Nov 12, 2014

Court in Northern Netherlands: Transcendental Meditation Foundation ANBI Status can be withdrawn

ECLI: NL: RBNNE: 2014: 4615

Instance                Court Northern Netherlands
Date of judgment   18-09-2014
Date of publication 22-10-2014
Case number         LEE AWB - 13 _ 282
Jurisdictions          Tax Law
Special features     First instance - multiple
Content Indicator   Defendant ANBI status rightly withdrawn.

                    FutD 2014-2501



Seat Location Groningen


Case number: LEE 13/282

pronunciation of the multiple tax chamber of September 18, 2014 in the case between

[Claimant] to [location], Plaintiff
(Agent: [authorized claimant])


The inspector of the Tax Oost-Brabant, defendant
(Agent: [authorized defendant]).


Defendant by order of March 6, 2012 the status of the plaintiff as a public welfare institution: withdrawn (hereinafter ANBIs) referred to in Article 5b of the General Tax Act (text 2012) by July 1, 2012.

By judgment on appeal of November 27, 2012, the defendant dismissed the objection. Plaintiff

Plaintiff has appealed against the ruling on the objection.

The defendant has filed a defense.

The court hearing took place on 11 March 2014. Plaintiff was represented there by its Agent. Defendant as represented by its Agent, assisted by [assistance].



One. The court takes the following parties have not disputed facts to be established.

1.1. Plaintiff is by notarial deed dated [date] 1988 founded.

1.2.Under Article 2 of the Articles of Association of Plaintiff states its objective:

"1. The foundation aims: to create opportunities for a minimum of four hundred persons to jointly twice a day the TM : (court Transcendental Meditation) to practice and TM sidhiprogramma, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in order in this way a definite influence to bear on the collective consciousness of the Dutch population, negative trends will disappear and be turned into positive developments.

2. The foundation seeks to achieve its objective, including by:

A) develop, which do achieve the above objectives, projects such as:

a. housing for such a group;
b. housing to practice meditation the joint program;
c. employment;
d. creating the conditions for education based on the systematic development of the awareness of the stakeholders;
e. create conditions and opportunities for recreation
health care.

B) Providing information on the objective. ".

1.3 The policy of the plaintiff for the period 2011-2021 of October 2011 includes the following:

"There is therefore every reason to the activities of the Foundation (court: Plaintiff) to expand, to achieve further growth in the number of practitioners of the TM Sidhi technique in the Netherlands. The Foundation will do so in the coming years the following activities:

(1) generate publicity about the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation and TM Sidhi technique for society
(2) Supporting the construction of new houses by the Foundation [Foundation]
(3) Professionalization of practitioners of the TM Sidhi technique
(4) Support for the activities in the current [residential] ".

1.4 Plaintiff writes in her appeal include:

"In 1988, [claimant] (court: Plaintiff) started realizing [residential]; a neighborhood in [place].


The current activities of [claimant] consist of maintaining [residential] and its facilities by providing subsidies to the school, the organic shop and vegetarian restaurant. Also organizes and supports [claimant] TM activities also visited from abroad. ".

1.5 Respondent has a letter from '[X]' of 4 February 2008 concerning the registration for a home. Submitted This letter includes the following:

"We thank you for your application for and hope to be able to fulfill your wishes in the short term. [Residential] currently houses approximately 300 households most meditators and Sidha's.


Before you register with us, it is necessary that you have an agreement with [Plaintiff]. [Claimant] governs, as inhabitants organization, admission to [neighborhood]. ".

1.6 The defendant has a "Participation Agreement [claimant] 'submitted. It states inter alia:

"This agreement regulates the participation of residents in [neighborhood].

2. Parties

2.1 The parties to this Agreement are: 1. the participant including the duties of his / her household members and 2. [claimant] (hereafter referred to [claimant]) or its successors.

3. Entrance to the agreement

3.1 The agreement commences on the day for the household to which the participant is, a lease for a property in [residential] starts to run or owned a property in [residential] obtained.


6. Financial contribution

6.1 Participants and all persons belonging to his or her household (as registered in the municipal administration) are a monthly contribution payable to [plaintiff] for the duration of this Agreement. ".

Dispute and assessment

2. In dispute is the answer to the question whether the defendant's status ANBIs plaintiff rightly withdrawn. The dispute focuses on whether plaintiff intended exclusively or almost exclusively the public interest and needs.

3. Plaintiff believes that it serves the common interest and needs. Referring to the judgment of the Court of 's-Hertogenbosch on June 9, 2011 (ECLI: NL: GHSHE: 2011: BT6822) and the judgment of the Supreme Court on June 22, 2012 (ECLI: NL: HR: 2012: BW9055) distinguishes they called 'target key' and 'quid-pro-quo key. Plaintiff believes that it has demonstrated that they meet both criteria.

4. Defendant believes that Plaintiff be registered in the general interest (defendant has taken this position at the hearing notwithstanding its defense), but that it should actually 100% private interests. The defendant holding that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) is primarily focused on the personal development of the practitioner of TM. In fact, therefore, a direct wholly or almost wholly should not reveal a general interest. Moreover, defendant believes that the plaintiff does not meet the General in the Implementation Taxes Act 1994 imposed further conditions to obtain or maintain ANBI status.

5. The court considers that the parties (no longer) in dispute that the plaintiff in its objective, the charitable aims and consequently the so-called 'quality test' requirements. This joint opinion of the parties gives the opinion of the court did not commit an error of law. There remains the question of whether the activities of the institution for 90% or more on achieving that goal made (hereinafter: the quantitative test; compare II, 2011/12, 33 006, No. 6, p. 10). .

6. The activities of the plaintiff, as evidenced by the recorded below the 1.3 section of the Policy in 2011, of which Plaintiff about itself states (1.4) and from the documents (1.5 and 1.6), the court concludes that Plaintiff 'activities principally see to it that as many people participate in TM and that is the provision of housing one of the supporting activities. In view of this be served at the discretion of the court, the activities of the plaintiff essentially private consumption interests of the participants. Plaintiff has, at least not made plausible whether and to what extent interests other than the personal care and / or personal development of the participants served. To personal well-being and personal development of the participants have a beneficial effect on their environment, but that effect, which does that as it may, it is, in the opinion of the court, indirect and subordinate to the individual interest of the participants . It has therefore not been shown that the general interest of 90% or more served by the activities of the plaintiff.

7. In view of the foregoing, plaintiff, in the opinion of the court, with which it maintained and submitted failed in its burden of proof. Defendant Plaintiff therefore rightly no longer considered ANBIs. Now the court has already come to this conclusion on these grounds, it ignores the arguments put forward by the parties otherwise viewpoints.

8. Given the above, the appeal must be dismissed as unfounded.

9. For an order for costs is no reason.


The court dismisses the appeal.

This statement was made by mr. GBA Brummer, chairman, and mr. JW Keuning and mr. M. Chin-Oldenziel, members, in the presence of mr. HJ Haanstra, Registrar. The decision is in the public on September 18, 2014.

wg Registrar
wg president


May be lodged against this ruling appealed within six weeks of the date of dispatch thereof in the Court of Appeal of Arnhem Leeuwarden.