The Inland Revenue last week seized the current account of 69 driving schools in the Rijnmond region from the CBR. The driving schools were in arrears or tax debt. As a result, they can no longer reserve or administer exams. Meanwhile, the seizure at 27 driving schools has been lifted again because they reached an agreement with the Tax Administration. It is the first time that the Inland Revenue has conducted such an action. CBR was therefore very surprised by the action.
“It concerns 69 driving schools that had a turnover/wage/income tax debt. Meanwhile, 27 driving schools have paid the tax debt,” says Paula Keun, spokeswoman for Tax Administration.
The 69 driving schools involved were in debt to the Tax Office, totaling 268,000 euros. Per driving school, it ranges from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. Keun: “About 108,000 euros have been received. It is not yet known whether this action will be followed in other regions. It is not part of the national action.”
In order not to penalize candidates too much, the CBR has given driving schools 72 hours to resolve the problems. “In the case of these candidates, we allowed the exam to proceed as usual, despite the fact that it was not possible to withdraw the money from the current account,” CBR spokesman Coen Sleddering says. A total of 270 already reserved exams were involved.
Whether the action taken by Belastingdienst Rijnmond will be followed by other regions is not yet known. But that chance is certainly there. “Should that happen, we will consider whether we should set up the procedure differently. Because we don’t want to be involved in this kind of financial matter. This is a bill between the driving school and the Tax Office,” Sleddering said.
In this case, the CBR spent a lot of time informing all exam candidates that their exams could not take place due to the seizure of the Tax Office at the driving school in question. It was recently discussed whether perhaps in the future the student will pay for the exam himself to the CBR. “You could think about that then,” Sleddering confirms.
VRB chairman Peter van Neck, whose driving school also operates in this region, warmly welcomes the action of the Tax Office. “I think it’s a justified action. We all have to pay taxes. By the way, this again raises the question, ‘Whose is the reserved exam?’ Does it belong to the driving school or to the student? Because basically, we only act as an intermediary.”
Van Neck can also imagine students paying CBR directly for their own exams. “This could be done immediately via iDeal, for example, if the student authorizes their driving school,” Van Neck said. The driving school itself can then bill the student for services surrounding the exam, such as vehicle rental and tutoring. Then the driving school can schedule the exam with CBR.
Checking driving schools
Whether the Rijnmond Tax Office’s action is related to the nationwide crackdown on driving schools is not entirely clear. That action is being carried out by a special project team, separate from the Rijnmond office. But it does indicate that the Internal Revenue Service is much less lenient, when it comes to driving schools.
The driving schools in question in the Rijnmond region all had outstanding accounts with the Tax Office. The current account was also blocked if the amount was relatively small. In this, the service did not discriminate.
By the way, the Inland Revenue cannot simply seize driving schools’ current accounts with the CBR. Step 1 is a bill, step 2 is a payment reminder, step 3 is a reminder, step 4 is a restraining order. Then the tax inspector can seize property. This can be the lesson car, for example, but so can a bill from the driving school with another party. This is called a so-called “garnishment.
With such a garnishment, the driving school can no longer freely dispose of its assets. The credit with the CBR must then be paid to the tax authorities. Unless the driving school makes another arrangement with the Internal Revenue Service and the garnishment is lifted.
Practical exams CBR
Driving schools have a current account with the CBR with which practical exams are paid. When a driving school reserves an exam, there must be sufficient balance in the account. The amount is then debited just before the actual taking of the exam. Therefore, if the account is frozen, the driving school cannot reserve exams. Also, the CBR cannot then write off money as payment for an exam already reserved.