Childcare benefits scandal
The childcare benefits scandal (Dutch: kinderopvangtoeslagaffaire or toeslagenaffaire, lit. '[childcare] allowances affair') is a political scandal in the Netherlands concerning false allegations of fraud made by the Tax and Customs Administration while attempting to regulate the distribution of childcare benefits. It is estimated that, between 2013 and 2019, authorities wrongly accused 26,000 parents of making fraudulent claims to childcare benefit, requiring them to pay back the allowance they had received in its entirety. In many cases, this sum amounted to tens of thousands of euros, driving families into severe financial hardship.
The scandal was brought to the public's attention in September 2018. Investigators have subsequently described the working procedure of the Tax and Customs Administration as "discriminatory" and filled with "institutional bias". On 15 January 2021, two months before the 2021 general election, the third Rutte cabinet resigned over the scandal following a parliamentary inquiry into the matter, which concluded that "fundamental principles of the rule of law" had been violated.
Introduction of childcare benefits
In 2004, the States General of the Netherlands passed the Childcare Act (Dutch: Wet kinderopvang) which introduced childcare benefits to the Dutch social welfare system. Families in which all parents work (i.e. single-parent families and families in which both parents have a full-time job) are eligible to apply for childcare benefit, which is to be spent on daycare or professional babysitting. Formally, the program is run by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, but the Tax and Customs Administration (part of the Ministry of Finance) is responsible for its implementation, including payment and fraud prevention.
In 2005, another law was introduced which reorganised the existing welfare system (Algemene wet inkomensafhankelijke regelingen). This law did not include a hardship clause, which would allow for exceptions to be made should the prescribed consequences be deemed unreasonable.
Fraudulent childcare agencies
In the years following the introduction of the Childcare Act, daycares emerged that committed fraud by not asking for the required personal contribution from the parents. These parents were often not aware that a personal contribution was required and relied on the information provided by the daycare. A notable example is the case of the childcare agency De Appelbloesem, in which parents provided the agency with their DigiD login details instead of applying individually for childcare benefit. In 2009, the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) raided the agency and its director was sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment for fraud and forgery. According to the Tax and Customs Administration, the parents involved had to pay back the childcare allowances they had received, including payments received after leaving De Appelbloesem.
In November 2010, the Dutch House of Representatives passed a motion initiated by MP Richard de Mos (PVV) to recover the funds given to fraudulent childcare agencies rather than indebting parents who acted in good faith. Minister of Social Affairs Henk Kamp wrote to the House that this was not legally possible and that parents who find themselves in this situation should instead sue their childcare agency. The clients of De Appelbloesem appealed the decision of the Tax and Customs Administration, but after several lawsuits, the Council of State confirmed that the law required them to pay back the childcare benefits they had received.
Bulgarian migrant fraud
In 2013, RTL Nieuws revealed that Bulgarian migrants had been taking advantage of the Dutch social welfare system. A number of Bulgarian citizens were encouraged by a gang to briefly register at an address in the Netherlands and to retroactively apply for a €6000–8000 health care and housing allowance. At the time, the tax authorities paid allowances immediately and checked eligibility afterwards, at which point the Bulgarians had already left the country.
Between 2007 and 2013, 805 Bulgarians unjustly received about four million euros in this way. According to State Secretary for Finance Frans Weekers, many of these cases were not deliberate fraud but rather negligence on the Bulgarians' part. Ultimately, Weekers survived a motion of no confidence in which he only retained support from the coalition parties (VVD and PvdA) and two minor opposition parties (CU and SGP).
Response to migrant fraud
In response to the widespread Bulgarian migrant fraud, the House of Representatives insisted on stricter fraud prevention. Separately, the coalition agreement of first Rutte cabinet included a provision to intensify anti-fraud enforcement. On 28 May 2013, the government established a Fraud Management Team, consisting of top officials from the Tax and Customs Administration and the Ministry of Finance, to fulfil these promises. Later that year, the Fraud Management Team developed the Collaborative Anti-Facilitation Force (Dutch: Combiteam Aanpak Facilitators, CAF). Here, "facilitation" refers to people or institutions that enable (suspected) fraud. In the context of the childcare benefits, this meant that the CAF actively looked for childcare agencies with suspicious childcare allowance applications.
