Fiscal policy priorities of the Cabinet Route IV

Secretary of State Van Rij has sent his political priorities for the coming term of office and the expected planning of the tax bills to the House of Representatives. In line with the coalition agreement, the Secretary of State envisages five important political themes for the coming term of office: Climate, Business, Income and Work, Wealth and Housing and Health.

  • Climate policy theme. The government is implementing tax measures in the climate area with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions and encouraging behavioral changes. This involves a wide range of measures, including the introduction of a payment system, after which there is a self-regulated legislative process. Many measures, such as a tightening of the CO2 tax for industry and an increase in the air passenger tax, will be included in Tax Plan 2023.
  • Policy theme Entrepreneurship. The government wants to strengthen the growth and innovation capacity of companies, from SME entrepreneurs to large international companies, and to offer a stable and predictable business climate. The government also wants to continue to fight tax evasion by, among other things, making agreements in a European and international context and by ensuring that these agreements are transposed into national law. In the treaties that the Netherlands concludes with other countries, the approach to tax evasion will be carefully examined, and efforts will also be made to strengthen taxation in developing countries.
  • Policy theme Income and employment. During the election period, the government strives for a balanced and average positive purchasing power picture for all. An planned tax reduction of € 3 billion is also being implemented. The State Secretary believes that it is important for a well-functioning labor market to make the situation of employees and the self-employed more balanced in terms of taxation.
  • Policy theme Wealth. According to the State Secretary, both the processing of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the current Box 3 system and the introduction of a tax on real capital returns require great attention in this area. In the coalition agreement, Box 2 agreements have also been made. In addition, research is being done into how the tax business transfer facilities can be improved and how incorrect use can be prevented. Furthermore, during the debate on the government statement, a commitment was made to provide a broader answer to inequality in prosperity in the Netherlands before the summer of 2022 – when the inter-ministerial political study of wealth distribution is completed. The Secretary of State is examining whether these perspectives can be incorporated into the above processes.
  • Policy theme Housing and health. According to the Secretary of State, tax measures can play an important role in helping people find suitable housing, encourage healthy behaviors and counteract unhealthy behaviors. The coalition agreement contains a number of specific tax measures for this. For example, the landlord tax must be abolished, the tobacco tax must be increased, and research into a tax on sugar must be researched.

In addition to the above policy themes, the Secretary of State has the ambition to take the first steps towards a simplification of the tax system and to take a significant step towards improving the services of the tax and customs administration. The Tax and Customs Administration and the Danish Tax and Customs Administration are also revising their collection strategy, especially for citizens who have to deal with high debt for a longer period of time. At the same time, the streamlining of the collection provisions for taxes and allowances (the Flow Act) is suspended and reconsidered – which is included in the Tax Simplification Act 2017, but has not entered into force. It is being considered to introduce a hardness clause in the Collection Act. The House of Representatives will be further informed about this in the first quarter of 2022. The Minister of Foreign Affairs also stated that the research reports on the effects of FSV registrations made by the SME Directorate and on the used “gateway inquiries” searches that could lead to inclusion in FSV at the end of February 2022 (SME) and the beginning of March 2022 (Inquiries) to be sent to the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives will also be briefed in the first quarter of 2022 on the state of affairs regarding the recovery process with erroneously unreduced litigation costs and the problem of recovery rates. Finally, before the Tax Administration’s committee debate on 24 March 2022, the State Secretary will outline the structure of his action plan announced on 31 January 2022 with regard to the tax administration’s enforcement instruments.

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