insurance, it can be purchased separately for around €35 a month.
Cost of Accommodation in the Netherlands
Finding a place suited to your taste as accommodation is often a challenge. In large cities it can be time consuming and much more expensive. The Netherlands is no exception with Amsterdam and The Hague being a very costly place to live in.
Alongside this, buying a house in the Netherlands is often very complicated. It is recommended to use an English-speaking intermediary. Once a house is purchased, the buyer is then required to invest in house insurance – this will cost about €45 a month. The homeowner is also responsible for housing tax of €300 a year. This amount will depend on the on the location and size of the house. A further cost is sewerage and refuse – averaging €200 a year.
Renting a house exempts tenants from the above costs; the costs are the responsibility of the owner. However, don’t rule them out as they may be in addition to rent.
Clothing is often pricey within Dutch borders. A large number of foreign companies add mark-ups to their clothing products compared to the prices sold in their countries of origin.
You will be able to find almost all the usual major high-street stores found in the UK. For work clothing, Men @ Work and Etam are widely available but can be expensive. Cheaper alternatives, such as V & D or HEMA, are around but the quality will be of a lesser amount.
The majority of Dutch public transport now use chip and pin card systems; including trams, trains, buses and other metro transport types. Average costs are not overly high, for example; a one-way ticket for train travel from Schiphol airport to Amsterdam’s main train station is around €3.80. A similar journey from Amsterdam to Utrecht is around €6.80.
However, taxis are very high cost. A typical 12km journey will set you back around the €35 mark. For cost cutting there is a sharing taxi known as a ‘Deeltaxi’. This works by charging a zone pricing system and expatriates share their journey with other people. This brings the cost down dramatically (a 12km journey will cost as little as €8.50) but you will need time on your side as you will zig-zag all over the city first.
Eating and Drinking Out
Compared to other EU countries, cigarette products and alcoholic drinks are relatively cheap. Yet, eating at a restaurant is pricy. Fast food prices are similar to the UK.
Tips are usually included in a service charge, so tipping isn’t always necessary. Leaving a 10% tip from the total bill is customary when paying for a taxi and leaving a small tip is expected for waiters and waitresses if they provide a good service.
Every child within the Netherlands is entitled, until they are aged 18 and over, to childcare benefit. This is given quarterly, or every three months, and is based on the individuals or couples situation and gross income.
Average Cost of Living in the Netherlands (Prices from Amsterdam, 2014)
Accommodation Costs Per Month
One Bedroom Amsterdam Central Apartment – €1,500
One Bedroom Amsterdam Apartment Out with the Center – €1,000
Three Bedroom Central Apartment – €2,240
Three Bedroom Apartment out with the Center – €1,450
Milk – 1 Litre – €1.10
Loaf of Bread – €1.40
1KG of Rice – €1.70
12 Eggs – €2.50
1KG of Chicken Breasts – €6.90
Marlboro Cigarettes – €5.96
Per minute – mobile to mobile call rate – €0.33
Internet Monthly 1.5mb/s package – €20
Gas, Water and Electricity – €160
Three Course Meal at Normal Restaurant – €35-60
Big Mac – €3.50
Café’ Coffee – €2.70
Beer – €4.20
Bottle of Coke – €2
Rate per KM in Taxi – €2.08
City Centre Train Fare – €2.80
Petrol Per Litre – €1.77
Yearly Tax Return
At the end of April (the end of the financial year) everyone living in the Netherlands is required to declare their income and expenses from the past financial year. Based on the individuals claims and declarations, the Dutch government will therefore decide whether the individual must pay back certain amounts of receive a cash payment. As a given example; a family with two working parents and one child in day care can claim back around €2,500 each year.
It is highly recommended that expatriates get an industry expert or industrial professional to assist with taxes – as this can be a very complicated Dutch process.