In June 2013, Prime Minister Mark Rutte also established the ministerial committee Tackling Fraud, which would exist until 2015. This committee developed a broader strategy for the national government's anti-fraud campaign but did not specifically consider the Tax and Customs Administration's approach to welfare fraud. In late 2013, the committee prepared a letter to parliament which initially set out a strict approach but ultimately emphasised the need to act proportionately and to trust rather than to mistrust.
CAF 11 Hawaii
The first case that revealed to the public the severity of the anti-fraud policies was the CAF's eleventh case, nicknamed CAF 11 Hawaii. In this case, the CAF had investigated childcare agency Dadim in Eindhoven. The local government received signals in 2011 suggesting that Dadim was facilitating fraud. In 2012, a judge ruled that no fraud had been found, but in October 2013 the Tax and Customs Administration still designated the office as a site of suspected fraud. In November 2013, sixteen visits were subsequently made to affiliated childminders but continued to find no evidence of fraud. Nevertheless, in April 2014, 317 Dadim customers, almost all of whom had a second nationality, were classified as fraudsters.
Other CAF cases
It was later found that the CAF had prosecuted 630 other cases, possibly with the same harshness as in CAF 11 Hawaii. It is estimated that about 2,200 families were victimised in this way. Only 200 of those labelled as fraudsters were recommended to the Public Prosecution Service for using forged documents; this resulted in only 15 convictions and eight settlements.
The CAF employed collective punishment in many of these cases, based on the "80-20 principle" (80% fraud, 20% innocent; an inversion of the usual principle). Quantitative evidence for this presumption was lacking from the Tax and Customs Administration, and it turned out to be virtually impossible for innocent parents to reverse decisions.
Another group of approximately 8000 parents fell afoul of strict administrative policies, in which a small mistake could lead to a full clawback of the childcare allowance. This was stated in the law and was initially confirmed by a decision of the Council of State. In 2019, the Council of State reversed this decision, and decided to return the recovered amount to the parents, along with compensation on a case-by-case basis.
Qualification "intent/gross negligence"
When the Tax and Customs Administration suspected seriously culpable acts, the Dutch bureaucracy would then mark the parents under "Intent/Gross negligence" (Dutch: Opzet/Grove schuld). Later investigations showed that 96% of these characterizations were inaccurate, but persons with this qualification were not eligible for standard debt collection arrangements. Under the standard arrangement, debtors repay their debt over two years as best they can without falling below subsistence level. Any debt remaining after that period would then be considered irrecoverable. Because parents were not eligible for a payment plan, they became heavily indebted.
In November 2020, Undersecretary Alexandra van Huffelen released an internal memo from 2016, recommending that anyone with a childcare benefit debt exceeding €3000 automatically receive the 'intent/gross negligence' qualification. According to Van Huffelen, it was unclear whether this recommendation had been carried out.
At first, the child welfare fraud scandal referred specifically to the issue surrounding childcare allowance. Later it turned out to apply to the rent allowance, care allowance and the child-related budget. In the case of income tax, it appeared labelling of fraud was based on profiling and suspicions, under the code name Project 1043.
The tax authority admitted that more than 11,000 cases were subject to special scrutiny because of their ethnic origin or double nationality, raising allegations of institutional racism. The Dutch Data Protection Authority investigates this, see below.
As early as 9 August 2017, the National Ombudsman published a report entitled "No power play, but fair play" about the 232 parents of the CAF 11 Hawaii case. In it, the Ombudsman already strongly criticised the Tax and Customs Administration's harsh approach taken here and recommended that these parents should be compensated.
The Socialist Party opened a hotline for victims and developed a "black book" (a specialised list of grievances) based on the 280 complaints received. This indictment was then delivered to Undersecretary Menno Snel on 28 August 2019.
The Central Government Audit Service also investigated the child welfare fraud scandal in 2019. Specifically, the investigation aimed to find out whether the problem of CAF 11 Hawaii had also taken place in other CAF cases. The controversial aspect of this investigation was that the top administrators in the tax authorities stated the top three key players in the child welfare fraud scandal, working at the CAF, would not be prosecuted.
After the Council of State previously agreed with the Tax and Customs Administration on their strict approach to fraud, the Council of State reversed its position in October 2019. Contrary to previous rulings, the Council of State expressed the opinion that the Tax and Customs Administration did have the discretion in the application of its penalties.
