Dutch double penalty for hiding assets in Panama Papers response

Eric Wiebes (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons). (Eric Wiebes (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons))

Finance State Secretary Eric Wiebes is calling on tax evaders to turn themselves in to the Tax Authorities. And to give them some encouragement to do so soon, the fine imposed on tax evaders who turn themselves in will double as of July 1st. "The longer you wait, the more expensive it gets", Wiebes said.

Currently tax evaders who turn themselves in to the Tax Authorities have to pay the tax they owe plus a fine of 60 percent that amount. On July 1st the fine will double to 120 percent of the owed amount. Tax evaders the Tax Authorities track down can be fined up to 300 percent of their outstanding taxes.

Tax evasion has been a topic of discussion around the world since the leak last week. The Panama Papers are 1.5 million documents, spreadsheets, emails and other files leaked from Panamanian legal consultancy Mossack Fonseca that contain information on tax constructions and tax havens of companies and wealthy individuals world wide.

According to Wiebes, increasing the fines is meant as a clear message - hiding money is no longer an option. He points out that that the Tax Authorities and 100 countries will exchange banking information in the coming years. "The game is up; the net is closing; you must be honest with the Tax Office; waiting longer means paying more."