Deployment of fixed-rate allowances in taxation
The Netherlands Court of Audit recently completed its investigation into the deployment of fixed-rate allowances as part of the Dutch tax system. Fixed-rate allowances are used with the aim of approaching reality in a straightforward and effective manner. The Court of Audit in its report has provided an overview of when the fixed-rate allowances were most recently revised and what their budgetary relevance is. The Junior Finance Minister in response to the publication of the report has indicated that the budgetary relevance has remained confined in certain cases to reflecting the amounts that have been collected or foregone, as appropriate, without shedding any light on the State’s actual gains or losses.
One of the chief findings of the report has been that no system is currently in operation that provides for the periodic assessment and updating of fixed-rate allowances. Updating should be given priority in the opinion of the Junior Finance Minister (assessment not always being necessary or even possible), who has gone on to point out that the decision not to resort to fixed-rate allowances can be every bit as much a policy choice, and one which could be considered as part of the overall efficacy cum efficiency drive. Flat-rate schemes that are taken to the Annual National Budget Memorandum are subjected to periodic assessment. Supplementary assessments of specific fixed-rate allowances may be carried out where this is deemed to be appropriate.
The Junior Finance Minister has ordered an investigation into which fixed-rate allowances are currently in need of updating, and in Q1 2020 will bring the Lower House up to date on the outcome.
Dutch version: Forfaits in het belastingstelsel