UENL Commissions Objection Letter Template

As of 1 January, the #30Rule changes are now law. Recipients of the #30Rule began receiving notifications of this decision in late December from the Belastingdienst. What now? As UENL investigation potential legal action, there are several KEY things that you can do - most importantly, SUBMIT YOUR OBJECTION LETTER within six weeks of receiving your notification from the Belastingdienst.

Members of our community have asked us to provide a template letter to facilitate this objection. At UENL, we carefully investigated the requirements of this letter. It is important to realize that this is not an objection to a subjective decision but rather to a law change. This dramatically ups the ante.

The letter must be suitable for EVERY case and must include a “grounds to object the decision” - which should be based on the content of the legal analysis that was previously prepared by  Stibbe. Even more, to strengthen the objection letter, it should also indicate that UENL Stichting supports this objection and the community’s cause as a whole. In other words, this is a complex and critical letter that must rely on strong legal argumentation and must work for the myriad of unique situations in this community.

As a board, we did our due diligence for this community to ensure that we have the most comprehensive, accurate, and thorough letter that will facilitate any potential future legal action for ANY community member. In practice, this meant that - as a board -  we voted to commission Stibbe law firm to prepare this letter for us. We felt it was a sound, logical, and appropriate use of the funds that this community contributed to UENL’s efforts. It is important to note that this is a standalone scope of work for Stibbe. There is no commitment from any community member or UENL Stichting to continue with Stibbe should legal actions be pursued in the future.

We anticipate by COB Tuesday (hopefully earlier) that we will have a copy of this letter available for download on our website. The letter will be written in Dutch. We will provide a brief summary in English.

WHO SHOULD USE THIS LETTER

With the introduction of the 2-year transition, some beneficiaries will (technically) not be impacted at all. Others will be partially or heavily impacted. Ultimately, this is YOUR individual decision whether to use the objection letter. At this stage, there is no guarantee that the Belastingdienst will react to this letter and no guarantee as to what extent it will have a positive effect and outcome. There are times that the Belastingdienst calls individuals to discuss personal circumstances where other times such letters are simply ignored and legal action is the only option left.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

If you have decided to object, while you wait, gather and print copies of:

  • your #30Rule letter with original end date

  • your letter from Belastingdienst that you recently received with the revised end date,

  • your BSN number,

  • your Passport, AND

  • the full legal document that Stibbe prepared for us in the Fall (you can download this on the website).

We anticipate all of this information will need to be included with the letter.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO DO

As soon as the letter is available on our website, download, edit the personal details portion, print, sign, and mail (along w the materials referenced above). Make sure you are ready to go when the letter is released.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

This objection letter is a standalone Scope of Engagement for Stibbe. It does not, in any way, mean that you and/or UENL Stichting are required to work with Stibbe in the future. This letter is, however, REQUIRED if you hope to pursue any legal action.

SPREAD THE WORD

We assure you we are doing our very best to get this in your hands quickly. We will be arranging paid Facebook promotion to ensure the community knows of this available resource but please, if you know people affected by this law, inform them of this critical step.

DISCLAIMER

At UENL Stichting, we have always done our utmost to provide every community member with the best service and advice possible, given the constraints, the unknowns, and the complexity of the situation. This objection letter is again made solely to suggest and assist every community member in taking – what currently seems - the safest and most effective legal step. It is not and shall not be construed to be an admission of liability, an admission of the truth of any fact, on the part of UENL Stichting. Ultimately, we must emphasize this is your own decision.

***

Thank you, as always, for your support and encouragement. We know many of you have questions. We will do our utmost to answer them as quickly as possible. Please be patient :)

Your UENL Board

UENL - Year in Review, Next Steps

19 December

Dear all,

As we expected, the Eerste Kamer has voted to approve the Belastingplan2019. This means that the term limit to the #30Rule will be reduced to 5 years, but thanks to the efforts of many - including this community - there will be a transition period for many (not all) #30Rule recipients.

The new law will go into effect on 1 January 2019. For current #30Rule users, the enforcement of the 5 years will begin on 1 January 2021. This means that (1) current users with an original end date in 2019/2020 will see their term limit respected, (2) current users who exceed 5 years of use by January 2021 will see their #30Rule end on 31 December 2020, and (3) current users who have NOT exceeded the 5 years of use by January 2021 will see their term limit end once 5 years is reached.

Of course, our goal all along has been #aDEALisaDEAL for everyone. While this vote means that we did not get everything we hoped for, we did achieve so much together. Just look at some of our milestones:

  • We created and launched a powerful video that went viral (should out to Mike here for this talent, skills, and vision).

  • We delivered a petition to the Finance Committee that now has over 40,000 signatures along with a vibrant demonstration AND delivered a statement to the entire committee (shout out to Pavi for her demonstration skillz and our advisors for making sure we did this the right way). 

  • We corralled public support from organizations and unions (shout out to Engelbert here).

  • We received extensive national and international press attention.

  • We formed an official Stichting. 

  • We launched Project Real Stories (shout out to Ash and Mike here).

  • We raised more than 50000 euro to fund two persuasive legal documents (shout out to ALL OF YOU and to Massi and Mike for their careful attention to the legal steps).

  • We motivated numerous proposed amendments in the Tweede Kamer and had questions raised by members of Parliament throughout the debate season (kudos to our advisors who helped us learn what to do and how to do it!)

  • We blasted the Eerste Kamer with over 2000 emails in just 3 short days (shout out to ALL OF YOU!)

