Tax fraud in the overseas special Public Bodies Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba will be firmly dealt with. The Ministry of Finance in The Hague reported that the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Tax Department Caribbean Netherlands and the Fiscal Intelligence Investigation Department FIOD have made agreements to tackle this problem jointly. It was agreed that with suspicion of fraud for a high amount the three parties would consult each other and a criminal investigation could be started. With fraud involving lower amounts the Tax Department will impose an administrative fine. “This guideline is a logical step within the framework of the further modernisation and intensification of combating fraud by the Tax Department Caribbean Netherlands,” said State Secretary of Finance Frans Weekers.
The agreements were confirmed in a Reporting, Transaction and Prosecution Guideline for fiscal and customs offences, the so-called ATV guideline, which was published in the National Gazette on November 9. This guideline provides for FIOD to conduct criminal investigation in response to suspicion of tax fraud. Tax fraud includes, for example, deliberately submitting an incorrect tax return or giving incorrect information to the Tax Department. People can also be prosecuted for deliberately failing to submit tax returns. Criminal investigations can also be conducted under command of a prosecutor. The possibilities include searching residences and business premises and arresting suspects, depending on the severity of the case. Based on the procès-verbal drawn up by FIOD, a transaction can be offered or the prosecution can report the investigation to the Judge. For tax fraud the judge can impose prison sentences up to maximum of four years. Furthermore, the Judge can impose fines up to twice the amount owed. This guideline regards Income Tax, Wage Tax, Tax on Proceeds of Sale, Transfer Tax, Lottery Tax, General Spending Tax and Excise Tax. Furthermore, under command of the prosecutor, FIOD can conduct investigations into forgery and money-laundering practices, for example.
Source: “The Daily Herald” 2012-11-14