Prime Minister Mark Rutte met with a group of 200 parents who were unjustly labeled fraudsters by the Tax Authority and had their childcare allowance halted as a result. During the emotional meeting, Rutte apologized for the Tax Authority's actions in this affair and listened to parents' stories. Some stories made him shed a tear, he said after the meeting, NU.nl reports.
The government wants two State Secretaries to succeed the resigned Menno Snel, who was responsible for the Tax Authority as State Secretary of Finance. The problems at the Tax Authority are too large for one person to handle, sources involved told broadcaster NOS.
Menno Snel announced his resignation from the Dutch Cabinet over a scandal in the tax office where hundreds of parents lost childcare benefits unjustly, a mistake that could cost the Dutch public over 8.6 million euros.
The government will compensate around 270 parents whose childcare allowance was halted after unjust fraud allegations. Their compensation will be in their account before Christmas, by around December 20th, State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance said in a letter sent to parliament on Tuesday.
The Tax Authority released the files of some parents whose childcare allowance was halted because they were unjustly suspected of fraud, at the parents' request because they wanted to know what led to these suspicions. But to the fury of a number of parliamentarians, large parts of the documents are completely blacked-out, according to a video SP parliamentarian Renske Leijten posted on Twitter.
Tax Authority employees don't feel safe at work, union FNV reports based on a survey among a thousand employees. Almost all respondents report an unsafe atmosphere at the workplace. People who are critical about the policy are reprimanded by managers and supervisors, with some even losing their job as a result, respondents said, NU.nl reports.
State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance has known for some time that the number of victims whose childcare allowance was wrongfully halted is much larger than he told the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, RTL Nieuws and Trouw report based on confidential reports in their possession.
Snel knew about the documents and their content for a long time, but withheld them from the Tweede Kamer, which has been asking about it for around 18 months, according to the news agencies.
The Netherlands and eight other European countries are calling on the European Union to implement a tax on air travel. The governments of the nine countries signed a manifesto calling on the European Commission to come up with a proposal on this front, which will be handed to European Commissioner Frans Timmermans.
Top officials from the Tax Authority knowingly allowed an illegal fraud hunt on childcare allowance recipients that has been dragging on since 2014, Trouw and RTL Nieuws report based on their own research into documents received through the Open Government Act.
State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance limited the investigation into mistakes made by the Tax Authority while canceling childcare allowances. The investigators Snel himself hired explicitly wanted to do a broader investigation, but Snel refused, RTL Nieuws and Trouw report.
A strange site crossed the sky of Amsterdam Centrum on Thursday afternoon, when a KLM passenger jet escorted by four F-16 fighter jets flew past Central Station at just 1,500 feet (457 meters). Though the fly-by was a scheduled event, it was kept as a closely-held secret, frightening many people who took to social media concerned about what they had seen.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security wants stricter legislation to prevent mayors from being threatened. The maximum prison sentence for threatening a public official must be increased from two to four years, and the Minister is also looking into how the government can confiscate more money and possessions from serious criminals, he said in an interview with the Telegraaf.
Shell companies annually siphon 199 billion euros out of the Netherlands in the form of dividends, interest and royalties. Approximately 22 billion of this amount end up in tax havens, according to a study bye SEO Economic Research commissioned by the Ministry of Finance, ANP reports.
The government plans to tackle the outflow to tax havens, countries with very low tax rates, by introducing a so-called withholding tax in 2021.
American companies are investing less and less in the Netherlands. This is mainly due to tax reforms in the United States - president Donald Trump reduced corporation tax significantly, making it more attractive for American companies to invest in their own country. But the Rutte III government's planned crackdown on shell companies may also play a role, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte refused to answer substantive questions about a tax deal between Shell and the Tax Authority in the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, leaving parliamentarians furious.
For the first time ever, a member of the Dutch government attended the commemoration fo the Armenian genocide of 1915 and 1916 in Yerevan.
State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance was at the ceremony in the Armenian capital, at the insistence of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. In the presence of the other foreign guests, he lay flowers at the monument for the victims, NOS reports.
State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance will attend the commemoration of the Armenian genocide in Armenia next week. This is the first time a member of the Dutch government will be present at the commemoration. From now on a Dutch Minister or State Secretary will attend the commemoration every five years, RTL Nieuws reports.
In the coming years the Netherlands plans to make itself a less attractive option for companies to establish shell companies in the country. The government is taking a number of measures to ban companies that only choose the Netherlands to avoid taxes at their home base.
The number 2 at the Finance Ministry, Menno Snel, wants to get rid of the image of the Netherlands as a place to dodge taxes. "The Netherlands is not a tax haven," he says. "We are going to make sure that the [business] constructions that were in the news are no longer possible."
A Dutch tax regulation for deductible interest on loans between parent companies and subsidiaries is in conflict with EU rules, the European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday. Last year Eric Wiebes, the State Secretary of Finance, warned that this ruling could cost the Dutch treasury 400 million euros, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch Tax Authority made procedural mistakes in at least 78 tax rulings with multinational companies, State Secretary Menno Snels of Finance wrote in a letter to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. The government will not abolish rulings, but will revise the way in which they are issued to prevent further mistakes, Snels wrote.
The Dutch Tax Authority still hasn't stopped welfare payments to any suspected Dutch jihadists who joined the war in Syria, despite a law making this possible being implemented in October, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch Tax Authority will not share details on the majority of its tax rulings with multinational companies with other European Union countries, despite an obligation to share all agreements with 'cross-border effects' over the past five years with Europe, Trouw reports.
According to the Tax Authority, it makes an estimated 2 thousand deals per year with large and small companies that also have consequences for foreign countries. That amounts to around 10 thousand tax rulings that the Netherlands is obliged to share with the EU.
State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance ordered an investigation into 4 thousand tax deals the Tax Authority made with companies and organization. He wants to make sure that the proper procedures were followed in making these so-called tax rulings, NOS reports.
The names of the Rutte III cabinet's Ministers and State Secretaries were announced on Saturday. In addition to Prime Minster Mark Rutte, there wil be 15 Ministers and eight State Secretaries. Just over a third of the new government are women. The expectation is that the Rutte III cabinet will take office on October 26th, RTL Nieuws reports.