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Tax raid by the FIOD? You can call us. We’re available 24/7

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An unannounced visit from the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) is every taxpayer's nightmare. No one can possibly be fully prepared for a tax raid like this. The important thing to remember is that you have the right to an attorney.

Please do not hesitate to call us. We are available 24/7 to assist you in an emergency:

In this leaflet you'll find more information about your rights and obligations when the FIOD is paying you a visit.

What is the FIOD?

FIOD is the Dutch acronym for the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service. The FIOD typically investigates tax fraud, but other types of financial fraud, like corruption, money laundering and forgery of documents, also come under its domain.

For the FIOD, searching premises and conducting interviews are the order of the day. You, presumably, are not used to being interviewed by them and having your premises searched. What are your rights and obligations during a raid? And what powers does the FIOD have?

 Your rights and obligations

You will have different rights and obligations depending on why the FIOD has decided to visit your premises and what its investigation is about. Its most common reasons are:

  1. Ordering a third-party to provide information about a suspect
  2. Arresting a suspect
  3. Searching premises for seizure
  4. Interviewing witnesses

As part of criminal proceedings, the FIOD can order tax advisers or banks to provide them with information about the suspect. If the FIOD has come knocking with an order to provide information, always ask them to present their written order and have the tax investigators give proof of their identity. Once they have produced a written order, you are required, in principle, to provide the requested information. We would urge you to call a lawyer when presented with a FIOD order. We can tell you exactly which documents are subject to the order and how and when the information is to be submitted. This will prevent you from providing too much information, whether it be confidential or not.

The FIOD may also decide to ask questions during a raid. Anything you say during a raid will be documented; it will be considered as having been said in an interview. That is why your first question should be: am I a suspect or a witness? Whether you are a suspect or a witness, you are not obliged to answer questions. A suspect has the right to remain silent and a witness is not obliged to speak to the FIOD. Once you have made a statement, you cannot retract it. We recommend that, before making a statement, you seek expert legal advice to protect your position.

The FIOD has the power to search residential and commercial properties to collect evidence. In doing so, it has the right to seize all manner of items (e.g., administrative records, stock, computers, phones and cash). If you are a suspect in criminal proceedings, the FIOD has the authority to arrest and detain you. It is crucial for a lawyer to be present during a search to help you navigate the situation, for instance to make sure that no privileged items are seized and to prevent the seizure from being disproportionate. So, if your premises are about to be raided, call an attorney right away. It is your right!

The FIOD’s powers

The FIOD has the right to:

  • Order the provision of digital or hard copy information
  • Raid and search residential or commercial properties
  • Seize documents and other items
  • Tap telephone calls
  • Keep persons under surveillance
  • Arrest and detain suspects to interview them

It depends on your position whether or not you are required to provide information. That is why we urge you to seek expert legal counsel before you do anything.

Hertoghs: decades of experience

We have had dealings with the FIOD countless times over the past 30 years. This experience means that we can help you. We know intimately how tax investigators operate and have contacts at the FIOD and the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (typically the National Office for Financial, Economic and Environmental Crime).

 In a nutshell
  • Tax fraud
  • Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD)
  • Suspicion
  • Searching premises
  • Interview witnesses
  • Call an attorney!

 

Contact our specialists

J.N. (Judith) de Boer

G.M. (Mariëlle) Boezelman

A.A. (Anke) Feenstra

P.J. (Peter) van Hagen

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