As early as 2009, the Land's Advocate of Holland had issued a draft recommendation, which hinted that a less harsh approach was possible within the law for parents who had not paid a personal contribution on the advice of their childminder agency. The state attorney called a tough approach (reclaiming everything) 'justifiable', but urged caution around individual facts and circumstances. It is unclear why this advice was not followed. The exact content of this advisory report is still classified, because of a general policy not to disclose the advice of the Land's Advocate of Holland. However, its general content was discussed in the House of Representatives in December 2020.
In November 2019, a former employee also sent an urgent letter to the House of Representatives. From 2014 to 2016, he handled objections to the Tax Authorities/Surcharges Collection department. In the urgent letter, he said that parents were treated unfairly and the activities did not have a sound legal basis. He also wrote that he reported this several times to his supervisor, but nothing was done about it.
In October 2020, it became public that internal lawyer Sandra Palmen also reported unlawful acts at the Allowance department in 2017. Based on a decision by the Council of State, she said that the Tax and Customs Administration acted reprehensibly. This report did not lead to a change in policy either.
On 1 July 2019, Undersecretary Menno Snel established a "Welfare Implementation Advisory Committee" (Dutch: Adviescommissie uitvoering Toeslagen). This committee was chaired by the former minister and former vice-chairman of the Council of State Piet Hein Donner, which gave it the nickname "the Donner Commission". The commission also included Willemien den Ouden and former state secretary Jetta Klijnsma. The task of this committee was to advise on how to improve the allowances. The committee also had the specific task of assessing the scope for handling the child welfare fraud scandal cases.
On 12 March 2020, the commission presented its final report, "Looking Back in Astonishment" (Dutch: Omzien in verwondering). In it, the commission recommended extending the compensation scheme for the approximately 300 victims to other parents who were "treated institutionally biased".
The findings of this report were however criticised. For example, the committee was accused of not being critical enough of the role of the Council of State, of which Donner himself was vice-chairman at the time. The committee was also accused of keeping politicians out of harm's way, especially former Minister Asscher. Dutch news site Follow the Money argues that the commission's topline conclusions are contrary to its substance.
Dutch Data Protection Authority
After reports from RTL Nieuws and Trouw about the use of nationality in the assessment of benefits, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DDPA) also decided to start an investigation into the Tax and Customs Administration in May 2019. In July 2020, the chairman of the DDPA presented the report to Undersecretary Van Huffelen. The DDPA described the Tax and Customs Administration's working method as "unlawful, discriminatory and thus improper - [a] serious violations of the privacy law". DDPA's chairman Wolfsen said: "The whole system was set up in a discriminatory way and was used as such. […] There was […] permanent and structural unnecessary negative attention to the nationality and dual nationality of the applicants." The DDPA also described in the report that the Tax and Customs Administration had not cooperated in the investigation. Based on this report, the DDPA is considering a sanction for the Tax and Customs Administration.
Parliamentary interrogation committee Childcare Allowance
On the initiative of MP Bart Snels (GL), the House of Representatives established a parliamentary investigation committee on Childcare Allowances on 2 July 2020. The aim was to find out to what extent the cabinet was aware of the child welfare fraud scandal and why it took until 2019 to become public. A minority of the House of Representatives also wanted former MPs to be able to be heard during the interrogations. The decision not to allow this was criticised, because as co-legislator and controller of the government, the House of Representatives also had a role in the child welfare fraud scandal.
Because statements during a parliamentary questioning are no longer legally usable for criminal investigation and a criminal investigation by the Public Prosecution Service was still ongoing, the questioning was coordinated with the Public Prosecution Service. Civil servants were not asked about ethnic profiling by the tax authorities in to enable later prosecution for those acts.
