100,000 migrant workers ‘fail to register’, costing state €150m: RTL

At least 100,000 migrant workers are not paying local and national taxes in the Netherlands because they have not registered with their local council, RTL news reports on Tuesday.

RTL says this is costing national and local government €150m a year. By not registering, migrants don’t have to pay water and waste collection charges or health insurance and motoring taxes. In total, this adds up to €1,500 per person a year, the broadcaster said.

In Rotterdam and Amsterdam officials estimate some 30,000 migrant workers have not registered. In The Hague the figure is put at 14,000. By law in the Netherlands, everyone has to register with their local council (GBA) when they move to the area.

Tax numbers

Officials say the tax office can do far more to track down migrant workers. For example, many give the addresses of their employer or family in Poland when requesting a tax (sofi) number.

But by giving out temporary tax numbers, officials can make sure people then register at an official Dutch address, Rotterdam alderman Hamit Karakus said.

‘They park, put out their rubbish and use the roads, but the costs are currently being paid by Rotterdammers who are registered,’ Karakus told the broadcaster.

One street

In Rotterdam’s Grote Visserijstraat, 450 homes are registered to 170 different owners. Some 140 Bulgarian nationals officially live in the street but the council suspects a further 200 actually do so, RTL said.

Over the past six months, council officials have visited 22 dwellings in the street, identifying 38 cases of non-registration, eight cases of over-crowding and one case of welfare fraud.

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