Austerity is a political decision: Netherlands edition

Following reports in February that a crackdown on mansion tax avoidance in the UK had raised five times more than expected, comes this:

“The large number of Dutch “zwartspaarders” (people using foreign bank accounts to avoid taxes – literally “black savers”)  who have come forward to the authorities has meant an unexpected windfall of almost half a billion euros. Six thousand tax avoiders have reported three billion in illicit wealth since September, according to new numbers from the secretary of finance. The tax authorities expect revenues of a cool 450 million euros.”

According to the article, about 60 people a day are reporting an average of half a million euros each in hidden savings, generating an average of 75.000 euros in tax revenues. Some “big fish” have reported tens of millions.

“One of the reasons for the success of this voluntary disclosure scheme is that countries such as Luxembourg and Switzerland have lifted their bank secrecy.”

“…the scheme runs until the 1st of July. Rich Dutch citizens who want to come forward voluntarily after this date will face a fine of 30% of the avoided tax. The fine will be doubled in July 2015.”

The original article is at ad.nl (in Dutch), also picked up by other media including the Volkskrant and nu.nl.

Now if only the Netherlands would stop being a tax haven for multinationals…

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