  • And the list goes on and on …

Ultimately, we raised attention to our efforts in a diplomatic and meaningful way, and thanks in part to these efforts (alongside corporate lobbying regarding the dividend tax), we ultimately received a transition period for many users of the #30Rule. Did we achieve everything we wanted? No. Not yet. But we achieved so much. We showed the power that raising our voices can have. We showed the power of taking a stand for something we believe in. This matters, and it is something I am truly thankful for.

I am also truly thankful for the UENL board who, without even meaning to, has become like family. Somehow, despite full time jobs and families and real life, we found a way to come together, fight together, and support one another. Through pizza nights and gin-and-tonics, through German beers and too much pepernoten, we debated and discussed every decision and have spoken nearly every day since April. It has required sacrificing time with families, late hours, long days – and despite it all – this board has kept going. It continues to be an honor to work with them. No matter how hard the journey has been (and it’s had some seriously challenging moments), this group has found a way to persevere. I feel privileged to work with this board, and equally privileged to have the support of this community.

I know that many of you want to know what comes next (especially in terms of legal action). This is an important and fair question. But first – I need my team to have a break. I want them to have a brilliant holiday season with their family and friends. They deserve it. And I want the same for all of you. Whatever you may do, however you may celebrate, I hope it brings you peace and joy. Come 2019, we will be back at it with plenty of updates.

But until then, I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season.

On behalf of the UENL board,
Jessica Piotrowski

UENL Hires Andersen Tax & Legal

UENL formed an official Stichting (Foundation) in August 2018. In doing so, UENL is required to comply with a variety of financial regulations. Even more, looking ahead, we are planning to apply for the status as an Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling (ANBI, i.e., Public Benefit Organization). 

To ensure full financial compliance, as well as to receive the necessary guidance for our ANBI application, we are happy to announce that we have hired Andersen Tax & Legal. Over the past few weeks, this group (in particular, Hans de Vries) has provided us helpful insights with respect to the #30Rule legislation as well as our own internal finances. We feel confident with this organization and look forward to working with Andersen in the months ahead.

A rapidly changing world doesn’t ask for beaten paths. It needs creativity and intuition. Thinking out of the box. Extending boundaries. Having the guts to strike new paths and aim to be the benchmark for quality in our industry. - Andersen Tax & Legal

Website: https://www.andersentaxlegal.nl/nl/team/

UENL’s Efforts: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

In September 2018, the Government announced its plans to reduce the #30Rule to a five-year term limit for current and new users of the #30Rule. The decision to break a deal with current users of the #30Rule was met with significant resistance by corporations, unions, lobbyists, and of course, the UENL community. Of particular note, UENL released a commissioned legal document which showed that the proposal violated Dutch law.

In October 2018, based on this resistance, the commissioned legal document, and a decision to maintain the dividend tax, the Government announced it would include SOME transition for SOME users of the #30Rule in the Belastingplan2019.

UENL, however, believes that #aDEALisaDEAL for EVERYONE – and to that end – UENL continued its efforts after October 2018 by requesting that existing term limits be respected for ALL current users of the #30Rule. UENL commissioned a second legal document which again showed that the proposal continues to violate Dutch law – specifically violating the principles of legal certainty, proportionality, and equality. In short, the #30Rule proposal – as included in the Belastingplan2019 – is counter to good governance.

With this information in hand, UENL continued its extensive lobbying efforts – ensuring that the Tweede Kamer was aware that treating current recipients of the #30Rule differently is damaging to the trustworthiness of the government and violates Dutch law. Ultimately, two different amendments were proposed by the opposition (GroenLinks & Socialist Party; PvdA & SGP) which respected term limits for ALL current users. The Tweede Kamer, however, rejected these amendments. The Tweede Kamer did vote to approve the revised Belastingplan2019.

UENL continues to believe that #aDEALisADEAL for everyone, As such, UENL will be taking two key steps in the coming weeks:

1.    Lobbying the Eerste Kamer. Formally, the role of the Eerste Kamer is to scrutinize the actions of the Government. The Eerste Kamer can only reject or accept legislation. They cannot propose amendments. They do, however, have several other options to influence change. Like the Tweede Kamer, members of the Eerste Kamer are entitled to put written questions to the Government. They also debate on the Government's budget which gives them the opportunity to debate current and future policy.  At UENL, we will be ensuring our voices are heard by the Eerste Kamer – including ensuring that our commissioned legal document is in the hands of the Eerste Kamer. Our main focus will be to reiterate that the #30Rule legislation in the Belastingplan2019 violates Dutch law. Although UENL will do its utmost, it is important to be realistic that the chances of successfully lobbying the Eerste Kamer are minimal.

2.    Evaluating our Legal Options. Given that our chances of successfully lobbying the Eerste Kamer are minimal, we believe it is also important to fully understand our legal options. We are currently evaluating all options to determine whether legal action in court is a reasonable next step. In the coming days, we will continue our ongoing conversations with our legal team as well as with legal advisors to identify what is the most feasible and realistic solution. We will then present our plan to our Community, along with the associated costs.

#aDEALisaDEAL

Revised 2019 Belastingplan Released

The revised 2019 Belastingplan has been released. The proposal, as written now, confirms our earlier expectations. Less than half of all #30Rule recipients are proposed to receive transition.

According to the proposal: #30Rule recipients whose term began in 2016 or later will not receive a transition period (and thus will lose three years of their promised term). Individuals whose start date began before 2016 will maintain their #30Rule until a maximum of 31 December 2020.

UENL is currently working with our legal advisors and legal firms to understand the legal ramifications of this proposal and potential next steps. Parliamentary debates will begin on 5 November, providing us an opportunity to convince Parliament to amend the proposal so that term limits are respected for all current recipients of the #30Rule.

We recommend that affected individuals speak with their own tax advisors or with the Belastingdienst to understand their personal situations.

#aDEALisaDEAL