October 4, 2018

Children discover error in 2019 Dutch tax plan

Filed under: Food & Drink,General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 2:01 pm

During an economics lesson, secondary school children in Tilburg, Noord-Brabant discovered a calculation error in the Dutch tax office’s plan for 2019.

While learning about the plan, which apparently can be found online and lets people know what’s coming tax-wise, a girl noticed a mistake. After discussing it and checking with the rest of the class, they sent an e-mail to the Dutch government, telling them about it, but didn’t immediately get a response. The next day, the error had not been corrected.

The economics class did some recalculations the next day and to them it still was wrong, as well as still being wrong online. They sent another message, and at some point, a cake was delivered to the school during their class. The cake had a QR code on it, which made them all laugh, with a personal message from Secretary of State Menno Snel thanking them for having found the mistake.

(Link: waarmaarraar.nl)

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July 9, 2018

Tax office loses fight against Dutch preacher

Filed under: Religion by Orangemaster @ 8:51 pm

A preacher of the Reformed Congregations (Protestant) from Amersfoort, Utrecht got into it with the Dutch tax office over wanting to deduct a dress jacket he used for special occasions like weddings as work clothing, which the tax office refused.

The 354,95 euro jacket was bought in 2013 and claimed as work clothing that year, but the tax office claimed it could also be worn casually, therefore it could not be deducted.

The preacher brought the matter before a court in Gelderland. He claimed he only wore the jacket for very specific work occasions, not in his spare time. The court also turned down his claim.

Not finished pleading his case, the preacher appealed the lower court’s decision, and the court of Arnhem-Leeuwarden took his side this week. Due to the buttons and other specific traits of the jacket, the court clearly saw a different type of garment that just a jacket and sided with the preacher who was then allowed to deduct it as work clothing. It was also bought at a very specific shop for that very same reason.

The preacher was refunded the money he spent fighting the case in court and can now adjust his tax return.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo by Johan Wieland, some rights reserved)

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July 25, 2016

Tax office ready to cash in on Pokémon sellers

Filed under: Gaming by Orangemaster @ 5:52 pm

Pokémon

Before Pokémon Go was officially launched in the Netherlands there were already 1.3 million players. Now that it’s been officially released for about a week, that figure is approaching 2 million players, one eight of the population.

Some people have been creating accounts, catching a shit ton of ideally rare Pokémons and then selling their account to people with a lot of money and not too much time or patience. The Dutch tax office is trying to get in on the action by looking into taxing people who are selling these accounts. They’ve already dug their claws into people renting their flats out as Airbnb locations, so why not hit Pokémon Go account sellers?

Selling accounts falls under additional earnings, which means expenses could be deducted as well such as phone costs and travel costs. Sellers could even show how many kilometres they’ve had to travel for their catches by using apps for it. Some level 20 Pokémon Go accounts are going for €500 on online auction sites, according to fhm.nl.

Businesses that are designated Pokéstops, a place where players can obtain free items to use in the game, are apparently earning money by buying ‘lure modules’, which can only be set up at Pokéstops. The idea is that the business turns on a lure module, which lasts 30 minutes, luring all kind of Pokémon for anyone to catch. And this is only the beginning.

(Links: www.deondernemer.nl, www.fhm.nl)

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July 21, 2015

Tax office pesters nine-year-old for income tax

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 6:27 pm

In 2008 a three-year-old and a six-year-old were harassed by the tax office for not filing a return, and now it’s the turn of a nine-year-old, which doesn’t qualify as an improvement on their part.

The girl erroneously received a tax return to fill in last year and her mother has been fighting with the tax office to straighten things out ever since. The tax office said the girl’s estimated income was EUR 1347, and the girl’s mother called to tell them that wasn’t remotely possible. The tax office said it would take some time to change the details in the system, but that was over a year ago, and the dreaded blue envelopes of the Dutch tax office keep coming in.

The girl wrote the tax office a letter: “I’m not allowed to work and I don’t get that much pocket money, so I can’t pay you.” Since this situation has hit the media, the tax office has again promised to try and sort it out, as they finally should.

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October 15, 2014

Grieving parties must purchase software to fill in tax form

Filed under: General,IT by Orangemaster @ 10:44 am

Roughly translated the Dutch tax office’s motto is, ‘We can’t make it more pleasant, but we can make it easier’, which is often use to preface the exact opposite, as I am about to do.

Some guy’s stepmother dies. Besides coming to terms with the situation, there’s paperwork to be done for the tax office. Many forms have been digitised over the years, but not the one form this guy needs to fill out. In fact, some 140,000 people need to fill out this form every year, but its 27 pages. Our guy says he’ll need to sit down and spend hours figuring it out.

