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Written by:
Bas Hollenberg


Liability of fiscal unit being disbanded

Joint and several liability rests with the constituent elements of a fiscal unit for value-added tax purposes where the group’s value-added tax is concerned. According to a former subsidiary company, it should not have been held liable for the fiscal unit’s outstanding value-added taxes because the origin of the relevant debt had not been attributable to it: the fiscal unit’s tax return and payment practice had been beyond its control. The District Court failed to find for the plaintiff, arguing that the Collector of Taxes by virtue of the relevant stipulation as per the Collection of State Taxes Act of the Netherlands 1990 had rightly held the subsidiary company liable for the fiscal unit’s value-added tax charge. The fact that the additional assessment had been imposed after the subsidiary company had ceased to form part of the fiscal unit lacked relevance where it concerned the liability issue; what did matter was that the subsidiary company during the period to which the additional assessment related had still formed part of the fiscal unit. 

The District Court did, however, reduce the outstanding tax charge by the interest charges on overdue tax and by the late fees, arguing that the Collector of Taxes had failed to render it plausible that it had been the subsidiary company’s fault that the relevant amounts had been incurred, as the subsidiary company – according to the District Court – could not be blamed for the fact that the additional assessment had not been paid on time.

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