Expat movement gains momentum

Last month, the Dutch government announced its intention to change the 30% tax ruling applicable to expats. This caused outrage among the expat community. They are, in particular, unhappy about the retrospective aspect of the proposed change.

In response, a Facebook page called the “International Professionals against Retroactive Ruling (IPARR)” was formed. They have since changed their name to “United Expats of The Netherlands”, or just “United Expats”. The response to their ‘call to arms’ has been overwhelming. The group was started from scratch 20 days ago. A week ago, it had a little over 3.000 members; now it has more than 5.000.

The group’s administrator, Engelbert Felberthann, writes, “What started out as a group of a few people with a common goal just two weeks ago, has morphed into an organised movement across the Netherlands. In the coming months, you will see many more activities. We will be in the press and we will be attracting more members and as many allies as possible.”

“To make sure we are successful with our common mission, we will need our message to be crystal clear. To do this, we will be launching a website, a video message to the Dutch government, creating some branded marketing content to help spread our message far, and a new name for our Facebook site. This name both conveys the strength of our community, as well as our unity with the country we are calling home #aDealisaDeal“, he continues.

Another member of the group has launched a trending gofundme campaign, called the “United Expats Fight Fund”.It states, “Help us fund the effort to fight and reverse the decision by the Dutch Government to make changes to the 30% ruling effective for current expats residing in the Netherlands. Afspraak is Afspraak. A Deal is a Deal.”

It goes on to say, “We support the authority of the Dutch Government to change their policy towards the 30% ruling for future expats as they see fit. However, these changes should not impact current expats already residing here in the Netherlands. As was done in the past when amendments to the law were made, transitional regulation should be included in the legislation so that current recipients of the 30% ruling are not affected.”

The founders of this campaign have said that any unused funds will be donated to a Dutch-based charity helping expats, immigrants, or refugees by Feb 2019.

A petition has also be set up on www.change.org. Its original goal of 10 000 signatures has long been exceeded, with the numbers now standing at close to 22 000.

Anyone who wants more information can visit the United Expats Facebook page or send an email to corporatestrategyiparr@gmail.com.

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