The parliamentary interrogation committee consisted of the following MPs:
- Chris van Dam (chair, Christian Democratic Appeal)
- Attje Kuiken (vice-chair, Labour Party)
- Renske Leijten (Socialist Party)
- Salima Belhaj (Democrats 66)
- Jeroen van Wijngaarden (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy)
- Tom van der Lee (GroenLinks)
- Roy van Aalst (Party for Freedom)
- Femke Merel van Kooten-Arissen (independent)
The investigation took place in November 2020. In the first week, twelve experts and former top officials from the Tax and Customs Administration, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment testified. On 18 November, the former bosses of the Tax and Customs Administration were questioned by the committee. They blamed the child welfare fraud scandal on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. A day later, the officials of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, in turn, referred back to the Tax and Customs Administration. During the interrogation of Sandra Palmen, Leijten asked her to read part of her memo, so that redacted passages became public. This showed that she already advised in 2017 not to continue litigating against parents.
In the second week, seven (former) government members were subsequently interrogated:
- Frans Weekers (State secretary for Finance 2010–2014)
- Eric Wiebes (State secretary for Finance 2014–2017)
- Menno Snel (State secretary for Finance 2017–2019)
- Wopke Hoekstra (Minister of Finance 2017–present)
- Lodewijk Asscher (Minister for Social Affairs and Employment 2012–2017)
- Tamara van Ark (State secretary for Social Affairs and Employment 2017–2020)
- Mark Rutte (Prime minister 2010–present)
On 17 December 2020, the committee presented a report entitled "Unprecedented injustice" to Speaker of the House of Representatives Khadija Arib. The report criticised the Tax and Customs Administration, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the cabinet, the Council of State, and also the House of Representatives itself. The committee wrote that because the Ministry of Finance implemented the childcare allowance with group penalties, the parents did not receive the protection they deserved, thus violating the "fundamental principles of the rule of law". In particular, the committee was critical of the information provided by the Tax and Customs Administration, both towards its own ministers and the House of Representatives and towards affected parents, the judiciary and the media. The committee also said it had received slow and incomplete information. In particular, there was criticism of the "Rutte doctrine", a term that originated from a text message from a civil servant to Rutte that was discussed during the interrogations. This doctrine states that communication between officials and ministers did not have to be made public. Since recommendations fell outside the remit of this committee, they urged those involved to find out how they could have prevented this.
On 4 December 2019, a motion of no confidence was filed against the Undersecretary for Finance Menno Snel in a debate due to the child welfare fraud scandal. He survived the motion with only the support of the coalition parties CDA, ChristenUnie, D66 and VVD together with the opposition parties GroenLinks, SGP and independent MP Van Haga. On 18 December 2019, Snel resigned during a debate about the child welfare fraud scandal. He was succeeded by two secretaries of state; Alexandra van Huffelen and Hans Vijlbrief (both from D66). Van Huffelen was responsible for the Customs and Allowance departments of the Tax and Customs Administration, and thus for the resolving of the child welfare fraud scandal.
In December 2020, after the report of the parliamentary interrogation committee, the former Minister of Social Affairs and Employment Lodewijk Asscher personally apologised for his role in the child welfare fraud scandal. His role in the child welfare fraud scandal led to a discussion within the party about his position as leader for the parliamentary elections of 2021. Initially, he indicated that he wanted to continue as party leader. However, on 14 January 2021, Asscher announced that he would step down as party leader and candidate MP.
On 10 January 2021, GroenLinks parliamentary leader Jesse Klaver announced a motion of no confidence against the third Rutte cabinet for an upcoming debate on 15 January 2021 about the report of the parliamentary interrogation committee. The entire opposition signalled that they either supported the motion or considered it seriously. Just before that debate, the cabinet collectively decided to resign and to continue as a demissionary cabinet until the planned 2021 Dutch general election that will take place two months later. In addition, the Minister of Economic Affairs Eric Wiebes decided to resign immediately.
On 28 November 2019, the parliamentary committee for finance explored the possibilities of prosecuting the then Undersecretary Snel and his civil servants. Around the same time, there was also a call within the civil service of the Tax and Customs Administration for disciplinary and judicial measures against the executives involved. After Snel resigned, Minister Hoekstra indicated on 12 January 2020 that he saw no indications of criminal acts by the Tax and Customs Administration. At the insistence of the House of Representatives, Hoekstra nevertheless decided to ask an external agency to reassess the information for criminality and also called on everyone to report information about criminal acts.
