The tax agreements the Netherlands made with Starbucks are not equivalent to state aid, the European General Court ruled on Tuesday, annulling a previous ruling by the European Commission.
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.
Banning cash payments of over 3 thousand euros, regulating cryptocurrencies, and calling for the 500 euros banknote to be taken out of circulations are two of a large package of measures against money laundering that Ministers Wopke Hoekstra of Finance and Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security sent to parliament on Monday.
Amsterdam is giving a task force established to combat violence and threats against business owners one year to come up with measures to combat this problem. The time limit is necessary because the number of ATM bombings and incidents involving hand grenades increased since last year. "The risks for entrepreneurs and local residents are unacceptable", mayor Femke Halsema said in a letter to the city council, AT5 reports.
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.
Over the past 12 years the Dutch Tax Authority incorrectly paid out 24 billion euros in allowances. The majority of this amount was recovered, but 1.5 billion euros is still outstanding and the Tax Authority wrote 806 million euros off as "irrecoverable", according to figures requested by Nieuws en Co and Nieuwsuur.
Since 2005, the Tax Authority paid out 150 billion euros in childcare allowance, rent allowance, healthcare allowance, and child-related budget. 16 percent of these payments, involving an amount of 24 billion euros, were wrongly paid.
The Dutch data protection authority AP is investigating possible ethnic profiling by the Tax Authority. There are indications that the Tax Authority used information about people's second nationality to determine whose childcare allowance was halted, RTL Nieuws and Trouw report.
More investigators and customs officers are needed to combat drug crime in the port of Rotterdam, according to Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. The Rotterdam mayor calls on the government to structurally tackle undermining crime, NOS reports.
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.
The police are busy with a major action in The Hague, particularly focused on the Ypenburg district, on Tuesday morning. Over 30 apartments were raided in the early morning hours. The police suspect that criminals stay in these apartments - they're rented out, but officially no one is registered as living there, NOS reports.
The Dutch Tax Authority acted contrary to the Convention on the Rights of the Child when it discontinued the childcare allowance of over 200 families in 2014. The tax office did not adequately take the interests of these children into account, Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer wrote in a letter to the Tax Authority, which is in the possession of Trouw.
An exam assignment for Police Academy students in Rotterdam led to the arrest of a suspect who has an outstanding prison sentence of eight years in Albania. What the man was convicted of in the Balkan country, the police did no say, AD reports.
For the assignment, the police officers in training organized a check on Willemsplein with the Tax Authority. In addition to the fugitive's arrest, the action also yielded over 57 thousand euros in outstanding debts, 10 fines, two confiscated knives, a confiscated firearm, and 13 confiscated cars.
Mayor Femke Halsema invited a group of Amsterdam retailers to the city hall on Friday to discuss how they can reduce cash transactions. The Public Prosecutor and the Tax Authority will also take part in the meeting, the Telegraaf reports.
In her invitation, sent on Monday, Halsema points to the criminal use of cash. "Because cash leaves no traces, it is misused by non-honest consumers to launder illegally obtained funds", she wrote. She believes that fewer cash transactions could lead to a safer city.
The Dutch government wants to implement a flight tax of 7 euros per plane ticket, regardless of the destination. The government previously considered a tax of 3.80 euros for flights within Europe and 22 euros for intercontinental flights, but opted for a fixed amount to make the Tax Authority's job easier, sources in The Hague confirmed to NU.nl after reports in RTL Nieuws.
A 61-year-old man from Capelle aan den IJssel was arrested for the private use of 800 thousand euros in donations to foundation Droom Wens. He used the money on gambling sites, in casinos and for private expenses, RTL Nieuws reports.
FIOD, the Tax Authorities' investigative department, could not say how the man is connected to the foundation. Administration, promotional materials, and collection boxes were confiscated from the man's home.
An experiment in which the police and Dutch banks exchange the names of terrorist suspects is having possible results. Some 300 suspicious transactions were found over the past year. These transactions are being investigated further, NOS reports.
The Dutch government will spend around 1 billion euros more on IT projects than originally planned, Financieele Dagblad concludes after analyzing 125 recent ICT initiatives by the national government.
The original budget for the analyzed projects was approximately 2.5 billion euros. The expected costs have now risen to 3.5 billion euros, according to the newspaper. On average, the projects are 36 percent over budget. For 22 projects, costs doubled.
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.
Two subsidiaries of construction company VolkerWessels are suspected of paying bribes to obtain construction contracts on Sint Maarten. The Tax Authority's investigative department FIOD is investigating, a spokesperson for the Public Prosecutor confirmed to ANP.
Last week the police arrested over 100 people in a nationwide campaign against so-called 'mobile banditry' - gangs of criminals that travel from place to place to commit crimes. The detainees include shoplifters, baby formula thieves, pickpockets, drug traffickers, identity thieves and even a fake cop, the police said in a statement on Monday night.
The nationwide action was held between Tuesday and Friday last week. Multiple people were arrested at Amsterdam Central Station for pickpocketing, or attempts thereto.
The Netherlands' anonymous tip line Meld Misdaad Anoniem does not only pass tips on to the police, but also sells them to other parties. This makes the foundation around half a million euros per year, De Groene Amsterdammer reports based on its own research.
The tips are mostly sold to municipalities, but also to insurers, energy companies and even the Tax Authority, according to the weekly magazine. These customers pay the tip line a fixed monthly amount, and an amount per tip.
Two men from Deventer has been in custody since March 26th on suspicion of financing terrorism in Syria, the Public Prosecutor announced on Tuesday.
The suspects, aged 28 and 36 years, surfaced during an international investigation into terrorism financing. Between 2015 and their arrest, they paid money to jihadists fighting in Syria through exchange offices in Turkey, according to the prosecutor. They did so on behalf of the Dutch jihadists' friends and family. The Prosecutor did not say how much money was involved.
The websites of the Dutch Tax Authority and DigiD were hit by DDoS attacks on Wednesday afternoon. As a result no tax declarations could be filed for hours, and people had trouble logging in to various government websites, NU.nl reports.
The attack on the Tax Authority started around 3:00 p.m., and DigiD was hit around 3:25 p.m. Both sites were fully accessible again by 8:00 p.m.
The attack did not affect the security of taxpayer's data, not even if people were filing declarations when the DDoS attack started, a spokesperson for the Tax Authority said to the newspaper.
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.