Some 8,000 on Tax Authority's blocklist couldn't get debt assistance
An estimated 8,000 people on the Tax Authority's blocklist were wrongly rejected for assistance in paying off their debts, was revealed during a parliamentary debate on Thursday. They applied for debt rescheduling, but their applications were turned down because their names appeared on the fraud detection facility FSV, NOS reports.
About 240,000 thousand people were on the FSV list. They ended up there due to "signals of fraud," which could range from irregularities in their benefits applications to a tip from an angry ex. Once on the list, it was impossible to get off it.
The Ministry of Finance previously estimated that between 5,000 and 15,000 were wrongly rejected for debt counseling because of the FSV list. That estimation has now been narrowed down to around 8,000 people. They are eligible for compensation.
More victims may be identified as this issue is further investigated. State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief of Finance promised to provide more clarity about this to parliament in January.
Earlier this week, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) fined the Tax Authority 2.75 million euros for privacy violations in the childcare allowance scandal. According to the AP, the Tax Authority "for years processed the (dual) nationality of applicants for childcare allowance in an unlawful, discriminatory, and therefore improper manner."
During Thursday's debate, parliamentarians raised concerns about whether taxpayers' privacy is adequately safeguarded and whether tax controls are still successful. Vijlbrief said that getting the state of the Tax Authority back in order is a "huge job," also because the tax office needs to continue to function in the meantime. "That is why I sometimes don't sleep," the State Secretary said. "I cannot deny that the constant pressure on the tax authorities does not make it any easier."