Mossack Fonseca (Photo: Valenciano/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Mossack Fonseca (Photo: Valenciano/Wikimedia Commons)
Dutch MPs want inquiry on Panama Papers, tax evasion
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, wants to hold a parliamentary inquiry to gain more information on what is going on in the Panama Papers. The parliamentarians want to know more about tax structures that run through the Netherlands. The proposal for a parliamentary inquiry was brought by the financial spokespersons of the SP, GroenLinks and PvdA. It got support from the D66, ChristenUnie, PvdD, Denk and MP Norbert Klein. "We want to know what kind of tax arrangements are being used in the Netherlands", Ed Groot, PvdA, said to broadcaster NOS. "Multinationals claim that tax structures are legal. But not everything permitted by law is also right. The legislator must establish better rules." GroenLinks MP Rik Grashoff thinks it's too easy for companies to evade paying taxes through tax structures. "Too much is legally possible. That is because the rules we have was devised in politics. That must end as soon as possible. The rules should be changed." "This is just the tip of the iceberg", SP Arnold Merkies said to the broadcaster. "When you consider that the Panama Papers involves one company in Panama, then you ca guarantee that the real scandal is much bigger. Many multinationals escape their tax responsibility through tax structures. They need to take responsibility and contribute to society." This is the first time this form of parliamentary inquiry will be used in the Netherlands. According to the law on the parliamentary inquiry, MP's can summon and question people and organizations to gain more information on a topic. Those summoned are obliged to cooperate and can be questioned under oath. The three parites want to question several trust companies named in the documents, including Infintax - the Dutch partner of Panamanian company Mossack Fonseca, the source of the Panama papers. The parties also want to know how far the Tax Authorities are capable of acting against international tax evasion and therefore want to question numerous experts in this field.