I'm trying to estimate the salary of a postdoc position in the Netherlands. I know that if approved for the "30% ruling," 30% of the gross income is tax-free. But, there are three category in the 30% ruling: (i) Scientific position (for which salary is not a bar); (ii) under 30 with MSc (mainly for the PhDs); and (iii) 'other' category.

I'm using the tool www.thetax.nl to estimate it (I'm not affiliated with it or endorsing it)

Here is the situation:

  • Gross annual salary (including holiday allowance): 47297

  • Recruitment: from abroad. She is living (>150kms) since forever.

  • Last degree: PhD (this is a fresh start to a postdoc position).

  • Age: 30 before starting the position.

My questions are:

  1. If a postdoc gets approved for 30% ruling, then will he/she be considered under scientific position (for which salary is not a bar) or 'other' category of the ruling?

  2. What will be rough monthly salary?

  • 1
    What is a 30% ruling?
    – cag51
    May 10, 2020 at 18:22
  • 1
    If you move to the Netherlands from abroad, for some jobs, your income tax is 30% less. You can also opt to pay 30% less towards your pension pot.
    – Rob
    May 10, 2020 at 18:25
  • @Rob More precisely, 30% of the gross income is tax-free. May 10, 2020 at 18:31
  • @lighthouse keeper: the 30% of the gross income is tricky to calculate, depends on many factors (age, skilled labour, post-30% amount of salary). Generally, 30% rule applicable as long as your post-30% salary is not lower than the minimum taxable salary set by CAO. However, this doesn't apply to scientific research. And, THIS is the reason we aren't able to find the right numbers. If she qualifies for scientific category, then a (rough) flat 30% can be assumed, otherwise, only a portion of Salary (<30%) is tax-free.
    – Andy_Jake
    May 10, 2020 at 18:39
  • 1
    @Andy_Jake Ah yes, the minimum-salary condition. That is addressed explicitly on the same page: "Furthermore, for scientific researchers, employees working in scientific education or doctors in training, no minimum salary is required." May 11, 2020 at 6:59

1 Answer 1


Normally PhDs and Postdocs from abroad would be considered for the 30% ruling, simply increasing your net salary by adding 30% of your gross salary to the net salary. Concerning the salary, normally it would be around 3.1k I have colleagues who are postdocs and their salary is in that range. HR can help you in estimating the net salary and after your friend employee, HR will handle the process of 30% Ruling after being accepted by the municipality.

Dutch tax legislation provides a special facility for employees attracted from abroad who possess a special expertise that is scarce or cannot be found on the Dutch job market: the 30% ruling. Under this ruling, the employer can provide up to a maximum of 30% of the gross salary to the employee as a tax-free cost allowance`

For more details:https://www.utwente.nl/en/products-services/product/p339189/30-ruling#introduction

I hope that would be helpful.

  • 1
    Tx for the answers and support. It was more of a curiosity to find the right numbers. Anyways, tax estimators (e.g., www.thetax.nl; I'm not affiliated or endorsing it) ask for the category of 30% (scientific, under 30 with MSc, other). So, we stumbled upon writing the question as if she qualifies for the scientific category or not. I couldn't find anywhere the definition of scientific category.
    – Andy_Jake
    May 10, 2020 at 18:51
  • I promise you she would be considered for the ruling. Myself I was considered, others for first time to work abroad considered, dont worry about it :). The best she can do ask HR, I forgot the tool for calculating the net, but normally HR can tell her about the exact tool. Normally the ruling takes two-three months to be approved.
    – user116038
    May 10, 2020 at 18:53
  • Many thanks and likes Erik. :)
    – Andy_Jake
    May 10, 2020 at 18:55
  • you are so welcome and good luck :)
    – user116038
    May 10, 2020 at 19:09

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