Thursday 30 March 2023

Investors lobby group plans legal action on asset tax plan


The Dutch investors’ association VEB is taking legal action against the government’s decision to use a notional return of 5.5% to calculate the tax on assets over 2022, arguing the real figure is -14%.

The government decided to use 5.5% following a December 2021 court case in which the Supreme Court ruled the Dutch tax office was wrong to use a notional figure when calculating how much tax a couple had to pay on their savings.

The court said the use of a notional amount contravened the right to ownership and European human rights laws. The government pledged refund 60,000 savers and to reform the asset tax system, but has opted to use 5.5% as a base for assets during the changeover period.

The VEB says the real return on investments was so different from the government’s chosen figure that 5.5% will again not stand up in court.

‘The Supreme Court said the fictive return should be as close to the real return as possible,’ VEB director Gerben Everts said.  ‘5.5% has nothing to do with the real income.’ The VEB used central bank figures on investment in bonds, property and shares last year and says the real figure is -14%.

So far, 1,100 VEB members have signed up to support the court case, which has now been opened to non members as well.

The VEB will now select a number of different case studies to make the size and scope of the problem clear.


‘Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to feel sorry for investors,’ Everts said. ‘Of course they have to pay tax on their returns. But now they are being asked to pay for returns they did not get. Then we are talking not about money, about the violation of agreements due to the whims of government.’

The cabinet is due to introduce a new tax system based on actual earnings from 2026. In the meantime a transitional system has been brought in that still uses notional rates but distinguishes between savings, which for 2022 are being taxed at 0.00%, investments, which are subject to a variable rate of 5.5%, and debts, where the rate is around 2.3%.

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