Citizens who were wrongly labeled as a possible fraud by the Tax Authorities, but who were not disadvantaged as a result, cannot count on compensation. That is what State Secretary Marnix van Rij (Finance) writes in an initial elaboration of his plans for a compensation scheme to the House of Representatives.
This concerns 220,000 of the 270,000 people who were included in the controversial Fraud Signaling Facility (FSV) system, which in practice functioned as a blacklist. Of the other 50,000, the majority will have to wait longer for a definitive answer.
Only for those who have been wrongly rejected for amicable debt rescheduling as a result of their registration on the FSV list, or who have had to wait a long time for this, the government has already made a proposal for compensation. They receive 500 euros for every six months that they have had to wait for a settlement.
Between 5,000 and 14,000 people are eligible for this allowance. “Unfortunately” this does not include those who were rejected for amicable debt restructuring in 2012 and 2013. There are “no more files available” for those years at the tax authorities.
A final decision will not follow until later this year, Van Rij will first debate with the Chamber
In the coming months, Van Rij will continue to look into possible compensation for people who have suffered non-material damage, for example because the deductible items they entered in their tax returns were checked extra strictly on the basis of personal characteristics such as origin or religion.
Van Rij cannot yet say anything about the consequences for the treasury. But the vast majority of FSV registered persons are therefore not eligible for compensation and only receive another letter of apology. “And that costs nothing.”
Van Rij’s proposal is “a mindset”, he emphasizes. In the further elaboration, the legal basis, feasibility and financial consequences must still be considered. After the summer recess, the State Secretary also wants to discuss it with the House of Representatives before taking a final decision.
“I understand that the use of the FSV has damaged confidence in the Tax Authorities – and thus confidence in the government as a whole,” said the minister. “I am very sorry about that. Citizens and entrepreneurs must be able to count on a fair selection and handling of the declaration.”
Tax authorities violated privacy and there was institutional racism
The tax authorities stopped using the FSV in 2020, after the list was unveiled in 2020 by RTL News and Fidelity. Both the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) and research agency PwC have determined that the tax authorities have violated the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG) privacy law on many points with the system.
The research by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also showed that people could get a registration in the FSV on the basis of their nationality or through a donation to a mosque. At the end of May, the cabinet acknowledged that there was institutional racism here.