Ethnic profiling at tax office to be examined by Prosecutors

Belastingdienst Amsterdam
Belastingdienst AmsterdamBICWikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

On Tuesday the Ministry of Finance filed charges against top officials at the Tax Authority over the so-called childcare allowance affair. The tax officials are suspected of extortion and professional discrimination, State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen of Finance said in a letter to parliament. 

The Public Prosecution Service will investigate the charges. "It is important that the Public Prosecution Service looks at this," Van Huffelen said. "Hopefully, this sweeping step will help to justly close this chapter that is causing pain for so many."

This affair revolves around the Tax Authority halting the childcare allowance of thousands of parents after they were wrongly labeled fraudsters. They were ordered to repay the allowances they received. This left many families in serious financial trouble. There were also signs that ethnic profiling was being used to select families for investigation.

The National Ombudsman previously said that the Tax Authority put hundreds of families in an impossible situation. And the Children's Ombudsman accused the Tax Authority of ignoring children's rights in this affair.