On 19 May 2020, the Ministry of Finance filed a complaint against the Tax and Customs Administration as a result of the child welfare fraud scandal, related to professional discrimination from 2013 to 2017. MP Omtzigt expressed his concerns about a criminal investigation by the Public Prosecution Service, given that the Public Prosecution Service itself also played a role in the child welfare fraud scandal, by tackling matters under administrative rather than criminal law in consultation with the tax authorities.
In addition to the report filed by the Ministry of Finance, on 28 February 2020, five more reports had been filed with the Public Prosecution Service against the Tax Authorities for criminal acts regarding the child welfare fraud scandal. One complaint is known to have been filed by affected parents in December 2019, but no person or reason is known for the others.
On 7 January 2021, the Public Prosecution Service announced that it would not start a criminal investigation based on the Ministry of Finance's report, because after a careful assessment there was no evidence of gagging and professional discrimination. In addition, the Public Prosecution referred to the sovereign immunity of the Tax and Customs Administration, which also includes its officials who implemented the policy, provided that they do not act out of their gain or interest. The Public Prosecution stated that the incorrect treatment of the parents was due to administrative and political choices, for which accountability belongs in the political domain. A group of duped parents and their lawyers indicated that they intended to sue the Public Prosecution Service to proceed with criminal prosecution.
A group of twenty affected parents filed a complaint on 12 January 2021 against several government officials involved; Tamara van Ark, Wopke Hoekstra, Eric Wiebes, Menno Snel, and Lodewijk Asscher. According to the lawyer representing the parents, these ministers are guilty of a criminal offence and negligence. Because it concerns (former) ministers, this declaration was filed with the Attorney General of the Supreme Court.
In March 2020, the Donner Commission recommended compensating wrongly accused parents. A day later, Undersecretary Van Huffelen put forward a more extensive compensation scheme, totalling half a billion euros. In July 2020, a special department at the Ministry of Finance was created for this compensation. Because the payment of compensation was slow, the Socialist Party successfully pushed for a Christmas gift of 750 euros, which was paid in December 2020 to 8,500–9,500 of the affected parents. In December 2020 this gift was extended to 7,000 more of the affected parents.
In response to the report of the parliamentary interrogation committee, Van Huffelen announced on 22 December 2020 that all wrongly accused parents would receive €30,000 compensation, regardless of the financial loss, unless they qualify for higher compensation. This should take place within four months, for which the recovery operation will be expanded.
In July 2020, it became public that Undersecretary Snel wanted to compensate the victimised parents in the CAF 11 case earlier, in June 2019. This was rejected at that time by the cabinet, amongst other things, because they wanted to wait for the Donner Commission's report and for fear of setting a precedent. There was also a dispute between the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Finance about who would pay for the compensation.
- Amaro, Silvia (15 January 2021). "Dutch government resigns after childcare benefits scandal". CNBC. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
- Henley, Jon (14 January 2021). "Dutch government faces collapse over child benefits scandal". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
- Kleinnijenhuis, Jan (14 November 2020). "Wie wist wat in de toeslagenaffaire? De kluwen van hoofdrolspelers ontward". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 18 January 2021.
- "Werkwijze Belastingdienst in strijd met de wet en discriminerend". Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (in Dutch). 17 July 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- van Laarhoven, Kasper (12 March 2020). "Donner: ook compensatie voor andere slachtoffers". NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- Kok, Laurens (17 December 2020). "Toeslagenaffaire: 'Grondbeginselen rechtsstaat zijn geschonden'". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 28 December 2020.
