Instituting legal proceedings is not always the best option to resolve an evolving conflict or a tax dispute. At Hertoghs advocaten, we do not see litigation as an end in itself. Every situation is different, but what is consistent is that we try to come up with an acceptable solution to each individual case, always.
In deciding on our strategy, we make allowance for every perspective and every interest at play. This helps us reach the best possible result for you, whether in or out of court. An example of an extrajudicial resolution would be a compromise or a settlement agreement that is reached through tax or criminal mediation.
Tax mediation is an alternative and broad form of dispute resolution. Besides looking at the dispute between the parties, a mediator will also consider the cause of what went wrong in the communication between the parties as well as their emotions. This will not only expedite the resolution of a dispute, but your future relationship with the tax authorities will benefit from it as well.
Mediation is particularly helpful if a dispute involves more than purely a question of law. It is typically used as a means to overcome an impasse, for instance when communication has broken down or negotiations have stranded, and legal proceedings are not in your interest.
The parties will sit down and engage with each other under the watchful eye of one or two mediators. Confidentiality is key. What is special about tax mediation is that the parties are entirely free to work out a solution between them that benefits both their interests; they are not tied, as a court would be, to a limited number of options to resolve the dispute. Consequently, mediation usually results in a sustainable solution that is acceptable to both sides. Unlike with legal proceedings, which can be lengthy and the outcome of which is uncertain, through mediation, the parties tend to reach agreement relatively soon.
Tax mediation can be used at different stages of a dispute, both before a matter has been taken to court and after, in which case the court will make a referral. If legal proceedings have not yet been instituted, we will engage with the tax authorities for you to suggest mediation. We have the right contacts with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration to take this first step.
As a rule, the tax authorities will then appoint an internal mediator. The parties can also request to take a different approach and decide to independently appoint a mediator. A combination of the two, i.e. one internal mediator (from the ranks of the tax authorities) and one external mediator, is an option as well.
Mediating in fraud cases
Although relatively uncommon to date, mediation can also be used as a ways of reaching an acceptable resolution in fraud cases. The law offers that option and both the court and the Public Prosecution Service are legally bound to respect the outcome of a mediation procedure.
In protracted fraud investigations, mediation can offer a means of exploring confidentially between the parties how the issue might be resolved. In certain situations, fraud cases are perfectly suited to restorative justice, since the harm done can typically be expressed in material terms by determining the tax or financial loss. This contributes to the efficiency of the criminal justice system and – more importantly – offers opportunities for customisation beyond the boundaries of standard criminal proceedings.
Are you looking for a law firm that has experience with dispute resolution through mediation in tax and other matters? Look no further. Our specialists usually take on the role of adviser to a client, but they can also be engaged as mediators. Thanks to our vast experience, we are perfectly placed to assist you in reaching the best possible mediation results. Please do not hesitate to contact us to find out more. We are here to help.
Contact our specialists
R. (Roelof) Vos
Knowledge articles on this topic (in Dutch)
“Een goed gesprek met de fiscus” over fiscale mediation. Salaris Rendement 4-2023
Hoe werkt fiscale mediation en wat zijn de voordelen? Een passende oplossing voor een fiscaal geschil? Al sinds…
Ontwikkelingen op het gebied van mediation in fiscale strafzaken. TBS&H 2022, nr 1
Eerder schreven wij al over mediation in fiscale strafzaken. Wij beschreven toen onder meer dat was aangekondigd om…
#235 Géén dwang of drang tot Horizontaal Toezicht
De Belastingdienst heeft het Horizontaal Toezicht nieuw leven ingeblazen en de ‘doorontwikkeling’ vastgelegd in twee lijvige Leidraden. Ze…
De ontwikkelingen op het gebied van fiscale mediation in Nederland. Nederlands-Vlaams tijdschrift voor Mediation en conflictmanagement 2020/24
In dit artikel besteden Roelof Vos en Diede Molenaars aandacht aan de huidige stand van zaken van fiscale…
#165 Coronacrisis: hoe staat het met de rechtsbescherming van de belastingplichtige?
De handel en wandel van de BV Nederland is als gevolg van de ‘intelligente lockdown’ vanaf half maart…
Mediation in fiscale strafzaken. TBS&H 2020, nr 2
Mediation is populair, zo blijkt uit het meest recente jaarverslag van de rechtspraak. In 2018 steeg het aantal…