| THE HAGUE — The Dutch tax office is becoming increasingly successful in tracing tax evaders who hide their money in foreign bank accounts, junior Finance Minister Steven van Eijck has claimed.
The minister told national newspaper De Telegraaf on Friday that the tax department's investigation unit (FIOD) has already managed to track down some 10,000 people this year who had "parked" their often-substantial capital abroad without informing the tax office.
The tax office is sending out letters demanding these people come clean about the true extent of their income. They will subsequently be taxed accordingly and can also count on a stiff fine. The FIOD's tough approach has already earned the tax office tens of millions of euros.
Using tax treaties — signed under the last government — with a number of countries including Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and France, FIOD is able to cross-reference bank account information, making it much easier to catch tax dodgers.
"We are right on top of things," said Van Eijck of the populist LPF party, "It's not too late to report your capital now if you want to avoid heavy fines. We will be clamping down on the illegal flight of capital even more severely in the coming years."