Tax office to scrutinise income returns more closely

1st June 2006, Comments 0 comments

1 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — Tax Minister Joop Wijn has ordered his officials to scrutinise the annual returns lodged by members of the public more closely.

1 June 2006

AMSTERDAM — Tax Minister Joop Wijn has ordered his officials to scrutinise the annual returns lodged by members of the public more closely.

Wijn was reacting to recommendations made by the National Audit Office (Algemene Rekenkamer) after research showed that many files are not been examined properly. The State may be missing out on a lot of tax revenue as a result, the auditor’s office said. It estimated about EUR 400 million went uncollected in 2004.

A sample check indicated that important details such as invoices and insurance policies were missing in three quarters of the files. It was not possible to establish in half the cases whether rebates were deservedly paid out. In some cases it was not clear whether the tax return had been checked at all.

The Algemene Rekenkamer reviewed 433 returns from 2003. All these returns were designated as 'high-risk' and therefore should have been examined manually. The Tax Office receives about 6.5 million annual returns annually and 900,000 of these are listed as 'high-risk'. The auditors suggested that poor checking cost the State EUR 400 million in 2004.

The report criticised the way different branches of the Tax Office dealt differently with returns in 2003. Some offices that were supposed to carry out manual checks put them through computers, while other offices did manual checks when they were not supposed to. The Tax Office introduced guidelines last year to address the inconsistency. 

MP Frerd Crone of the Labour Party (PvdA) said the results of the report were a "scandal". He accused the government of cutting back too much on resources despite assigning more tasks to tax officials.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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