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Internal inquiry with an: accountancy firm/ tax consultancy firm / trust office following a tax related investigation or investigation by the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (Dutch: “FIOD- Financiële Inlichtingen en Opsporings Dienst) with clients of those firms

Objective: “to measure is to know”, risk analysis

The internal inquiry is aimed at revealing facts/ circumstances with regard to the events that the Tax Authorities/ FIOD are looking for. It is of the first importance to make a historical overview of what has happened exactly, who has done what, on what date & time, and on the basis of which external regulations, or internal instructions, these events have taken place. We normally do this in the following way:

Inquiry into facts / circumstances

  • Analysis of facts / making an inventory of risks
    • Once the facts are known, we can start assessing the risks the organisation may be confronted with.
  • Risks of others, involved with the firm
    • The risks that are identified may concern the organisation, but may also have an effect on the directors/management of the organisation or its advisors.
  • Mapping possibilities to mitigate potential risks
    • Once the risks have been identified, the possibilities to mitigate these risks can be discussed. The choices made at this stage will eventually lead to a recommendable strategy.
  • Strategy for risk management and recommendations for the future
    • When making choices by what means the identified risk scan be mitigated, not only juridical aspects/elements should play a role. Among others, the impact of adverse media attention and other reputational impact, financial loss, the risk appetite of the organisation and its risk profile should also be taken into account.

How do we operate?

  • Inquiry by attorneys (duty of confidentiality)
    • The inquiry should be conducted by attorneys who have a legal duty of confidentiality and may also call upon their right of non-disclosure. The authorities cannot request the documents that are prepared by us. The inquiry is solely conducted in order to ascertain your legal position. The Dutch act on money laundering and combating terrorism financing also has no purview over our services in this particular case.  
  • Fact finding and interview
    • The factual investigation takes place by going through the files (but also emails and other digital documents) and internal regulations / instructions, supplemented by interviews with the parties involved. These interviews must be carefully prepared and also take be labor and privacy laws into consideration.
  •  Reporting to our client
    • The report to the client will consist of a representation of the facts / circumstances / events and an analysis and interpretation of the risks that have been encountered during the inquiry. 
  • Discussing the encountered risks and formulating strategy
    • Following the report, a discussion will take place with the client during which the risks are discussed and a strategy for mitigating the risks will be formulated for rapid implementation.
  • Duration of the inquiry
    • Depending on the size of the assignment, the amount of documentation to be reviewed and the number of people to be interviewed, one should allow for a timetable of 3-5 months.

How can Booij Bikkers help you with an internal inquiry?

The lawyers from Booij Bikkers have extensive experience with conducting interviews and conducting an internal investigation. In that context, they can:

  1. Advise you if you are already participating in / are the subject of an internal investigation;
  2. Conduct an internal investigation / supervision within your company, possibly in collaboration with other lawyers / advisors.

Do you have a question?

Would you like more information or would you like to speak to a lawyer right away? 

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