Rent allowance, the most frequently asked questions

Under certain conditions you are entitled to a housing allowance. For most Dutch people it is still known as rental subsidy, but the name has changed since 2006. In this article you will find some frequently asked questions. The rental allowance must ensure that people with lower incomes receive compensation to be able to live in affordable rental housing. The allowance must compensate lower incomes for the excessively high rents. As of January 1, 2006, this allowance replaced the rental subsidy.

Am I entitled to housing allowance?

Your right to housing allowance depends on several factors. Every year, the tax authorities will determine the extent to which you have rights based on your situation. Your rights depend, among other things, on:

  • Your personal situation: at least 18 years old or a minor and married. You have Dutch nationality;
  • The house you live in: You must have your own kitchen, toilet and front door. The rent does not exceed approximately €635 (lower maximum amounts apply for younger tenants up to 23 years old);
  • Income and assets: The family income may not exceed ± 29,000, and for singles a maximum of ± 21,000. The assets of tenants up to the age of 65 amount to a maximum of ± 21,000, for those over 65 the maximum assets depend on income.

How do I apply for housing allowance?

Rent allowance must be applied for from the Tax Authorities. You do this by requesting the rental and healthcare allowance application program and change program for the year to which it relates. This program also immediately makes a calculation to determine whether you are entitled to healthcare allowance. You can also make a test calculation on Toeslagen.nl.

What is DigiD?

A DigiD is a login code. You can request this via Digid.nl. You can request and manage more and more government affairs via the internet. In order to handle this confidential data properly, the authorities must be sure that it is really you and not someone who is abusing your data. A Digid can be compared to a signature. To digitally send the application or change in rent allowance, every taxpayer (including allowance partner) must enter his or her Digid with a password.

How much housing benefit am I entitled to?

The amount of the rental allowance must be calculated. You can make a test calculation via the Tax Authorities’ website. Rent allowance can amount to a maximum monthly amount of 300.

When will I receive the money?

After applying to the tax authorities, you will receive a confirmation at home. You will then receive the money every month around the 20th of the month.

Do I have to report changes in my income/salary?

Yes, you can do this by calling the Tax Line (0800 0543) or using the Change Assessment Income form. You can download the program from Toeslagen.nl.

When should I apply for housing benefit?

You can apply for a allowance for a year up to a maximum of April 1 of the following year. You can therefore apply for rent allowance for 2010 up to April 1, 2011. The period may be longer if a postponement has been requested.

How long does it take before the rent allowance comes into effect?

After applying, you must take into account a processing time of 8 to 12 weeks. You can request the status via the tax telephone.

I have received too much housing allowance, do I have to pay it back now?

When you file your annual tax return, the tax authorities always discover that you have received too much allowance. They will reclaim this. In that case you can expect a recovery decision.

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