The European Commission has presented its arguments in the case pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) concerning the viability of the 150-kilometer limit applied in the 30% ruling. Under the 30% ruling, 30% of the salary of employees recruited from abroad who have specific expertise that is scarce on the Dutch job market, can be paid as a tax-free allowance, although this is subject to conditions.

However, as of  January 1, 2012, employees from abroad who resided less than 150 kilometers from the Dutch border during more than two-thirds of the 24 months preceding the commencement of their employment or secondment in the Netherlands, are no longer eligible for the 30% ruling. According to the European Commission, the 150-kilometer limit is a prohibited restriction on the free movement of workers. It considers this condition disproportionate. The Commission prefers a less far-reaching measure, such as a criterion based on the commuting distance.

For the sake of completeness, we note that, while the European Commission can announce its position and put forward its arguments during proceedings pending before the CJEU, the arguments have no legal force and therefore the CJEU is not obliged to take them into account. It remains to be seen to what extent the CJEU will take account of the European Commission’s arguments in the pending proceedings.