Offset of commuting allowance against gross income

You are eligible for an allowance for your commuting expenses. This allowance does not cover all your expenses, but the use of your gross income means you benefit from a tax advantage.

How does it work?

With this regulation, Leiden University will offset your commuting expenses against your gross income (salary, holiday allowance or end-of-year bonus). With the tax-free allowance, gross income is converted into a net allowance and you therefore benefit from a tax advantage.

Please note

  • You only qualify for the allowance if you meet the rules, including those pertaining to taxation. You should take into account that if you receive such a tax-free allowance, you may not deduct your travel expenses (insofar as this is possible) from your income tax return.
  • If you already receive a commuting allowance, this will be deducted from the tax allowance.
  • The use of your gross income may have consequences for social security payments. Read more about this in the Terms of Employment Individual Choices Model under Consequences of and restrictions to participation in tax regulations.
  • If your commuting distance (single journey) is more than 75 km, an actual costing of the allowance will be made. Any excess sum that has been received will be rectified.

How much is the allowance?

The amount of the allowance you can receive is based on the number of kilometres and number of days you travel.

  • The allowance is € 0.19 per kilometre.

  • The maximum number of travel days per year for which the allowance can be paid has been fixed by the Treasury at 214.

  • The maximum commuting distance is calculated based on your actual round trip in kilometres per day.

Calculation of the allowance

Routenet Routeplanner is used to calculate the commuting distance between your home and work addresses on the basis of the postal codes. The allowance is then calculated as follows:

  • For 5 days travel per week (on an annual basis): 214 (days) x number of km (round trip) x € 0.19 = annual size of the allowance.

  • If you travel fewer than five days a week, the allowance will be adapted proportionally on the basis of the formula above.

  • If you do not travel for a full year, for example, if your contract begins during the year, the allowance will be decreased in proportion to the time.

Example of a calculation of the allowance when offset against the end-of-year bonus

Details of contract:

  • employed since 1 April (allowance 9/12 of the full year);

  • contract of 4 days per week (allowance 4/5 of the week);

  • the annual bonus is about € 3,300;

  • special tax rate, for example, 42% (see salary slip for your own percentage);

  • commuting distance = 70 kilometres (2 x 35 km single journeys).

Allowance per year: 9/12 x 4/5 x 214 x 70 km x € 0.19 = € 1,707.72.

Advantage per year: the gross annual bonus is decreased by € 1,707.72. No wage tax is withheld from this amount. The tax advantage in this example therefore amounts to 42% x € 1,707.72 = € 717.24.

Terms and Conditions

If you wish to participate in this regulation, the following terms and conditions apply:

  • The allowance only applies to the current calendar year.

  • The allowance can be retroactive to 1 January of this calendar year.

  • For new employees the starting date is the date they commenced employment, on condition that the employment started before 1 November.

  • This allowance from the Individual Choices Model does not automatically continue to the next calendar year. You have to submit a new application each year.

  • The definition of commuting: travelling at least once a week (or 40 times per calendar year) between the place of residence and the location in which the employee is required by the employer to carry out his or her duty, whereby the return journey must take place within 24 hours of the outward journey.

  • If changes arise in the number of days travelled per week (for example, if you start working part time, are absent for a long period of time or your schedule changes) or the number of kilometres (if you move house) you are required to notify the HRM department.

Application deadline

Applications for the commuting allowance must be submitted by 30 November at the latest.


You can apply for the allowance via Self Service.

Last Modified: 07-03-2016