Junior tax minister Erik Wiebes has vigorously defended his department over allegations that tax officials misled judges about the source of information on illicit savings accounts in Luxembourg.
The case dates back to 2009 when then junior finance minister Jan Kees de Jager bought a list of people with secret foreign bank accounts from the anonymous source.
According to the Volkskrant, that list led to 76 people with a total of €33m in a Rabobank Luxembourg bank account paying back taxes and fines totalling €10m. Of that, a proportion went to the person who tipped off the authorities, the paper said.
The Supreme Court said last year the tax office can keep the source confidential and that the anonymity of the source is not sufficient reason to tear up the fines handed out in connection with the case.
The civil servants were earlier ordered to come clean by the lower courts but refused to state the source of the information on finance ministry instructions.
In his briefing to MPs on Wednesday, Wiebes denied claims by a television current affairs show and legal experts that the court had been misled. In addition, the minister had given a cast-iron agreement that the identity of the person involved would never be revealed, Wiebes said.
The finance ministry has collected an estimated €1.6bn in back taxes and fines from people with secret bank accounts abroad.
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