Skip to content

Cassation proceedings before the Dutch Supreme Court

Once the court of appeal has delivered a ruling, you can decide whether or not you want to lodge an appeal in cassation with the Dutch Supreme Court. The judgment by the Supreme Court will be final and conclusive, so it is important that you make an informed decision.

The Supreme Court has the last word. It is generally assumed that conducting proceedings before the Dutch Supreme Court is highly complex and has a low success rate.

This is not necessarily true, in our experience. Over the past few years, the Supreme Court has upheld many of the appeals we brought before it. We have also had a hand in a number of ground-breaking tax-related judgments that have proved to be of fundamental importance to the uniformity and development of the law. Our success is due to our designated cassation team, which can draw on in-depth expertise and vast amounts of experience in litigating cases before the Supreme Court.

It goes without saying that an appeal in cassation should not be lodged without carefully thinking things through. That is why, before initiating cassation proceedings, we review the case's chances of success, for instance by performing a quick scan or preparing an in-depth cassation opinion. We give a brief description of how we go about this below.

Our strengths

It goes without saying that an appeal in cassation should not be lodged without carefully thinking things through. That is why, before initiating cassation proceedings, we review the case's chances of success, for instance by performing a quick scan or preparing an in-depth cassation opinion. We give a brief description of how we go about this below.

We have a designated cassation team that knows its business. The team is led by Angelique Perdaems, who is more than happy to apply the knowledge and experience she gained as a researcher at the Tax Division of the Supreme Court for your benefit. Angelique's experience in conducting cassation proceedings is extensive and she knows what to focus on. Thanks to our legal expertise and the wide-ranging experience we have built up over the years, we have a good idea of the chance of success a case has before we litigate it.

Our approach

We cannot usually tell at the start whether an appeal in cassation will be successful. To map out the chances of success, we have developed an efficient three-step strategy. We can either go through all of the steps or choose only the most relevant one. Before we start, we will tell you what you can expect of us and what our fees will be. We will obviously customise our services to your particular situation. The three steps in our strategy are:

1) Quick Scan

A quick scan involves reading through the ruling of the court of appeal (without looking at the underlying procedural documents) and reviewing the legal construct. Based on our findings, we will offer you our written opinion on whether our cursory review has given us any leads that an appeal in cassation might be successful. This is a quick way for you to see whether cassation proceedings might be worthwhile for you.

2) Cassation opinion

A cassation opinion is an in-depth and detailed opinion on the chances of success of an appeal in cassation. In this step, we study both the ruling of the court of appeal and all the underlying procedural documents. The court of appeal’s ruling may be flawed, for instance because the court disregarded some of the arguments presented in the procedural documents or because the ruling lacks grounds. This will not come to the fore without a thorough study of all the procedural documents.

Our written cassation opinion will be based on our comprehensive file review combined with an analysis of the applicable rules and regulations and case law. In this opinion, we will tell you very clearly whether or not we recommend referring the matter to the Supreme Court. If we see a chance of success, we can proceed to the next step. With the cassation opinion finished, most of the groundwork has been done.

3) Cassation proceedings

Sometimes issues are so juristic and fundamental in nature that there is no need for Steps 1 and 2. We will then start to prepare the grounds for cassation right away, whereby we will challenge the flaws in, or puzzling aspects of, the ruling of the court of appeal. We will provide well-reasoned arguments for these grounds.

After the appeal in cassation has been filed, the Ministry of Finance will respond in a statement of defence. We will study this statement to determine whether it warrants a further response on our part, either in the form of oral arguments, written arguments or a reply. The appropriate form depends on the nature of the case and the contents of the statement of defence. We offer our clients added value in tax-related cassation proceedings: Dutch law stipulates that oral or written arguments can only be submitted to the Supreme Court by lawyers.

