Bill Transparency Social Organisations
On 21 December 2018, the bill on Transparency of Social Organisations (hereinafter: the "bill") was submitted for consultation. The bill obliges social organisations, including foundations and associations, to publish large financial donations received. In addition, the bill obliges foundations to disclose financial information.
The term 'social organisations', as referred to in the bill, includes foundations, associations, denominations and similar non-Dutch legal forms, if these conduct their activities in the Netherlands for a prolonged period.
The bill comprises two measures aimed at social organisations on the one hand and foundations on the other.
Firstly, social organisations must publish an annual overview of donations received. The donation overview must state the donations with a minimum amount of € 15,000 (per donation or in the aggregate) received by the organisation during a financial year from any individual donor. The amount of each donation, the name and place of residence or registered office of the donor and the date of receipt of the donation shall be included in the overview. The donation overview is signed by the management board of the organisation. The purpose of this measure is to prevent undesirable influence of the donor on the management board and abuse of the freedoms applicable in the Netherlands.
The second measure consists of an amendment to Book 2 of the Dutch Civil Code. Pursuant to article 2:10 paragraph 2 of the Dutch Civil Code, foundations are obliged to draw up a balance sheet and profit and loss account. The new proposed regulation obliges foundations to publish the balance sheet and the profit and loss account. The purpose of this provision is to prevent abuse of a financial-economic nature, such as the use of a foundation to commit tax fraud or to pursue criminal activities.
By ministerial decree, certain categories of social organisations may be exempted from the obligation to publish a donation overview. Certain foundations may also be exempted by ministerial decree from the obligation to publish the balance sheet and the profit and loss account.
Sanctions in the event of non-compliance
Failure to comply with the obligation to timely publish the donation overview and/or the balance sheet and the profit and loss account will constitute an economic offence for the organisation as referred to in the Economic Offences Act.
The consultation on the bill ends on 22 February 2019. The date of entry into force of the new Act is still unknown.
We will keep you informed about the developments of the bill. If you have any questions about this subject, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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