Maarten Vink and MSc ES Lea Smidt author study on cross-border mobility

Maarten Vink, professor of political science, and Lea Smidt, master’s student European Studies have co-authored a report analysing the population of non-resident workers in the Netherlands as of 1 December 2014 to estimate the potential cross-border impact of the qualifying foreign taxpayer obligation (‘90% rule’) that took effect on 1 January 2015. The report is part of the Cross-border Impact Assessment 2017 published by the ITEM institute.

Maarten Vink, professor of political science and co-director of the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development and Lea Smidt, a student of the MSc European Studies (research) have co-authored a report on cross-border mobility. The study is part of the Cross-border Impact Assessment 2017 published on 10 November 2017 by the Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross-border cooperation and mobility (ITEM) and was co-authored by Johan van der Valk, of Statistics Netherlands and Marcel Schapers, of the Law Faculty.

The study analyses the population of non-resident workers in the Netherlands as of 1 December 2014 to estimate the potential cross-border impact of the qualifying foreign taxpayer obligation (“90% rule”) that took effect on 1 January 2015. The legislation establishes that non-resident taxpayers in the Netherlands may benefit from the same deductions and tax credits as resident taxpayers only if they earn 90% of their global income in the Netherlands. The Court of Justice of the EU has already established in 2016 that this legislation infringes on the principles of freedom of movement for workers. By providing a statistical overview of non-resident employees in the Netherlands one month before the 90% rule took effect, based on data from Statistics Netherlands, this ex-ante assessment provides a preliminary benchmark for a measure of the impact of the new tax regime. Future impact assessments can estimate the ex-post effects of the legislation on the aforementioned principles of European integration against this benchmark. The study finds that the 90% rule likely reduces the positive effects of EU labour mobility, especially in the Dutch border COROPs. While some workers may be willing to move to the Netherlands, others might seek to change their employer to benefit from tax deductions in their country of residence. Besides counteracting the application of EU rights and principles, this has potentially adverse effects on investment and skills in the border regions.

The expertise centre Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross-border cooperation and mobility (ITEM) operates at the convergence of research, counselling, knowledge exchange, and training activities in the domain of cross-border mobility and cooperation. The member states of the EU are confronted with great challenges following the increasing globalisation of the economy and the internationalisation of the current and future society. ITEM is an interdisciplinary institute which was initiated by Maastricht University (UM) in cooperation with Zuyd Hogeschool, NEIMED, the (Dutch) province of Limburg, the city of Maastricht and the Meuse-Rhine Euregion.

One of ITEM’s research activities is the development and application of an annual cross-border impact assessment. This assessment has the aim to contribute to the exploration and identification of (potential) negative or positive cross-border effects of planned legislation or policy initiatives.

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