Black money – the hunt for savings with black money and bank secrecy

The tax authorities and the EU’s hunt for people with dirty money in a foreign account is in full swing. Also in 2021 and 2022. Many Dutch people confess that they have a savings account abroad that was not yet known to the tax authorities. Some people think they can make use of the tax authorities’ voluntary disclosure scheme to avoid the maximum fine, but that scheme has been withdrawn by the tax authorities. Bank secrecy and a numbered account (instead of a name) are no longer what they used to be. What now?

Black money, what now?

  • What exactly is black money?
  • Switzerland as a tax haven with great banking secrecy?
  • Is there a disclosure scheme for black money in 2021 and 2022?
  • Where is there still banking secrecy in the world?
  • What is a numbered account?
  • Super team Tax Authorities against black savers
  • Key lock

What exactly is black money?

Of course, the Tax Authorities benefit from the fact that people with dirty money become nervous. The more people who volunteer, some of whom want to make use of the voluntary disclosure scheme, the better. Many billions of euros are apparently stored in foreign savings accounts, but no one knows for sure how much. Switzerland and Luxembourg in particular seem to score high for black savers. The tax authorities will continue the hunt for undeclared savings in 2021 and 2022 and can often obtain the correct information fairly easily.

Switzerland as a tax haven with great banking secrecy?

Switzerland officially lifted banking secrecy on dirty money savings in 2018. At the same time, Switzerland attaches great importance to privacy and anonymity in financial matters and can therefore regularly find itself in a dilemma. There would be no automatic exchange of tax information, but there would be if a specific request about a person was received from the Tax Authorities. This means that Switzerland will cease to be a tax haven. And Switzerland is not alone in this: similar agreements have also been made with Luxembourg, Belgium, Liechtenstein and the Cayman Islands. The age-old list of black money escape routes is therefore becoming smaller and smaller. Some black savers try to move just in time to countries that have less close contact with the Dutch tax authorities.

Is there a disclosure scheme for black money in 2021 and 2022?

Not only is the pressure on black money increasing because more and more agreements are being made with tax havens. The chance of being caught increases. Moreover, the fine on black money is on the high side. This could involve a fine of up to 300 percent of the lost taxes. Anyone who makes a correct risk assessment will see that the advantage of black money can evaporate so quickly. What once seemed like a smart tax choice appears to be much less so in 2021 and 2022. Anyone who is caught by the Tax Authorities or FIOD can see their assets quickly shrink. It is therefore not illogical that people consider themselves in the danger zone. But yes, reporting yourself voluntarily also costs money. It is almost impossible to make a quick decision without finding a country where you will feel safe for a very long time. In fact, the penalty-free disclosure scheme for foreign assets no longer exists as of January 1, 2018. You can of course still withdraw, but this is no longer without a fine. However, a milder fine may be imposed in 2021 and 2022 if, in the opinion of the tax authorities, you cooperate sufficiently and answer the questions. However, voluntary disclosure is in most cases cheaper than being caught by the tax authorities.

Where is there still banking secrecy in the world?

The number of tax treaties between the Dutch tax authorities and the tax authorities of a foreign power is a patchwork. Sometimes it only concerns agreements at political level that must first be approved by the various parliaments. Examples of this are Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. There was no treaty at all with the Cayman Islands. The agreements at political level involve much more than just black money. It is also about double taxation, the rates and so on.

What is a numbered account?

Quite a few people have a numbered account, which means they cannot normally be traced by the tax authorities. These savers seem reasonably safe from the tax authorities. Apparently, because the tax authorities are collecting more and more data and sometimes also obtain a hard drive, which could also provide more clarity about savings accounts by number. In fact, if you withdraw money abroad with a debit or credit card, detection from the Netherlands is possible, because the clearing houses involved often also have a residence in the Netherlands. The FIOD has already tracked down many people: they paid for expensive purchases and watches with their debit card and then the tax authorities would like to know exactly how this works and where the money comes from.

Super team Tax Authorities against black savers

The fact that the Tax Authorities are serious is evident from the formation of the super team for black savings at the tax authorities. There are many people available to check data on black savings. The media regularly reports that black savers have been arrested again or that a bust is imminent. The life of someone with dirty money has certainly not become easier, especially if he lives in the Netherlands and also owes taxes there. The pressure is systematically increased.

Key lock

Black money can also gradually become a burden for its owner. For example, due to the pressure exerted from outside by the Tax Authorities and bodies such as the G8 and the EU. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine where you can still save relatively safely abroad. Finally, if you get caught, the fine may be significant. So it is up to you to decide what is best to do. In most cases, you will no longer be able to make fine-free returns for foreign black money in 2021 and 2022. As with almost everything, there are plenty of advisors for black money who can help you with your choice. The internet can also be very helpful with this.

read more

  • Switzerland lifts bank secrecy in 2018 (saving black money)