On 14 August 2015, the Lower Court Zeeland - West-Brabant ruled in a situation in which an employee - whose employment contract had been terminated - claimed to remain entitled to the 30%-ruling during the period he was relieved from his duties (‘garden leave’). The 30%-ruling is applicable to income from present employment only. The Court confirmed that payment of salary during garden leave qualifies as income from present employment. However, to benefit from the 30%-ruling, an employee must actually be performing work for his employer. If he is relieved from duties, the 30%-ruling cannot be applied after the last day of the month (or other pay period) following the month in which he stopped work. 

If an employee starts work for a new employer and wants to continue the 30%-ruling, the new employment contract has to be concluded within three months after termination of the former employment. Now, in line with the new case law, the tax authorities take the standpoint that this three month-period starts on the last day actually worked by the employee, thus at the start of the garden leave, and not as from the formal termination date of the contract!

The verdict has not yet been published, but the case will not be brought before a higher court