I have recently accepted a new academic position in the Netherlands. Netherlands has a generous so-called 30% rule for high skilled expats:
you are paying taxes only for the 70% of your income and the rest 30% is given to you as a tax-free allowance. This, in practice, means about 20% higher net salary.
I easily got this rule 2 years ago for another academic position again in NL. The duration for the 30% rule is 8 years so I should have it for the next 6 years and nobody from HR mentioned any plans from the government of reducing it. Unfortunately, yesterday I read in the news that Dutch government completed a draft proposal which reduces the 30% rule from 8 to 5 years. What is worth noting is that, in case the draft becomes a law (which most probably will, since this is the final proposal) will have a retroactive effect :
Concreet betekent dit dat het kabinet in het pakket Belastingplan 2019 zal voorstellen de maximale looptijd van de 30%-regeling met ingang van 1 januari 2019 voor zowel nieuwe als bestaande gevallen met drie jaar te verkorten.
One of the factors that made me accepted the new offer was the 30% rule for the remaining 6 years (I planned to buy house immediately). Now I see that this might not very well be true. What is even worse is that I turned down a great Research position (in a high tech company) offering about 60% more salary. I thought the 30% rule would partly compensate about it, but probably it will not.
I will not ask about the legal aspects of the draft law nor about the ethical dimension of this although you can see here what the relevant tax authorities say about shortening the period of 8 years.
Is it too late to turn down the academic offer? I have accepted it on e-mail but I haven't signed anything yet and haven't even seen the contract. If yes, what is the best way to do this?
Is anything similar happening to any other country and how do academics people deal with it?
Apparently, a lot of expats taking advantage of this rule get frustrated and set up an e-vote against the draft.