In some matters you need representation, be careful who represents you. Or be aware of the actions of your representor. It could hurt you more than it yields you.
Be careful who represents you – court case
The moment you go to court, especially the high court, you need assistance of an expert. An expert is a person with a fiscal education who knows the process and who can hold your hand through the process. Such a person can be any tax advisor or tax expert. Only if you enter the supreme court, you need to be represented by a tax lawyer. A tax lawyer is a scares profession. This case was not about a tax lawyer.
When you have a dispute with the tax office about a subject, we are very well aware you take it personally. It is you or your company the tax office is having a dispute with. In such a case it is often an experienced tax inspector who makes the claims, they are business wise dedicated to the case. Even if you have a non-experienced and in your opinion a non-communicative or not educated person representing the tax office. Your opinions you keep to yourself, no matter what. It can only affect the case negatively.
Therefore it goes without saying that you will never hire Gordon Ramsey to represent you in a tax case. I am certain his cooking qualities exceeds his tax law qualities, but his expression in his language will not bring you far in court rooms. Apparently we have the Dutch (still mild) version of Gordon Ramsey operating as representative in tax court cases to our surprise.
The case was about import duty on cars, the case was with the high court (HOF) and the court in the end denied this representative to be part the court case of and show his presence in the court room during this court case. A very draconic decision, how did this happen?
How not to use the hearing right (hoorrecht)?
Part of a dispute with the tax office is that you have the right to be heard. That implies you come to the office of the tax office and you explain in your words how you see the situation. This dimension to the discussion can bring more than everything on papers has brought so far.
Unfortunately if you have really bad representation, your person is not debating the issue on hand, but uses the hour to swear at the civil servant representing the tax office. That is not polite, that is not helping either.
In 2018 this person was already warned about his swearing behavior to tax inspectors, again earlier in 2019.
How not to use the speaking right in a court case?
During the court case this person stated that the court were “clowns”, “charlatans who made the practice to scamming tax payers into an art”. The supreme court was address to as “an intense criminal organization”, a “mafia practice”. The president of the high court was addressed to as a “known super criminal on the internet” and the court was a “criminal organization”.
The court dismissed the evidence this representative entered into the case with similar remarks in the written documents and after this tirade this person was dismissed in full to be able to represent the client in court. As if you can still refer to this behavior as representation.
Has the court dismissed the client of his rights?
No the court has not dismissed the client of his rights. The court only demanded this person no longer to represent this (or any) client. The court dismissed not the client of being represented, the client has four weeks’ time to find different representation. Hence article 47 of the EU manifest is still in place.
Does this imply the court can dismiss any representation they find irritating? No that is not the case. A lawyer cannot be dismissed due to the reason mentioned above. A lawyer cannot be dismissed at all. Then again, if a lawyer uses abusive language one time in a court case, the president of the Bar (de Deken) will correct this lawyer in a manner that this was a one-time situation.
Orange Tax Services
We can represent you in a case you have with the Dutch tax office, with the court, with the high court (Hof), but we cannot represent you with the supreme court (Hoge Raad). Representing you in the high court is not our core business, but representing you in a dispute with the Dutch tax office we do on a daily basis.
Key in any discussion you have with anybody is to be firm, but polite. Even if the other party is less polite, you keep at your level of courtesy. This brings you more than you can lose.
Being abusive, swearing, calling names shows you are not in control. Shows you are not at the same level of expertise as the rest of the court room is. It makes the position of your client weaker, it might even hurt the client. So be careful who represents you.