VATupdate

Fiscal control “remotely” becomes possible

The tax authorities will soon be able to check a taxpayer’s accounts via an electronic platform. The person concerned must place his (electronic) bookkeeping on it if requested by the tax authorities. This means that the old rule that the tax authorities must go on site for an inspection will come to an end.

Every taxpayer is obliged to submit all necessary books and documents to the tax authorities, with a view to an audit, as soon as the tax authorities so request. But the law clearly states that this must be done “without displacement”. In other words: the taxpayer does not have to travel for an inspection, it is the tax authorities who have to come “home”.

In practice, this provision is not always applied very literally. It happens that the tax authorities request that certain documents be sent or handed over. If the taxpayer accedes to that request, that is of course his free choice. But the tax authorities may not exert any coercion in that direction.

A few years ago there was a discussion about exactly that aspect. The tax authorities sent letters requesting the submission of documents and added a list of the sanctions that a taxpayer risks if he does not provide information (in general, regardless of the request for the relocation, but this was not with said). The Court of Cassation considered this to be undue pressure. The tax authorities may not put pressure on the taxpayer to send documents that he must (only) keep at the disposal of the tax authorities “without movement”.

Source DVP-law

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