Will I get a fine if I don’t file my tax return in time?

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Fine for filing your income tax return late or not at all

The tax authorities can raise a fine if you didn’t file your tax return or filed it too late. You can also get a fine if you don’t pay in time or don’t pay the entire tax claim.

Amount of the fine

If you submit your income tax return too late, you will receive a fine of € 226. If you do this for the second time, the fine will even be € 984. If you would submit your corporate income tax return too late, the fine would even be € 2,460 . If you do this for the second time, the fine even amounts to € 4,960. For systematically late filing of the declaration, the fine is € 4,960.

Reminder that you are late

The tax authorities must give you a reasonable period. If you are late, you will receive a so-called 10-day note. This must be based on the general principles of good governance. If you were on time, but the mail took too long, then the sending or dispatch theory applies; if you were demonstrably on time, the post will not charge you for the delay.

The tax authorities must make it plausible that the tax return form and the reminder have been received by you, i.e. have reached you. Judges often rule that it is sufficient that the tax authorities can substantiate the sending. Due to the administrative processes at the tax authorities, this is not always possible, so ask for this if you are fined.

Type of fines

There are default fines (Article 67a of the AWR) and offense fines. The default penalty is imposed if:

  • a declaration is not made;
  • a declaration is submitted too late;
  • the tax due is paid too late.

You cannot actually wriggle out of a default fine. You could argue that there is absence of all blaim (In Dutch “afwezigheid van alle schuld”) or if there are extreme circumstances (your adviser or accountant is in intensive care).

An offense fine is something else, it is determined on the basis of the degree of guilt. We know three:

  • gross negligence: fine 25% (examples of this are carelessness, carelessness, reprehensible behavior, negligence);
  • intent: a fine of 50% (examples of knowingly and intentionally acting or omission as a result of which too little tax has been or is being levied);
  • aggravating circumstance: fine 100% (examples are cases involving repetition, collusion, etc.).

When black money is found, etc., the fine can even amount to 300%. There are also special fines, such as ignoring the withholding for private use of the company car. The fine is at least € 3,936, if you forge things or commit a similar offense, the fine is even € 4,920. There will be a separate penalty decision against which you can lodge an objection and appeal.

The fine can be reduced if:

  • the reasonable period has been exceeded, for example if a procedure takes too long or an assessment is imposed late;
  • you have no money, if the taxpayer simply cannot pay it;
  • there is a mismatch between the offense, the tax amount and the amount of the fine.

Objections to the fine

Suppose you receive a fine and you don’t agree. What can you do then? There are several options, an overview in brief:

  • Reminder: a fine can only be imposed if the inspector can demonstrate that the declaration form and the reminder have been sent and have reached you. Supporting the sending is sufficient, but often difficult for the inspector (due to automatic processes). The reminder does not have to be signed (Court of Justice June 4, 2010).
  • No blaim: sometimes you can appeal to the absence of all blaim. If you can prove that you have done everything that can reasonably be expected of you, this is a step in the right direction.
  • Regret: a fine might be adjusted if you show regret or remorse, this follows from the decree on fines.
  • Imbalance: according to the decree on fines, a fine can be reduced if there is an imbalance between the fine and the default.

As you can see the penalties are very high. Too high in our opinion. But it does emphasize the importance that your tax return is filed in time. If you know you need more time ask the tax authorities for a time extension. Expatax can also arrange this for you. If you don’t know how to prepare the tax return ask our assistance. We will gladly help you.