Netherlands: A tax evasion haven

14 October 2011 – Presseurop De Volkskrant


“The Netherlands, a tax haven for many multinationals,” headlines De Volkskrant, reporting on a study by ActionAid. Analysing the 100 largest multinational listed on the London Stock Exchange, the British NGO found that they maintain 8,492 foreign subsidiaries, 1,330 of which are in the Netherlands. Only the State of Delaware in the United States welcomes more foreign companies. The Netherlands acts as a “transit hub through which corporations can pass their income on to tax havens without being questioned,” the Amsterdam daily writes. The havens also attract artists, whose royalties earned abroad are not taxed. This form of tax evasion is being challenged by ActionAid, which estimates that the shortfall for states ends up penalising developing countries. As a result, the latter “lose almost three times more to tax havens than all the aid they receive each year…. Without tax evasion, the Millennium Development Goals could be achieved easily.” Shell and BP, the newspaper notes, “have almost 1,000 tax haven companies between them, including more than 100 in the Caribbean – where not a drop of oil is to be found.”

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