De Bont Advocaten focuses on solving tax and tax related disputes. If so required, we argue a case up to the Dutch Supreme Court, however where possible we try to obtain a good result through negotiations.
Sometimes we have to deal with protracted conflicts, where proceedings do not offer a good solution but where negotiations are neither (no longer) possible. These are cases where the instrument of mediation may offer a solution.
Mediation is an alternative manner of dispute resolution, also known as ‘counselled negotiations’. Mediation is about getting the actual interests of parties on the table in order that the parties can then start looking for the best solution. If the parties are willing to listen properly to each other and to take each other’s interests into account then a durable solution for the arisen problems can usually be found. Also with the Dutch Tax Authorities.
The cases are often referred by the District Court but parties can also autonomously immediately rely on a mediator. In many instances it regards cases that are complex, are related to multiple years, include multiple group companies, cover multiple types of assessments. Usually it is not just about taxation and other aspects also play a role of importance, e.g. the approach of the Dutch Tax Authorities (or of the taxpayer) and personal circumstances of those involved or a relationship with other areas of the law (criminal law, business law, inheritance law). It is expected that in the years to come more attention will also be paid to mediation in international tax disputes, e.g. within the framework of Mutual Agreement Proceedings.
Our firm supervises mediations for taxpayers, however our colleague Arnaud Booij can also act as a mediator. He is a mediator registered with the MfN as well as an ADR Full Certified Mediator. He acts as a mediator in tax disputes and in business / governance disputes.