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Tax Fraud Targetted In Netherlands Caribbean

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

13 November 2012

Within the framework of efforts to combat tax fraud in Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM), the Caribbean Netherlands tax authorities (B/CN), and the Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) recently reached a consensus on an approach to tackling tax evasion.

The authorities agreed that on suspicion of fraud involving large sums of money, a consultation between the three parties will be initiated and a criminal investigation launched. As regards tax fraud involving smaller amounts, the tax authorities will impose an administrative fine.

The agreements have been laid down in a reporting, transaction, and prosecution directive (ATV Directive) pertaining to tax and customs offences.

Published in the state gazette on November 9, the ATV Directive provides for the initiation of criminal investigations by the FIOD in the case of suspected tax fraud, for example for the intentional filing of a false tax return, for providing false information to the tax authorities, or for the wilful failure to file a tax return.

Criminal investigations are to be led by a public prosecutor. Depending on the severity of the alleged offence, investigations may involve the searching of homes and business premises and arrests may follow.

The ATV Directive covers income, wage, transfer, gaming and general taxation as well as excise tax. Defending the Directive, Dutch Financial State Secretary Frans Weekers insisted that it is a logical step in the context of intensified efforts to clamp down on tax evasion in the Caribbean Netherlands.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax compliance | Netherlands | tax avoidance | law | enforcement | offshore | agreements | Netherlands Antilles

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