Tax is exciting BV is a new company and fraudulent invoices is what we receive on a daily basis. That is not exciting. As we are already in business for 15 years we recognize them immediately, but do you?
New company and fraudulent invoices
We are aware of ghost invoices, fake invoices or fraudulent invoices, but we are surprised by the number and fre quency of these messages.
Orange Tax Services was a joint venture that was changed into a BV company as per January 1, 2020. In the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK) we are now registered as new company.
The Dutch Chamber of Commerce earns an income by selling the details of the companies they register. That is of course meant for true business, in case you need a new energy contract, or you want to save costs on your telephone invoice. Really? But also other types in our society makes use of these details.
We receive invoices of companies unknown to us for a service we are to pay for. However, if you read the fine print at the bottom you read it is an offer and once you pay, you have agreed to pay every month.
We receive SMS messages from the Dutch tax office in Dutch (from Italian phone) that the VAT return is to be paid and you need to click on the link.
We receive from the Justice department (CJIB) final warnings that if we do not pay the speeding ticket immediately, they will come and collect at the office.
Some examples of what we receive.
How to recognize a fraudulent invoice or message?
One of my dear clients explained to me how he did it:
I had to laugh at him, so he explained. Do not pay for anything you do not know what it is about.
Very simple and very effective. To prevent this to become too effective we recommend you to keep all the invoices and show them to your tax advisor/ accountant, in case it is a true message.
What is not fraudulent?
Government organizations such as the Dutch tax office communicate with you via regular mail, send in a blue envelope. If you agree with them to receive messages via email, you have initiated this yourself, so you recognize these mails
The justice department (CJIB) does the same. They send you a very recognizable message, so everybody knows you speeded, via regular mail. Not sms, not email.
An invoice you receive that you do not understand you do not pay, you contact the organization that send it. If you cannot find contact details, or you can contact but they do not answer the phone or whatever. Do not pay if you do not understand what you are paying for: Become Dutch!
The first thing, after reading my article above, is that you do not understand the tax assessments, not understand what you are exactly paying for, hence you do not pay Dutch tax based on my article. But that is one bridge too far. The article is about the surprising number of methods that are used to get you to pay money for nothing, chicks for free (Dire straits).