'Belgian expat' Hiddink accused of tax fraud

26th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

26 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — Guus Hiddink, one of the most successful international soccer coaches the Netherlands has ever produced, is being prosecuted for tax fraud.

26 July 2006

AMSTERDAM — Guus Hiddink, one of the most successful international soccer coaches the Netherlands has ever produced, is being prosecuted for tax fraud.

The Public Prosecution Service (OM) in the Dutch city of Den Bosch confirmed the initial procedural hearing will be held on 15 September. The case will be fought out at a later date.

Hiddink is accused of making a false statement about his official place of residence in his tax filings for 2002 and 2003. This relates to when he returned to Europe after he led South Korea in the 2002 World Cup. The coach claimed he was a resident in Belgium and paid tax there.

The Dutch authorities do not accept his official place of residence was Belgium. His tax adviser Simon van den Boomen is also being prosecuted, Dutch news agency ANP reported.

FIOD, the investigative arm of the Dutch tax office, raided Van den Boomen's office in the southern Dutch town of Waalre last October and seized Hiddink's files.

Van den Boomen was arrested. Fons Spooren, a former director of PSV Eindhoven football club, is also a suspect.

Hiddink is furious with the authorities and denied any wrongdoing. "My conscience is clear. It was not for nothing I left this matter with an accountant," he said.

His lawyer, Jan Leliveld, has accused the prosecution service of rushing to court without giving Hiddink time to prepare a defence.

Born in 1946, Hiddink coached PSV Eindhoven from 2002 to 2006. He has made his name internationally as a coach of various World Cup teams. He led the Netherlands to fourth place in the World Cup in 1998 and got South Korea to the same position four years later.

Hiddink led Australia to this year's World Cup in Germany — Australia's first appearance in the tournament in 32 years. He signed on to coach Russia after the World Cup. 

Many Dutch celebrities choose to live across the border in Belgium in a bid to reduce their overall tax burden.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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