Microchip firm ASML dodging Dutch income taxes: report

Microchip firm ASML is evading taxes in the Netherlands by making use of the favorable tax scheme in Belgium, which enables a company to deduct a notional interest from the taxable profit.

This is according to the investigative journalism program Zembla. According to Zembla, ASML has a branch in Belgium in order to make use of the scheme. Zembla visited this Belgian branch and found that it does not appear to be much more than a house. Information from the National Bank of Belgium shows that ASML had 3.6 billion euros in their bank account in the country, about half of the company's total wealth.

Last year ASML made a profit of 1.3 billion euros and paid 77 million to income tax. That is roughly 6 percent, while the income tax in the Netherlands is 25 percent. In 2012 and 2013 the company paid less than 1 percent of income tax in the Netherlands.

ASML also makes use of the so called innovation-box tax scheme in the Netherlands, which aims to stimulate inventions and patents in the Netherlands. A company that makes profit from an innovation only hast to pay 5 percent income tax, instead of 25 percent. Because ASML makes use of both this tax scheme and the Belgium tax scheme, it cost the Dutch tax Authorities hundreds of millions of dollars over a number of years, according to Boudewijn Janssen, associate professor of reporting.

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