After the preparatory phase, the Advocate General (an independent adviser to the Supreme Court) may submit an opinion on the appeal in cassation. This opinion is typically a highly legal document setting out the relevant case law and referring to the applicable literature. We then have a short 14 days to reply in a letter (the so-called 'Borgerbrief') to the Advocate General's opinion.

What if the Ministry of Finance submits and appeal in cassation?

If Ministry of Finance files an appeal in cassation against a ruling on your case, we can still help you by mounting a defence against the grounds for cassation and by ascertaining whether you might be able to file a cross-appeal in cassation.

The ideal cassation process

Clearly, it depends on the case whether or not we see cause to go through all three steps. If we believe that an appeal in cassation might well be successful, the first two steps might be redundant. The best strategy varies from case to case. Thanks to our long-standing experience, we know which approach to take to give you the best chance of success.

Please do not hesitate to contact Angelique Perdaems.


Have you received a judgment from the Court of Appeal?

Digital litigation

Our strengths

Our approach and methods

A quick scan

Cassation advice

Cassation proceedings

The ideal process

Contact our specialists

A.J.C. (Angelique) Perdaems

Knowledge articles on this topic (in Dutch)

#316 Jaarverslag Hoge Raad: rechtsbescherming staat voorop!

De Hoge Raad publiceerde het jaarverslag over 2022 en ook dit jaar heeft ons cassatieteam dit weer met…

Read more

Prejudiciële vragen aan Belastingkamer Hoge Raad: valt de fiscale procedure in het niet bij de succesvolle civiele procedure? MBB 2023, nr. 1

Sinds 2016 kan de feitenrechter prejudiciële vragen stellen aan de Belastingkamer van de Hoge Raad. In civiele procedures…

Read more

#294 Vestigingsplaats en navordering: casseren graag!

In deze Hertoghs Beschouwt staat het formele belastingrecht in de spotlights. Een uitspraak van Hof Den Haag[1] waarin…

Read more

Rechter mag onjuist standpunt over omkering bewijslast niet volgen – NLF 2022/1814

De Hoge Raad casseert op ambtshalve gronden de uitspraak van Hof Arnhem-Leeuwarden. In deze procedure tegen een naheffingsaanslag…

Read more

Advies van vrienden en het EHRM aan de Belastingkamer

De afgelopen jaren heeft de Belastingkamer van de Hoge Raad een aantal nieuwe bevoegdheden gekregen. Wat voegen deze…

Read more

Belastingdienst moet zich houden aan spelregels vertrouwens- en verdedigingsbeginsel.

De beginselen van vertrouwen en verdediging zijn nog altijd springlevend in omzetbelastingzaken. De staatssecretaris van Financiën mag dan…

Read more

Cassatiecursus deel 2

Cassatiecursus deel 2 Ook het tweede deel van de cassatiecursus is nu te volgen bij PE-Academy. Hierin bespreekt…

Read more

Cassatiecursus deel 1

Cassatiecursus deel 1 Hoe werkt de cassatieprocedure bij de belastingkamer van de Hoge Raad? Waar let u op…

Read more

#211 Omkering van bewijslast bij boetegrondslag is de omgekeerde wereld

In het fiscale procesrecht geldt de hoofdregel ‘wie stelt, die bewijst’. Als de inspecteur wil afwijken van de…

Read more

Handel in merkvervalste goederen; uitsluiting kostenaftrek geen punitief karakter. Annotatie NLF 2021/114

Ons cassatieteam reageert regelmatig op conclusies van een advocaat-generaal bij de Hoge Raad of op een arrest van…

Read more

#200 De dga dubbel bestraft?

Una via voorkomt straf na aansprakelijkstelling voor een boete! De belangen van een directeur-grootaandeelhouder (dga) zijn vaak nauw…

Read more

#197 Mag iedereen straks pleiten bij de Hoge Raad?

Het voeren van een pleidooi bij de Hoge Raad is voorbehouden aan advocaten. Het lijkt erop dat dit…

Read more