Most people and businesses correctly discharge their tax obligations and therefore never come across the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (Fiscale inlichtingen- en opsporingsdienst, FIOD).
However, if someone commits fraud and evades tax, for instance, the FIOD will take the appropriate action. This is not only financially but also socially important: it has a preventative effect and gives a clear signal to society that fraud is not tolerated.
If the Tax and Customs Administration suspects fraud, the matter is referred to the FIOD. The FIOD then assesses whether fraud is indeed being committed. If this is the case, the FIOD, in consultation with the Public Prosecution Service, may decide to start a criminal investigation. In this context, particular attention is paid to the social interest of a prosecution and to feasibility. The final outcome of the investigation is set out in an official report. In nearly 90% of cases, the public prosecutor decides to prosecute the suspect. This can be done by summoning the suspect to appear in court, but in the case of fiscal fraud the public prosecutor may also opt for an administrative settlement. This means that the Tax and Customs Administration will impose a fine on the fraudster.
The FIOD also performs supervisory activities in the area of economic planning, financial integrity and goods movements. This involves matters such as bankruptcy fraud, anti-laundering legislation and the Health Care Charges Act (Wet tarieven gezondheidszorg). In addition, the FIOD contributes to the fight against organised crime and terrorism by mapping out money flows of criminal and terrorist organisations. Because such organisations are not restricted by borders, the FIOD cooperates with foreign (sister) organisations.