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Dutch Association of Tax Advisers

Voorbij & Partners is a member of the Dutch Association of Tax Advisers (de Nederlandse Orde van Belastingadviseurs or NOB), established in 1954, which is the professional association of the university educated tax advisers in the Netherlands. It has 4,100 members (including 900 prospective members), who must meet high standards in terms of expertise, professional skills and ethics. These standards form a guarantee for the quality of service and are important because the occupation of tax adviser is not legally protected in the Netherlands.


The NOB does not seek statutory recognition or regulation of the profession of Tax Adviser in the Netherlands. As years of practice have shown, the NOB is in an excellent position to monitor the quality, integrity and recognisability of the profession of tax adviser for the general public, without statutory regulation. They do this through their entry requirements and their independent disciplinary boards.




The Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world with full university courses in tax law and tax economics. All NOB members have completed at least one of the two courses and therefore have the best possible background for the tax adviser profession. Another important criterion for NOB membership is the extent to which someone practices the profession as his/her main occupation. NOB members spend at least seventy percent of their time working as tax advisers.


Cooperation in a single organisation is only permitted with other university level professional groups, such as accountants, lawyers and civil-law notaries.


New members are prospective members for the first three years. During that time, they gain experience in the profession and follow the required postgraduate NOB professional course. In addition to substantive subjects, there is also plenty of attention for communicative skills.


The NOB regularly organises educational meetings for all members, covering (specialist) developments in the field of taxation.


There are also two separate sections within the NOB: one for corporate tax advisers and one for young members (up to 35 years of age). Both sections organise their own activities.


Code of professional conduct


NOB members are bound to the Rules of Professional Conduct, of which core article 2 reads: "A member promises to carry out his work honestly and conscientiously and to refrain from everything which is in conflict with the honour and dignity of the profession."


Special Code of Conduct


Since 1995, the NOB has used a Special Code of Conduct, the meaning of which can be summarised as: NOB members do not give any recommendations concerning untaxed money. The Code requires a member to verify, before accepting an assignment, that there is nothing to suggest that the assignment serves to prepare, support, implement or cover up illegal activities. A member is deemed not to provide any services to clients who do not provide sufficient information on their identity and intentions.


NOB members are subject to independent disciplinary proceedings. A Disciplinary Board operates within the association, and handles approximately 15 complaints a year. An appeal against a decision by the Disciplinary Board can be lodged with the Board of Appeal. Both boards are led by independent chairmen, invested with judicial power.


Legal commentaries


The NOB has a long tradition in the area of legal commentaries. Since 1981, they have had a special Legislative Proposal Committee, which, over the years, has submitted extensive commentaries on proposed Dutch tax laws and made them available to parliament. The scientific level and technical depth of these commentaries is widely recognised.


Professional Affairs


The Professional Affairs Committee was formed in 2005. It regulates all non-fiscal affairs involving the profession of tax consultant. As such, the committee plays an important role as a trend-watcher. It ensures that the NOB is well prepared for all political, social and economic developments of significance to the profession. Frequent topics concerning the committee’s work include:


• Confidentiality obligation and legal privileges;

• Legislation to tackle money laundering;

• Cooperation with other professional groups;

• Professional ethics.


The Professional Affairs Committee is supported in its work by ad hoc working groups. At present, three of these are active, in the areas of: anti-money laundering; the confidentiality obligation and legal privileges; cooperation with other professional groups. The Professional Affairs Committee also regularly publishes reports on topics relevant to its area of operation.