Finance Sec. puts Tax office under financial guardianship

Eric Wiebes (Photo: Commons)Eric Wiebes (Photo: Commons)

State Secretary Eric Wiebes of Finance placed the Tax Authorities under guardianship with regards to their finances. With this step he wants to change the culture of "autonomy" in the office, he wrote to the lower house of Dutch parliament. 

This is in response to a reorganization at the tax office that ran way over budget and got completely out of hand, AD reports. A voluntary severance scheme for employees turned out to be 70 million euros over budget, because more people signed up for it than expected. The reorganization made 4,800 people redundant. But in reality between 5,200 and 5,800 people singed up for the severance scheme.

The Finance Inspectorate will from now on monitor the Tax Authorities' expenses. A committee will be established to examine the Tax Authorities' method of making decisions. The committee will come with recommendations on improvements by December. And a top official will work on bringing the Tax Authorities under the control of the Ministry of Finance.

According to Wiebes, this intervention is necessary because the Tax Authorities took its own way too much. The Finance Minister and State Secretary were only informed of the chaos around the voluntary severance scheme after the fact. The Tax Authorities "rely too much on informal contacts in a small circle", Wiebes wrote to parliament.