In the preliminary stage of proceedings
In practice, a difference of opinion can sometimes arise with the Dutch Tax & Customs Administration (TCA: Belastingdienst). If it proves impossible to resolve this difference of opinion by discussion, it can be necessary and/or desirable to commence tax proceedings. These proceedings start with the submission of a letter of objection to the TCA (within the applicable time limit) against an additional VAT assessment or your own VAT return. On the basis of this letter of objection, the TCA will have to reconsider the assessment or return. DHK can also assist you in this early “preliminary stage”.
Proceedings at the district court, appeal court, Supreme Court of the Netherlands or European Court of Justice
If the TCA’s decision on the objection fails to satisfy the client, the case can then be taken to the tax court. The usual course of the proceedings is that the question is first submitted to the district court. An appeal against the district court’s judgement can be lodged with the appeal court by both the taxpayer and the TCA. The appeal court’s judgement can then be appealed in cassation at the Supreme Court of the Netherlands by both the taxpayer and the TCA, if there has been “misapplication of the law” or “failure to apply legal rules”. If the dispute focuses on the scope or interpretation of a provision of the VAT Directive or other European legislation, a further possibility is to request a ruling from the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
Extensive experience with proceedings
We regularly act as an authorised representative in tax proceedings at the district court, appeal court, Supreme Court of the Netherlands and (more occasionally) the European Court of Justice. If necessary, we convincingly represent our clients’ interests in court. Our main priority is to reach a solution that is satisfactory for all parties. In our view, this ultimately works out best for all parties concerned. We think that litigation is never an end in itself: to commence proceedings must be in the interest of the client.