- Frederik, Jesse (13 November 2020). "Tienduizenden gedupeerden, maar geen daders: zo ontstond de tragedie achter de toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). De Correspondent. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
- "Ouders moeten opvang kind terugbetalen" (in Dutch). Trouw. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- "Celstraf voor fraude kinderopvangtoeslag" (in Dutch). Dagblad van het Noorden. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- "Ongekend onrecht" (PDF) (in Dutch). Tweede Kamer. 17 December 2020. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
- "Uitspraak Bulgarenfraude: hoe zat het ook alweer?" (in Dutch). RTL Nieuws. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
- Klein, Pieter (30 October 2019). "Reconstructie: hoe ouders 'efficiënt en effectief' kapot werden gemaakt" (in Dutch). RTL Nieuws. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- de Witt Wijnen, Philip (9 June 2020). "Tweede Kamer dwingt ruimere compensatie af voor gedupeerde ouders" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- Strop, Jan-Hein (24 December 2020). "Toeslagenaffaire: commissie-Donner trok conclusies in strijd met eigen onderzoek" (in Dutch). Follow the Money. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- Kleinnijenhuis, Jan (14 November 2020). "Reconstructie: hoe ouders 'efficiënt en effectief' kapot werden gemaakt" (in Dutch). Trouw. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
- Pijpker, Joost (23 October 2019). "De Belastingdienst krijgt meer vrijheid om te voorkomen dat gezinnen onterecht in "grote financiële problemen" komen" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- Kleinnijenhuis, Jan (27 November 2020). "Belastingdienst weigerde betalingsregeling gedupeerden zonder goede reden" (in Dutch). Trouw. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
- Peek, Simione (4 December 2020). "Gift voor nog eens 7.000 gedupeerden Toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- Kleinnijenhuis, Jan (7 July 2020). "Belastingdienst hield nóg een omstreden fraudejacht, nu bij aangifte inkomen" (in Dutch). Trouw. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- "Dutch government resigns over child benefits scandal". the Guardian. 15 January 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- "Belastingdienst treft 232 gezinnen met onevenredig harde actie" (in Dutch). Nationale Ombudsman. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- "De Toeslagenaffaire". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 January 2021.
- "Zwartboek gedupeerden: 'Belastingdienst is te kil en hardhandig tegen burgers'" (in Dutch). RTL Nieuws. 28 August 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- Geels, Marchje; Hofman, Flóri (26 May 2020). "'Belastingdienst beloofde ambtenaren niet te straffen om toeslagenaffaire'" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- "ECLI:NL:RVS:2019:3535" (in Dutch). Raad van State. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- "Belastingdienst/Toeslagen krijgt meer ruimte voor maatwerk bij toeslagen" (in Dutch). Raad van State. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
- "Tweede deel beantwoording vragen wetgevingsoverleg pakket BP 2021" (PDF) (in Dutch). 9 November 2020. pp. 3–5. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
- Van Huffelen, Alexandra (11 November 2019). "Brief staatssecretaris van Financiën inzake Verzoek lid Omtzigt om documenten inzake toeslagen" (PDF) (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- Van Huffelen, Alexandra (4 December 2020). "Reactie op het verzoek van het lid Omtzigt om twee documenten en toelichting conceptadvies Landsadvocaat 2009" (in Dutch). Retrieved 4 January 2021.
- "Den Haag verwacht pijnlijn en kritisch rapport over falende overheid in toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). RTL Nieuws. 17 December 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- Klein, Pieter (12 November 2019). "Misstanden bij Belastingdienst tot aan hoogste ambtelijke top genegeerd" (in Dutch). RTL Nieuws. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- Hofs, Yvonne (17 November 2020). "Het explosieve memo werd jarenlang onder de pet gehouden". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 28 November 2020.
- "Instellingsbesluit Adviescommissie uitvoering Toeslagen" (in Dutch). 12 July 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
- Broer, Thijs (13 March 2020). "Hoe ook de Raad van State zich schuldig maakte aan de toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). Vrij Nederland. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- Strop, Jan-Hein (13 March 2020). "Commissie-Donner houdt verantwoordelijke politici buiten schot in toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). Follow the Money. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- "'Belastingdienst beloofde ambtenaren niet te straffen om toeslagenaffaire'" (in Dutch). Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens. 20 May 2019. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
- "Belastingdienst Toeslagen. De verwerking van de nationaliteit van aanvragers van kinderopvangtoeslag" (PDF).
- Markus, Niels (17 July 2020). "Belastingdienst werkte zeer kritische Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens tegen" (in Dutch). Trouw. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- de Witt Wijnen, Philip (3 June 2020). "Tweede Kamer start mini-enquête toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- "Parlementaire ondervraging kinderopvangtoeslag" (in Dutch). Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- van Roessel, Aukje (1 July 2020). "Leemlaag" (in Dutch). De Groene Amsterdammer. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- de Witt Wijnen, Philip (27 November 2020). "Wat je moet onthouden van de verhoren over de toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
- de Witt Wijnen, Philip (18 November 2020). "Bazen Belastingdienst leggen oorzaak Toeslagenaffaire bij Sociale Zaken" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- de Witt Wijnen, Philip (19 November 2020). "Ambtenaren Sociale Zaken wijzen terug naar Financiën" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- Kok, Laurens (17 November 2020). "Ambtenaar waarschuwde voor 'laakbaar' handelen, maar memo verdween in la: 'Nog nooit meegemaakt'" (in Dutch). AD. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
- Rutten, Rik (14 January 2021). "De Rutte-doctrine: catchphrase die de ergernis van de Kamer verwoordt" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- Borst, Thomas (17 December 2020). "Commissie: slachtoffers Toeslagenaffaire 'ongekend onrecht' aangedaan" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
- Brandsma, Jelle (4 December 2019). "Snel overleeft debat toeslagenaffaire met een schram" (in Dutch). Trouw. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- Oomkes, Lex (26 January 2020). "Niet een, maar twee bestuurlijke zwaargewichten worden de opvolgers van Menno Snel" (in Dutch). Trouw. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- Meesterburrie, Arjan (21 December 2020). "Lodewijk Asscher biedt persoonlijke excuses aan voor Toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Discussie in PvdA-gelederen over lijsttrekkerschap Asscher" (in Dutch). NOS. 21 December 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- Borst, Thomas (14 January 2021). "Lodewijk Asscher ziet af van lijsttrekkerschap PvdA" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
- Kieskamp, Wilma (10 January 2021). "De druk groeit op Rutte: GroenLinks eist dat hele kabinet opstapt om toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). Trouw. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- "Grote steun voor motie van wantrouwen tegen kabinet vanwege toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). Hart van Nederland. 12 January 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- Lievisse Adriaans, Mark (15 January 2021). "Kabinet-Rutte III gevallen om Toeslagenaffaire". NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- Kleinnijenhuis, Jan (29 November 2019). "Kamer onderzoekt strafvervolging Menno Snel en ambtenaren" (in Dutch). Trouw. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- Klein, Pieter (2 December 2019). "Ambtenaren Belastingdienst eisen straf voor leidinggevenden toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). RTL Nieuws. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- van der Aa, Edwin (12 January 2020). "Hoekstra: ambtenaren Belastingdienst niet strafrechtelijk over de schreef" (in Dutch). AD. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- "Onderzoek naar strafbaar handelen door de Belastingdienst" (in Dutch). Trouw. 14 January 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- de Witt Wijnen, Philip (19 May 2020). "Aangifte tegen Belastingdienst slaat in als een bom" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- Punte, Anjel (22 October 2020). "Kamerlid Omtzigt: 'OM dubbelrol in toeslagenaffaire belastingdienst'" (in Dutch). NPO Radio 1. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- Kok, Laurens (28 February 2020). "Toeslagenaffaire: OM onderzoekt vijf aangiftes naar strafbaar handelen Belastingdienst" (in Dutch). AD. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- Misérus, Mark (8 January 2021). "Ouders naar rechter om vervolging in toeslagenaffaire kinderopvang" (in Dutch). Volkskrant. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
- "Geen strafrechtelijk onderzoek naar Belastingdienst" (in Dutch). Openbaar Ministerie. 7 January 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
- "Geen strafrechtelijk onderzoek naar Belastingdienst in toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). NOS. 7 January 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
- "Gedupeerden toeslagenaffaire doen aangifte tegen bewindslieden" (in Dutch). NOS. 12 January 2021. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
- "Schadeloosstelling toeslagenaffaire gaat langer duren dan gedacht" (in Dutch). Trouw. 18 August 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- de Witt Wijnen, Philip (3 November 2020). "Kerstuitkering van 750 euro voor 8.500 gedupeerde ouders" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- "Vergoeding van 750 euro zo snel mogelijk overgemaakt" (in Dutch). Belastingdienst. 19 November 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- Zwolsman, Noor (22 December 2020). "30.000 euro compensatie voor gedupeerde ouders Toeslagenaffaire" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- Stokmans, Derk; de Witt Wijnen, Philip (8 July 2020). "Zo sneuvelde het plan om gedupeerden van de toeslagenaffaire te compenseren" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- Lammers, Esther; Kleinnijenhuis, Jan (20 November 2020). "Geruzie belemmerde snellere compensatie van toeslagouders" (in Dutch). Trouw. Retrieved 3 January 2021.