A judge imposes a penalty for the first time on taxpayers who refuse to share data with tax authorities

A judge imposes a penalty for the first time on taxpayers who refuse to share data with tax authorities

The 2022 law allows courts to impose fines on taxpayers who refuse to share information with tax authorities. A judge in the city of Bruges imposed such a penalty for the first time in April.

In the news: In April, a Bruges judge imposed a penalty of €2,500 per day – with a maximum of €50,000 – on a taxpayer because he refused to share certain information with the Special Tax Inspectorate (BBI). The newspaper “Lecco” reported this on the basis of the ruling that the newspaper was able to review.

  • According to the court, the tax authorities are entitled to obtain a copy of the requested information. The ruling said: “The taxpayer does not have the right to decide what data he wants to transfer to the FBI.”
    • In this case, the taxpayers refused to give the tax authorities access to data stored in the cloud. The data relates to, among other things, two accounting software, its e-commerce platform and its online store.
  • The defendant company, an online retail company, had been in the crosshairs of the tax authorities for some time. He discovered false invoices, salaries paid under schedule, payments without purchase invoices, profit transfers to a Hong Kong company, etc.

but: Tax specialist Michelle Moss notes the time Please note that there is still a lot of uncertainty about what information the tax authorities may request.

  • “The taxpayer may always refuse to make certain information available,” the expert said. “That is why the Vivaldi government created these fines. But it only highlights the fact that it is not clear what is allowed and what is not during in-depth inspections with so-called inspections by the tax authorities.
  • According to the tax specialist, imposing penalty payments is not the best tool in this case. “If there are indications of fraud, it is better for the tax authorities to file a criminal complaint,” she added.
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