An administrative firm which fills out the inheritance tax return for the heirs but is unaware of the business succession facilities (BOF) in the Inheritance Tax Act and consequently fails to apply them, is responsible for the tax loss. This was recently decided by the Court. The administrative firm failed to apply BOF in the inheritance tax return. The firm had been asked by the heirs to take care of the tax return relating to the death of their mother, who owned shares in the family business. The firm had taken care of several tax returns for the family before. The children held the firm liable for the tax loss. The firm was of the opinion that it had provided a favour to a friend, but the Court disagreed. The parties familiarity was at arm’s length, and taking care of the tax returns was part of the regular work. The heirs were entitled to assume that the firm knew of the existence of the BOF. However, the firm had not indicated that it was not familiar with the BOF. They should have reported this. That is why the firm was responsible.
Court of the Central Netherlands, March 24, 2021 (publ. April 16, 2021, ECLI (abridged): 1083