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Written by:
Nico Koppel


Prolongation of TOZO scheme and delayed introduction of available means test

The Decree in confirmation of the prolongation of the TOZO (Temporary Income Support) scheme for the self-employed by a further nine months to the first of July 2021 was duly published in the Netherlands Bulletin of Acts, Orders and Decrees on 30 September last.

The available means test for (life) partners, which was introduced on the first of June of this year, is to continue to apply beyond the first of October. A (limited) available means test has been bolted on to the new Decree, by way of follow-up on the introduction of the available means test for (life) partners. The upshot of this is that the assets having been accrued by the self-employed person and his or her family are no longer being left out of consideration altogether where the application of the TOZO scheme is concerned. The recent clamp-down in terms of COVID‑19 related measures has prompted the authorities to postpone the effective date of the available means test from the first of October 2020 (the original date) to the first of April 2021. The available means test has been confined to financial assets the value of which allows for straightforward monetary translation, such as cash resources, credit bank balances, crypto currencies and investments in (options on) shares and/or bonds. No allowances are made for debts in determining the available monetary resources, to which a 46,520 euro cap applies.

The prolongation of the TOZO scheme covers both general subsistence benefits and benefits in connection with working capital requirements. Any self-employed professional who wishes to be accepted into the TOZO scheme beyond the first of October 2020 will have to reapply to his or her municipality. Compared with TOZO‑1 and TOZO‑2 there will be less leeway for retroactive application for benefits. Application retroactively from the first of October 2020 onwards is to remain open until the first of December 2020, after which the scope for retroactive application for benefits will be confined to the calendar month in which the application is made.

The TOZO scheme offers the possibility to self-employed professionals to apply for a loan on which an interest rate of 2 percent is to be charged. Those who had already taken out a TOZO-related loan in a lower amount will have the option of applying for a top-up loan. The aggregate maximum amount to be borrowed under the TOZO scheme has been set at 10,157 euros. The repayment obligation for loans having been granted before the first of January 2021 will be deferred until the latter date. This is not to apply to loans having been granted at a later stage, the repayment obligation for which is to take immediate effect.

Dutch version: Verlenging Tozo en uitstel invoering vermogenstoets

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