#22: A sledgehammer to fight tax fraud?

Is the Dutch government using a sledgehammer to crack a nut in the fight against tax evasion and tax fraud? In lawlunch#13  we discussed the upcoming tax measures which were announced by the Dutch state secretary of finance concerning the prevention of tax evasion and tax fraud. One of the announced measures that especially caught our eye was the abolishment of voluntary disclosure. We discussed the implications of the abolishment in lawlunch#19. The abolishment however seems to be more extensive than expected; it also impacts the protection from criminal liability after voluntary disclosure. Furthermore, the state secretary announced a measure that enables authorities to publish administrative penalties imposed to so call professional facilitators, such as tax advisors and lawyers. So what is changing? And what is the current state of affairs?


#04: The pressure is On

The general opinion nowadays in de media is that tax evasion and tax friendly structures are one and the same as tax fraud. It is the common opinion that it is morally reprehensible. The recent publications about the Panama Papers are a confirmation for those who are of this opinion. However, the publications do not show whether the involved persons and entities actually hid their wealth or whether they were not transparent about it towards the tax authorities or even had to be. Nonetheless their names are mentioned in the newspapers and all over the internet. Without knowing the complete facts about the actual tax behavior of these persons this is naming and shaming in its purest form. For governments and tax authorities who are in ‘the fight against tax fraud’ the deterrent effect of naming and shaming seems to be a welcome tool to further break down – the usage of – the banking secrecy. In the past years the European banking secrecy has been attacked on various occasions. We will go in to the recent developments of the strive of the Dutch tax authorities against ‘hidden’ foreign bank accounts of Dutch tax payers in for instance Switzerland.READ MORE