The inspector can impose penalties up to an amount of 100% of the additionally assessed taxes. In exceptional instances it is even possible to impose a penalty of 300%. To an increasing extent the inspector relies on his authority to impose these kinds of negligence penalties.
The proceedings regarding the penalty usually take place simultaneously with the proceedings regarding the assessment. Often too little attention is paid to the ‘personal’ character of the penalty proceedings. Unlike the proceedings regarding the tax assessment it is possible in the penalty proceedings to rely on the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as a result of which the presumption of innocence applies. This implies that when assessing the evidence doubt must be interpreted in favour of the penitent. Moreover a forced declaration can be taken into account for the evidence for the correction of the assessment but is excluded from evidence for the penalty.
Apart from differences in the furnishing of evidence, aspects like imputability and determination of the punishment play an important role in the penalty proceedings. De Bont Advocaten has above-average experience in conducting proceedings against these kinds of penalties.
An important phenomenon with regard to the penalty is that the tax inspector must make a choice: on the one hand transferring the case to the Public Prosecution Service or on the other hand (personally) imposing a penalty. De Bont Advocaten has also gained ample experience and expertise with this process through many cases that were settled successfully.