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Netherlands Hails Tax Amnesty A Success

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

14 November 2013

Dutch Financial State Secretary Frans Weekers has hailed the Government's temporary relaxed voluntary disclosure scheme as "a success," highlighting the fact that since its introduction, almost 500 taxpayers have come forward voluntarily to regularize their tax situation with the tax authorities.

On September 2, 2013, Financial State Secretary Weekers temporarily eased the country's voluntary disclosure scheme. As a result, taxpayers electing to voluntarily report their situation to the tax authorities by July 1, 2014, will not be subject to a fine.

According to the Dutch Finance Ministry, nearly 500 individuals have benefited from the lenient provisions since September 2. This figure compares to the 1,272 individuals who have submitted a voluntary declaration to the tax authorities so far this year, to report undeclared assets amounting to almost EUR552m (USD738.4m).

Since 2009, around 11,000 taxpayers have reported their untaxed assets to the Dutch tax authorities, with total recovered assets standing at around EUR4bn. This has generated a structural yield for the Treasury of approximately EUR48m a year.

The Netherlands' voluntary disclosure system was eased ahead of plans to tighten the provisions from 2015. The measure formed part of a package of initiatives aimed at benefiting honest taxpayers, while imposing stricter provisions on alleged tax evaders.

From July 1, 2014, the standard voluntary disclosure system will once again apply for a period of a further year. Under this system, a fine amounting to 30 percent of the sum of tax evaded is imposed. From July 1, 2015, however, the mechanism will be tightened considerably, with the fine rising to 60 percent of the evaded tax.

Commenting, Financial State Secretary Weekers stressed that the temporary easing of the voluntary disclosure scheme is proving successful. The lenient voluntary disclosure provisions give taxpayers in the Netherlands "just the final push" to report their situation to the tax authorities, Weekers emphasized.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | Finance | tax | tax compliance | Netherlands | tax avoidance | individual income tax | Tax | Tax Evasion

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