Opinions

Lubbers, Boer & Douma is the leading Dutch firm for tax opinions. We give an independent assessment on the application of Dutch, European and international tax law (excluding value added tax). Our clients are renowned tax consultancy and law firms in the Netherlands and abroad. In addition, we work directly for companies and individuals.

Our tax opinions are used to:

  1. ascertain risks in tax issues with a substantial interest;
  2. determine a strategy to make tax risks manageable;
  3. function as a second opinion alongside a tax consultant’s or tax lawyer’s advice;
  4. assess the accuracy of positions adopted by the tax authorities or other institutions, such as the European Commission;
  5. make an inventory of the arguments in support of certain tax advice or in support of a strategy to be followed during objection procedures or on appeal;
  6. give an estimation of the client’s chances in legal proceedings (first and second instance and cassation);
  7. support positions in international tax arbitration or mutual agreement procedures (function as an expert witness);
  8. establish whether tax risks should be mentioned in a business’ annual report or annual accounts, or whether certain tax assets can be included.
Our tax opinions play a mediating role in stalled discussions between for example contracting parties or a taxpayer and the tax authorities with some frequency due to their independent and authoritative nature.

A distinctive feature of our tax opinions is that they are clear, thorough and independent. We discuss relevant regulations, legislative history, case law and legal literature in a systematic manner. We give consideration to aspects such as the burden of proof and the application of such concepts as abuse of law and tax reclassification. If tax law is not yet crystallized, we provide a plausible solution based on different methods of legal interpretation. We give an assessment of what the tax court may decide.

In practice

Settle or litigate? How a thorough opinion can provide support when deciding on a complex settlement offer

Sometimes our clients are faced with the question whether a final settlement offer proposed by the tax authorities should be accepted or rejected. For these clients we can give a realistic estimation of their chances in legal proceedings.

For one of our clients, a socially very relevant organization, we reviewed a settlement offer concerning a large financial interest. Applying our experience in the judiciary, we wrote an opinion in which we analyzed whether the proposed settlement did justice to the respective chances in legal proceedings. With our opinion, the board of directors was able to responsibly decide to accept the settlement.

Opinions as expert witness reports in EU and international tax law matters Our expertise can be used as evidence in arbitration proceedings in the Netherlands and abroad

We wrote an opinion as an expert witness at the behest of a large foreign multinational enterprise with two fiscal disputes in Sweden. European tax law played a key role in these cases regarding a major financial interest. We were able to impress our client with new insights. We also acted as an expert witness in a commercial arbitration case regarding an EU tax law problem and in a fiscal proceeding in Canada.