The Dutch anti-tax fraud agency and crooked tax consultants
If you are looking for a tax consultant to help you keep on top of your administrative accounts and tax records, please make sure that you end up with an accredited tax consultant rather than falling victim to a no-good “adviser”. As your Amsterdam-based tax consultancy, Koppel has been approved as a party to the Tax and Customs Administration’s Horizontal Supervision Covenant.
The Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (Dutch abbreviation: “FIOD”), as the Dutch anti-tax fraud agency is officially called, on the basis of a series of searches of particular premises in a total of six criminal cases involving tax fraud recently remanded the first two suspects in custody. The detainee suspects had been posing as tax consultants, in which capacity they are being suspected of having filed unreliable income tax returns featuring all kinds of fictitious allowable deductions on behalf of their clientele, resulting in claims for excess rebates being filed with the tax office. Residential and commercial premises in Alkmaar, Almelo, Eindhoven, Haarlem, Losser, Oldenzaal and Rotterdam, and even in Germany, have to date been searched in the context of the investigation.
Improved detection methods have made it easier for the Tax and Customs Administration promptly to hone in on crooked tax consultants, on whom the tax office now also has the option of slapping a penalty for co-perpetration. In certain scenarios the option is even available to clients and/or the tax office itself to hold the fraudsters liable for the actual tax collection.
The Tax and Customs Administration is warning the general public not to respond to tax consultancy offers that look or sound too good to be true, stressing that the tax payer always retains liability for his or her own tax returns including where he or she uses the services of an intermediary.
If a tax return has been found to have included excessive allowable deductions, the Tax and Customs Administration will demand repayment of the excess amount(s) over a period of multiple years augmented quite possibly by a penalty. The tax office over the next few weeks will be dispatching some eleven thousand letters to the clients of crooked tax consultants, to check the veracity of the tax returns in question.
Please be critical in your choice of tax consultant. Contact your Amsterdam-based advisers or check out the web site of the Netherlands Register of Tax Consultants (dutch) to find a reliable expert near where you work or live!