Nope, he can’t send it in digitally. For that one form, he needs to purchase software from one of two publishers who make it for accountants and it costs 610 euro. Our guy is justifiably upset and decides to write to Parliament because sending in most tax forms is usually free. After all the two companies that make this professional software are able to send in their corporate tax forms for free. The tax office didn’t think that people doing taxes for the deceased was a priority, but you wonder why they think it’s OK to force ordinary citizens to buy expensive, almost useless software to fill in one form. Politicians have said they agree, but changing the rules won’t happen overnight.

Tax office cock-ups are a great source of entertainment:

Tax office in Friesland refuses Frisian letter. You can’t talk to the tax office in any other language than Dutch for legal reasons, something we hadn’t mentioned back then.

Tax office tells woman to divorce for benefits. Taxes before bros, thinks the government.

(Link: www.welingelichtekringen.nl)

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September 30, 2014

iPads are ‘means of communication’, not computers or phones

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:44 am

In late 2012 a Dutch court ruled that iPads were not phones and that angered broadcaster RTL Nederland because that meant they would owe back taxes to the tune of 323,687 euro on 664 iPads with Vodafone subscriptions given to their employees for Christmas.

RTL appealed the ruling at the time, and yesterday a higher court overturned the decision and ruled that not only are iPads not phones, they are also not computers: they are “means of communication.” The clincher is that the law also prescribes categories of devices that are applicable to be taxed, including “phones, Internet and such communication devices.”

The iPad is a fancy tin can with a string attached to it that is not primarily used to do all your work on, giving RTL a reason to pop open some champers.

(Link: webwereld.nl)

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July 16, 2014

French tourists ignore fines and sleep in their cars

Filed under: Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 9:36 pm

Maybe French tourists are onto something: why pay a lot of money for an overpriced, cramped Amsterdam hotel room when you can sleep in your car and get a parking fine you won’t have to pay in the end? Apparently, the fines the French are being issued are not being collected anyways, so pourquoi pas.

According to De Telegraaf some 20,000 parking fines were issued to French car owners over the last two years, but few fines were actually collected by Dutch authorities. Even blogs are telling the French to ignore those pesky fines, although the tax office claims they’ll have to pay eventually. I know many French friends who have come to Amsterdam, been fined for parking in the wrong place not being able to decipher what they had to do and never paid their fines.

According to local telly station AT5 French tourists are said to sleep in their cars, which upsets the locals. Maybe the tax office should collect those fines for real because when it comes to bureaucracy the French know how to snub the system more than you, you clueless Dutch tax office you.

(Link: www.at5.nl)

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January 9, 2014

Tax office in Friesland refuses Frisian letter

Filed under: General,Literature by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

The National Frisian Party claims to have received an unfair fine of 50 euro and decided to complain about it to the local tax office in Leeuwarden, Friesland in the Frisian language.

The law says that if the letter of objection is submitted in a foreign language and a translation is needed to be able to process the objection, the person submitting the letter must provide a translation. The thing is, Frisian isn’t a ‘foreign’ language (as in from another country), it is one of the Netherlands’ recognised minority languages.

According to AD.nl, The NFP is waiting for an answer from the tax office about what their policy actually is with regard to what constitutes a ‘foreign’ language for them. As well, it’s quite surprising that nobody at the tax office in Leeuwarden is apparently capable or willing to read Frisian, considering that Friesland has some 350,000-400,000 native speakers. I have a feeling that if the tax office were to receive a letter in English or German that they wouldn’t have any problems with it, considering their site is partially in English and German.

(Link: www.ad.nl, Photo by Rupert Ganzer, some rights reserved)

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September 27, 2011

Tax office tells woman to divorce for benefits

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:52 pm

To be eligible for child care benefits a woman with a disabled husband was advised by the tax office to get a divorce.

The husband needs constant care, which he gets in health care facilities, and is rarely at home. The tax office figured the man does not work (duh) therefore he has time to take care of the kids, meaning she has no reason to receive child care benefits.

As a solution, the caring tax people suggested she get an actual divorce (not a separation) and then she could get benefits. She was also given the advice over the phone.

Never mind the ‘get a divorce’ bit, which was probably very shocking and insulting to the woman, the fact that a divorce would solve this problem instead of adjusting the rules is insane.

(Link: binnenland.nieuws.nl)

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April 30, 2011

New tax office Groningen

Filed under: Architecture by Branko Collin @ 9:44 am

Ben van Berkel of Amsterdam’s UNStudio designed this new building for the Dutch tax service, digs Belastingdienst will have to share with the national loans and bursaries programme, DUO.

Lots of nice colours on the inside, as Dezeen shows.

The structure was designed so that it can easily be re-purposed into an apartment complex should the current owners ever get bored.

(Photo: UNStudio)

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