This has emerged from research by de Volkskrant. The newspaper received an anonymous tip from an employee of the tax authorities.
This concerns the scheme for so-called loan assistance (bbz). This allowed benefit recipients to obtain an interest-free loan from the government to start their own business.
If afterwards it appeared from the annual figures that their company had earned no more than the social assistance standard, the loan was forgiven.
Deep in debt
But the tax authorities made a mistake: the waived loan was then added to the income. As a result, the benefit recipients suddenly had too high an income on paper and had to repay ‘too much’ benefits. As a result, the victims ended up deeply in debt.
The story is reminiscent of the Supplement affair that RTL Nieuws and Trouw exposed. Just like the victims in that case, the victims here also ran into a wall at the tax authorities. He insisted that they should simply pay their debts.
The problem with self-employed benefits had been known since 2010, but it was only resolved in 2017. It concerned a group of 10,000 to 15,000 people. Victims in the childcare allowance affair also had to wait a long time: