The Netherland’s tax authorities (Belastingsdienst) has been outed for apparently making fraud risk assessments based on nationality and appearance.
According to the NOS, the FSV computerized system which contains the details of everyone who pays tax or receives benefits was investigated by consultancy firm PwC, and showed signs of fundamental shortcomings.
Namely, individuals were added to the fraud signalling facility system (FSV) based on factors such as their appearance and nationality.
The PwC estimated that personal data such as ethnicity, medical information, and second nationality were considered in 11% of the FSV files examined so far. 😓
Between 2013 and 2020, about 240,000 people have been added to the fraud list — including minors.
Ethnic profiling isn’t a new accusation against tax authorities. For example, in 2019, the organisation was caught redhanded in discriminatory practices. On top of this, the Belastingdienst is fresh out of a childcare allowance scandal.
In addition to enlisting individuals in the FSV, the investigation also found that the information of individuals was shared with other government agencies such as the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), Social Insurance Bank (SVB), municipalities, the Ministry of Justice and Security, and the criminal justice system.
This third party sharing may not be entirely legal — however, the Tax and Customs Administration is still investigating the legality of these actions.
The administration is also looking into the allowance of people who were financially disadvantaged as a result of being blacklisted.
What do you think of the blacklisting incidents done by the Dutch tax authorities? Tell us in the comments below!
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