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Commuting allowance and relocation expenses during Covid-19

Working from home also affects the University of Twente’s tax arrangements, including the University’s regulations governing allowances for relocation expenses, temporary accommodation and commuting. From 1 September 2021, the following rules apply.

FIXED COMMUTING ALLOWANCE (OPTIONAL MODEL FOR EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS)

Until 1 January 2021, the entitlement to a fixed travel allowance was still in place, including arrangements made through the Optional Model for Employment Conditions. Your commuting allowance was still paid on a monthly basis.

On 1 January 2021, this arrangement came to an end: fixed travel allowances, including those arranged through the Optional Model for Employment Conditions, no longer apply. For this reason, the commuting allowance option in the 2021 Optional Model for Employment Conditions will remain unavailable for the time being.

Staff with a permanent contract and/or living within the work location (<25 km from the University of Twente) who, had it not been for the Covid pandemic, could have obtained a tax benefit for a commuting allowance through the Optional Model for Employment Conditions can make use of a temporary measure from 1 September 2021 to 31 December 2021.

These members of staff can claim the kilometres they have travelled to work at a rate of €0.10 per km, up to a maximum of 75 km for a single journey. These expenses can be claimed through MyHR/Afas: My Claims.

The above arrangement is valid up to and including 31 December 2021, after which it may expire or be modified in line with developments resulting from taxation or the collective labour agreement. You will be informed of any such changes well in advance.

COMMUTING ALLOWANCE FOR STAFF ON A TEMPORARY CONTRACT WHO TRAVEL ON THE NS-BUSINESS CARD

If you are on a temporary contract and you live over 25 kilometres from Campus or the Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) building, then as a rule you are entitled to use an NS-Business Card for your daily commute. The advice to avoid public transport is no longer in force..

Employees with a temporary contract who live outside their work location (>25 km from the University of Twente) and for whom it is not practicable to travel to work by public transport may claim the kilometres they travel to and from work by car, provided that they meet the conditions laid down in the University’s Regulations for relocation, temporary accommodation, and commuting allowances. Claims can only be made for actual travel expenses incurred.

NS SEASON TICKETS

Some employees who are entitled to use an NS-Business Card for commuting also have a season ticket on their card. However, this only makes financial sense for those who travel to and from the University frequently. Since a great deal of work is currently being done from home, these season tickets will be discontinued in consultation with the members of staff concerned. The NS-Business Card can still be used for commuting if the individual concerned is eligible under the University’s regulations governing allowances for relocation expenses, temporary accommodation and commuting.

RELOCATION ALLOWANCE

The tax-free relocation allowance applies to staff who move home within two years of starting employment. If you had been planning to move but the current situation is preventing you from doing so, your entitlement to the tax-free relocation allowance may expire in the meantime. The University is not in a position to compensate you under these circumstances.

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