Please be aware that this resource is informational only, and many external factors, unique to your company might apply.
Each company must make their own decisions about how they meet their tax obligations.


 

Employees in the Netherlands are entitled to per diems as compensation for the increased costs of meals and lodging when on a business trip. Per diems are not considered part of an employee’s pay and are thus tax free up to a certain allowed amount. The allowed amounts differ whether it is a business trip within the Netherlands or a business trip abroad.

Domestic business trips

Employees in the Netherlands are entitled to per diems as compensation for the increased costs of meals and lodging when on a business trip. Per diems are not considered part of an employee’s pay and are thus tax-free up to a certain allowed amount. The allowed amounts differ whether it is a business trip within the Netherlands or a business trip abroad.

The requirement for this domestic Per Diem are the following:

  • the business trip lasts at least 4 hours;
  • the destination of the business trip is in another municipality or at least one kilometer from the employee’s primary place of work.

    The Per Diem rates for domestic business trips are updated every year, on January 1st. The Per Diem is composed of the following components:

    Small expenses during the day €5,64
    Small expenses in the evening €16,82 This applies if the employee stays overnight because of the business trip
    Lodging €115,36 This is the amount per night
    Breakfast €11,27 This applies if the employee stayed overnight because of the business trip
    Lunch €17,44 This applies to every period from 12:00 to 14:00 that falls within your business trip
    Dinner €26,39 This applies to any period from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. that falls within your business trip.

     

    If the employee gets a meal for free (for example, if a free breakfast is supplied by the hotel), this needs to be deducted from the per diem allowance.

    It is important to note that the reimbursement for lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner needs to be incurred in an establishment intended for this purpose, which is further defined as a generally accessible facility that offers accommodation and/or meals and/or drinks for consumption.

    Lower daily allowance

    In case you often make business trips as an employee and in case the nature of your work or travel circumstances gives cause for this, your employer can set a lower daily allowance.

    If the business trip lasts longer than 8 days, the allowance for small expenses in the evening is halved as of the 9th day.

    Fixed allowance for business trips

    Instead of the allowances per business trip, your employer can also give you a fixed allowance per month or per quarter for your business trip expenses. When determining the amount for this, your employer will take the number of business trips that you usually make and the compensation you receive on average.

    Your fixed fee cannot exceed the fees it replaces.

    If changes occur that are important for the amount of the fixed fee, that fee will be adjusted accordingly. The employee is obliged to inform their employer of such changes.

    Business trips abroad

    The allowed amount of daily allowance for a business trip abroad differs depending on the country. The list of allowances per country is set out in attachment 6 of the CAO Rijk and updated on the 1st of January and on the 1st of July every year. You can find the daily allowances per country applicable as of July 1st 2022 here.

    The following situations are exceptions to the allowed amount of daily allowances:

    • In case part of your business trip within the Netherlands that is four hours or longer and that connects to a trip or travel by plane or boat, the rules and reimbursement amounts for domestic business travel apply for that part of the journey;
    • In case parts of the journey are not made by plane or boat and for which no expenses are to be made for accommodation, these parts are added to a subsequent or previous part of the journey and reimbursed according to the rate for that part of the journey.

      If you can prove with evidence that the reimbursement of the daily allowance is not sufficient, your employer may decide to reimburse the additional expenses in whole or in part.

      As mentioned above, the allowed amount of the daily allowance depends on the destination of the business trip. The list includes two columns: the maximum accommodation costs and the other costs.

      The other costs are composed of the following components, as a percentage of the number of other costs associated with the destination of the business trip:

      Small expenses 1,5% For every hour that the business trip lasts (for example 36% for 24 hours)
      Breakfast 12% This applies to every period from 6:00 am to 8:00 am that falls within your business trip
      Lunch 20% This applies to every period from 12:00 to 14:00 that falls within your business trip
      Dinner 32% This applies to any period from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. that falls within your business trip.

       

      If the employee gets a meal for free (for example, if a free breakfast is supplied by the hotel), this needs to be deducted from the per diem allowance.

      The supporting document submitted with the claim for the employees’ accommodation — including breakfast — might not be subdivided. In that case, the employee is entitled to get reimbursement of the costs, as stated on the supporting document, up to a maximum of the sum of the reimbursement amounts for bed and breakfast applicable to your temporary residence.

      Important to note is that the reimbursements for breakfast, lunch and dinner need to be incurred in an establishment intended for this purpose, which is further defined as a generally accessible facility that offers accommodation and/or meals and/or drinks for consumption.

      You are entitled to reimbursement for your accommodation costs up to a maximum of the amount stated there for your temporary residence in the rate list. If you do not submit proof of these costs, you will be reimbursed € 11.34 per overnight stay for a maximum of four nights per business trip.

      Lower daily allowance

      In case you often make business trips as an employee and in case the nature of your work or travel circumstances give cause for this, your employer can set a lower daily allowance.

      To qualify for this, the business trip must last longer than 60 days and the employee must perform the work in or from one specific temporary residence outside the Netherlands.

      The lower daily allowance entails that the employer halves the allowance for small expenses, breakfast, lunch and dinner as of the 61st day. If circumstances ask for it, the employer may decide to apply for this lower daily allowance earlier.

      No daily allowance

      You are not entitled to a daily allowance for:

      • A business trip shorter than 4 hours;
      • A part of the trip in the Netherlands shorter than 4 hours connects to a journey or part of the journey by plane or boat. In that case, you are entitled to reimbursement of accommodation costs for a connecting flight within Europe;
      • A part of the trip by plane for air travel outside Europe
      • A visiting trip during a long-term business trip. You are entitled to reimbursement of accommodation costs for parts of your visiting trip for the journey from your temporary residence to your regular place of residence.

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