Finance

Mileage allowance of 19 cents ‘far too low’, shouldn’t it be increased?

At the Business Drivers Association (VRZ) they have been convinced for years. Employers are allowed to pay 19 cents per kilometer tax-free to their employees as compensation for every kilometer they travel to get to work. That amount has not changed since 2006.

The 19 cents is by no means enough, says Jan van Delft, chairman of the interest group. If the amount had increased at the same rate as inflation, there should now be a 24-cent mileage allowance.

Form of theft

“And that is the minimum, you should actually be at 30 cents because of the increased fixed costs and the fuel price,” says Van Delft. “It’s a form of theft: costs that are not covered while the boss demands that staff have a car.”

An increase can also contribute to solving the staff shortage, claims Van Delft. “We are desperate for people in education, for example, but they drop out because they also think: I am not a thief of my own wallet.”

“We all want BV Netherlands to run smoothly to get out of the crisis. We have to facilitate that,” says Van Delft.

Higher compensation ‘very complicated’

The interest group is supported by the employers’ organization AWVN. “We have often insisted on indexation, but it doesn’t seem to be happening,” says spokesperson Jannes van der Velde.

Companies could of course also pay more, but they do not. “If you pay out 25 cents, you suddenly have 6 cents in wages. That becomes very complicated administratively and companies really don’t feel like it at all,” explains Van de Velde. As long as the tax-free amount does not increase, the employee is ‘out of luck’. “Ultimately, it’s politics that determines this,” he says.

Room for the employer

At the Ministry of Finance, the ball is bounced back. “Employers are free to reimburse employees more than 19 cents per kilometer”, spokesperson Jacco Neleman said on behalf of State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief. He also points out that employers can use the discretionary scope of the work-related costs scheme for this.

An increase of the 19 cents is not possible, partly because the compensation applies to all types of transport. “Compensating for increased fuel prices would mean that you would also pay extra for cycling or walking, for example, while the costs have not increased,” Neleman emailed.

Less revenue treasury

There is another reason that the ministry does not want to increase the amount: it costs the treasury money. For every 1 cent increase, the state misses out on 130 million euros in tax revenue, Neleman reports.

The appeal of the AWVN and VZR can also count on little support from other interest groups. Interest groups such as ANWB and Bovag give priority to lobbying for their own tax plan for cars, with the most important change that taxes and excise duties are aimed at consumption of the car instead of ownership.

At the same time, it seems that people do not want to burn their hands in favor of increasing tax benefits for the car-driving commuter. “We do not act as a spokesperson or booster on this subject,” said spokesman Tom Huyskens of de Bovag.

“We have no opinion about this, this discussion belongs to employers and employees,” says his counterpart from the ANWB, Markus van Tol.

More pay for everyone

And the priorities of the unions are also elsewhere at the moment: more money for all workers instead of just for people who go to work by car. Both CNV and FNV therefore mainly focus on wage increases in the collective labor agreements. “It best absorbs the blow of higher petrol prices and other increased costs,” says Jolanda van Zwieten of CNV.

At the union they are also afraid that increasing the compensation will have a negative side effect in the form of more traffic jams. “A higher mileage allowance can also lead to more road traffic,” says Van Zwieten.

Other ways

The FNV also points out that employers can also compensate staff for increased costs in other ways, such as through the work-related costs scheme or a mobility budget. “And from January there is also some room to compensate employees with the homework allowance,” says Annika Heerekop of the union.

If the Senate and House of Representatives agree, employers may from January 1 next year, pay 2 euros per day for the costs of working from home.

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