tax authorities illegally use the citizen service number




The in the VAT identification number
Tax and Customs Administration must stop using citizen service numbers as soon as possible in the VAT identification number of self-employed persons with a sole proprietorship. The use is in conflict with the AVG, according to the Dutch Data Protection Authority.

The Tax and Customs Administration processes the citizen service numbers in violation of the law, according to the Dutch Data Protection Authority after investigation . Article 10 of the General Provisions Civil Service Number Act, in short Wabb, provides no basis for the use by the tax authorities. Moreover, a processing ground required on the basis of the AVG is missing. Also, the processing with regard to the self-employed is not ‘lawful and proper’ and therefore in conflict with the AVG.

If the service does not stop processing as quickly as possible, the privacy watchdog threatens to take enforcement action. The AP does not make clear what is ‘as soon as possible’ and what measures the authority is considering. According to the tax authorities, a conversion is expensive and time-consuming and the AP recognizes this, so it probably takes a long time before the use stops. The service still has to come up with an action plan for adapting the existing system for assigning VAT numbers to self-employed people.

Self-employed persons with a sole proprietorship are obliged by the Tax Authorities to make their citizen service number known because it is part of their VAT identification number. According to the AP, this provides numerous risks, including identity fraud.

Update, 14.25: The Dutch Data Protection Authority is considering a deadline until January 1, 2019, when the violation must be terminated.


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