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Written by:
Bas Hollenberg


Availability of underlying accounting details

There is no need for business owners to keep details of their business orders, et cetera on file provided alternative data are available enabling the Tax and Customs Administration to check the business’ sales figures.


An audit by the Tax and Customs Administration of a restaurant revealed that the business at a certain point in time had deleted its underlying accounting details, so that only the aggregate amounts per order, the order dates, the sales times and the payment methods had remained on record. Having established that the restaurant in doing so had failed to comply with accounting requirements, the Inspector of Taxes levied additional value-added tax and income tax assessments upon the restaurateur, who promptly appealed this decision. The Arnhem-Leeuwarden Court of Appeal failed to side with the Tax and Customs Administration where the latter argued that the onus of proof should be reversed and decided that the lack of accounting details was not tantamount to a breach of accounting requirements.

Appeal in cassation

The Supreme Court in the appeal in cassation stated that the Inspector of Taxes should have alternative information at his disposal enabling him to check the sales figures having been submitted in the event of the underlying details not, or no longer, being available for his inspection, as something which the Arnhem-Leeuwarden Court of Appeal had wrongly overlooked, and referred the case back to the Bois-le-Duc Court of Appeal.

The text of the Supreme Court ruling is available in Dutch.

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