Collection of taxes and liability
The tax inspector is responsible for determining tax assessments and the tax collector will collect the tax due. The collector has extensive powers in this regard, including the option of enforced collection by writ of execution, which orders a taxpayer to pay their tax “in the name of the King”. Failure to pay is subject to direct enforcement measures (such as seizure) by the tax bailiff.
The tax collector may decide to institute collection measures. These measures are, for the most part, set out in the Dutch Collection of State Taxes Act 1990 (link to page in Dutch). The tax collector will start by instructing the taxpayer to pay the tax debt. If the taxpayer fails to comply, the Collection of State Taxes Act offers a number of options for holding third parties liable for the tax debt. If the taxpayer is an entity with legal personality, for instance, its directors may be held liable for some of the entity's tax debts if they are guilty of mismanagement. This is governed by complex statutory provisions in which reporting inability to pay plays a crucial role.
The list of liability provisions is practically endless. They include vicarious supply chain and hirer's liability, the liability of substantial interest holders and the liability of members that form a fiscal unity for VAT. The tax authorities have preference over most other creditors.
Open collection system
And if that were not enough, the tax authorities can also make use of an open collection system which means that they can use the collection options that are open to “regular” creditors. They can, for instance, institute bankruptcy proceedings against a taxpayer or bring an action against a taxpayer on the basis of an unlawful act.
Specialist support in tax collection procedures
The statutory provisions governing tax collection are complex and the tax authorities have a powerful arsenal of collection measures at their disposal. In contrast, the legal protection of taxpayers who are facing collection measures leaves something to be desired. This is where we come in; our specialist lawyers know all the ins and outs of collection procedures and can help you navigate your dealings with the tax collector. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists if you have any questions.
The Dutch Tax Collection Act of 1990 (IW)
Contact our specialists
P.J. (Peter) van Hagen
R. (Roelof) Vos
Knowledge articles on this topic (in Dutch)
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