Various regional dailies, Nov 27, 2013: 'Power of tax authorities to be sharply curtailed'
“The power of the Tax Authority is in danger of being severely curtailed by a ruling by the Den Bosch court. According to the court, the Inland Revenue violates privacy when it indiscriminately demands large amounts of data to see if there happens to be useful information among them.
This is according to a ruling in summary proceedings between the Tax Office and Best-based company SMSParking.
The company, which enables payment of parking fees by mobile phone, refused to hand over data of two million transactions from 2012. Based on the license plate data, the Inland Revenue wanted to see if people concealed the fact that they were using their leased cars privately.
Experts say the ruling is a break in the trend. Almost 40 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the tax authorities could request almost unlimited data. That rule seemed unassailable.
However, the court now argues that the 2013 situation is not comparable to that of 1974. Much more data is stored now.
If these all have to be available to the Tax Administration, the European right to privacy is almost worthless, the court reasoned.
The Inland Revenue may only request data 'proportionally'. (...) The Inland Revenue filed an appeal yesterday. (...) Fellow companies like Yellowbrick and ParkMobile had already surrendered their data to the tax authorities. Yellowbrick is going to reclaim it as soon as possible. ParkMobile is also considering doing so.
Jaap-Henk Hoepman of Nijmegen University's security group thinks the ruling could have major consequences. (...) Lawyer Vincent Böhre of Privacy First. The organisation sees in the ruling support for the fight against storing CCTV footage of license plates for legal investigations. That too is not proportionate, Böhre argues."
Source: Limburgs Dagblad, Dagblad de Limburger, Eindhovens Dagblad, Twentsche Courant Tubantia, The Gelderlander, Brabants Dagblad, BN/DeStem & Almere Today, 27 November 2013. Also published online at http://www.destentor.nl/algemeen/binnenland/belastingdienst-dreigt-macht-te-verliezen-1.4115374 etc.