Prior to 1 January 2014, the late, or non-filing of VAT returns due was already classified as a criminal offence under Dutch law.
However, where the taxpayer later made a complete and correct declaration, it was not possible for the Dutch authorities to prosecute. However, from 1 January 2014, the eventual submission of a correct VAT return will no longer prohibit prosecution where this is filed late (and VAT is due to the Dutch authorities).
This change to Dutch law is particularly important to taxpayers who may previously have filed ‘nil’ VAT returns on time, only to correct the return at a later date (i.e. when accurate figures become available). These taxpayers will now potentially be liable to prosecution.
The eventual submission of a correct VAT return will no longer prohibit prosecution where this is filed late
Going forward, rather than submitting ‘nil’ VAT returns, taxpayers should submit estimated returns showing the VAT liability as accurately as possible. A correct and complete VAT return should be filed within six weeks of filing the estimated return.
By doing this, the taxpayer should not be liable to prosecution under the amended regulations.
Regardless of the above, taxpayers should seek to submit correct VAT returns prior to the submission deadline in order to minimise the risk of penalties being levied.