The inspector can impose penalties up to an amount equal to 100% of the additionally claimed or imposed taxes. In certain instances, a penalty of 300% can even be imposed. To an increasing extent, the inspector is relying of the authority to impose these kinds of negligence penalties.

Since 2009 the possibility has existed to impose a joint offender penalty. The Dutch Tax Authorities relies on the said authority when, for instance, imposing penalties on tax consultants or other third parties who would have assisted in, for instance, the filing of incorrect tax returns. In practice, the so-called joint offender penalty appears to be imposed ever more frequently. The relevant consultant must put forward a defence against this and is almost forced to distance themselves from their client. After all, are the interests truly the same? Meanwhile, our attorneys-at-law also have the necessary experience with these joint offender penalties.

The regular penalty proceedings usually take place simultaneously with the the proceedings regarding the assessment. Often, too little attention is paid to the inherent nature of the penalty proceedings. Contrary to the proceedings regarding the taxation, it is possible to rely on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the penalty proceedings, as a result of which the presumption of innocence applies. This implies that during the assessment of the evidence, doubts must be explained in favour of the penitent. It also happens that an exacted statement can be taken into account as evidence for the correction of the assessment, but is excluded from the evidence for the penalty.

In addition to differences in the furnishing of evidence, aspects like imputability and determination of the punishment play an important role in penalty proceedings. De Bont Advocaten has above-average experience in conducting proceedings against these 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 Prosecutor and, on the other hand, (autonomously) imposing a penalty. De Bont Advocaten has also gained extensive experience and expertise with this process in many cases that were concluded successfully.