August 28, 2019

Dutch government pushes for tax relief for ‘accidental Americans’

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 12:03 pm

According to DutchNews, The Netherlands has called on EU member states to try and change American tax laws that affect thousands of Dutch people who have the American nationality, but have nothing to do with the United States otherwise.

State Secretary of Finance Menno Snel, who has been slammed in court for illegally stopping child support from Dutch residents and migrants with an ethnic background (in Dutch), mentioned that The Netherlands has raised the issue in a European context, while Prime Minister Mark Rutte also brought it up in a recent visit to the United States.

If more European countries came together to make this demand to the Americans, maybe something could change. If the United States can make money messing up the lives of Americans abroad, they don’t have much of an incentive to stop in this current political climate.

I know Dutch friends born in the United States who are struggling with this ruling, having little or nothing to do with the United States in their lives. And then there’s that one friend who gave up being American altogether and is now a full fledged Dutch citizen, free of nonsense from the American tax office.


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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.


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July 25, 2016

Tax office ready to cash in on Pokémon sellers

Filed under: Gaming by Orangemaster @ 5:52 pm


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

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.


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July 18, 2013

Chinese vase turns family into multimillionaires

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 3:50 pm

In 2003 an anonymous Dutch family inherited a Chinese vase and assessed its worth at 12,500 euro for the tax people. The rare vase of the Han Yuan dynasty then skyrocketed in value between 2003 and 2005 up to 100,000 euro according to the family, due to the many rich Chinese that were interested in buying these vases.

Just 20 months later at an auction at Christie’s in London, the vase went for a whopping 23 million euro. The tax people took the family to court, as they felt cheated and wanted to see a chunk of the megabucks. The family appealed the decision and the court made them settle at 10 million euro.

(Link:, Photo of Chinese vase by, some rights reserved)

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December 28, 2011

Orangemaster’s favourite stories of 2011

Filed under: Bicycles,General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 5:33 pm

Another year of posting is coming to an end and it’s time to pick our favourite stories of 2011.

We had a lot of stories about cycling and bicycles which were retweeted by many people (thanks!), encouraging us to make a category for them, and a lot of stories about discriminatory and absurd laws and situations. Oh, and some sports news.

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March 30, 2010

Tourist tax is still not transparent

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:48 am

Worldwide, the prices of plane tickets and hotels are dropping in order to attract more clients and get this crisis over with and the money moving, so the media keeps telling us. A few years ago, we saw plane tickets drop significantly, with one company raising their prices instead: Air France KLM back when it was still KLM and Dutch if I remember correctly.

Dutch municipalities have a similar, funny way of stimulating their local economy: some 169 municipalities have decided to raise their tourist tax, while only four have decided to lower it. There are 431 municipalities in the Netherlands and as a whole they earn 100 million euro a year with tourist tax, which is a tax per person per night tacked onto hotel room prices that are often hard to find even in the fine print. In other words, when people book hotel rooms online, tourist tax is often not mentioned because the municipality in question as well as certain hotels according to many complaints I’ve seen on telly are not forthcoming about the amount of tax. Legally, booking sites are obliged to mention all costs, but apparently, that’s not happening properly everywhere.

Interestingly, a big city like Rotterdam doesn’t apply tourist tax at all, and one fourth of all 431 municipalities do not apply tourist tax either. Roosendaal, a city that pretty much borders Belgium, has raised its tourist tax by a whopping 122 percent as has De Marne in the North.