Ombudsman: major concerns about payment handling

National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen is “very concerned” about the handling of the payment affair. He writes this in a letter to Secretary of State Van Huffelen of Finance.

Van Zutphen says in recent months he has received more and more disturbing complaints from people who are still waiting for a message from the Tax Administration. “Many of them do not know when their file will be dealt with and fear that it will take a long time to come.”

“How long will it take?”

Especially there are concerns about the more than 10,000 people who have been rejected for the so-called light key. They joined the compensation of EUR 30,000 before 15 February this year. Because of the rejection, they have to wait for a full assessment of their dossier.

“ The Secretary of State has indicated that they all have a final decision,” says Van Zutphen. “But how long is this gonna take? The Implementation Organization Recovery Supplies must quickly and actively approach this group of victims.”

The Ombudsman also wonders whether all notifications can be dealt with within the statutory six-month period. Van Zutphen fears that the implementation organisation will not succeed with the current capacity and approach.

Complaints are taken seriously

While the Ombudsman is concerned about the implementation of the recovery operation, he finds in an inquiry that until February this year the handling of complaints was sufficient to good. For example, the threshold for complaining is low and the complaints were dealt with within the legal period of six weeks.

However, there are a number of recommendations. For example, the Ombudsman believes that citizens should also be able to lodge complaints via e-mail or website. He also recommends taking the signals of complaints practitioners seriously, in order to improve the recovery operation. In addition, there should be more staff if the number of complaints is increasing.