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2014 New year, clean house, throw out the bookkeeping, or should you?

While you are storing the Christmas decoration in the attic, you might come across some old bookkeeping you were told to keep. What was that about?

By Dutch law you are required to keep your files for a period of at least seven years. After the period of seven years has lapsed you can dispose of this bookkeeping. Or should you?

New legislation comes in place in 2015 in which there will be a distinctive line between the good, the bad and the ugly tax payer. The good tax payer is the one that did not make (deliberately) a mistake in his or her tax filing. The bad tax payer is the one that did make a ‘mistake’ in his or her tax filing. The consequence is that the period during which the tax office can reclaim tax is extended up to twelve years for the bad tax payer. The good tax payer in this respect cannot be charged with extra tax for a back period of three years. The ugly tax payer, the tax payer that committed fraud in his or her tax return, goes to jail basically. The penalties in the financial world are more severe than in the civil world.

The legislation with respect to the period during which you need to keep the bookkeeping has not been update to twelve years yet. If you know that the tax office itself does not keep the bookkeeping themselves for at least seven years, why would you keep it any longer?

The reason why is to defend yourself, but if you know that there is nothing to be defended, then please dispose of the bookkeeping exceeding the period of seven years as per December 31, 2013.

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