Netherlands accused of making more secret tax deals with global businesses

The Netherlands is still making secret tax deals with multinational companies, according to an European report on which Dutch research foundation SOMO worked. The Netherlands remains one of the ost important countries in Europe when it comes to tax evasion, the report states according to ANP.

Last year the Netherlands made 236 secret tax deals. That means that the country is 3rd in Europe in the number of secret tax deals made with multinationals last year. Only Belgium and Luxembourg made more.

"Compared to last year the European Union, under Dutch presidency, took steps in the right direction to combat tax evasion, but the Netherlands has done very little in their own country to address its role as facilitator of tax evasion", Jasper van Teffelen of SOMO said to the news wire. According to him, the Netherlands is not prepared to tackle its "own crown jewels", like its participation exemption. 

The researchers found 1,444 secret tax deals with multinationals across the EU. Whether all of them involve tax evasion is unclear as of yet. 

The Netherlands is currently involved in a trial in the European Court regarding a so-called sweetheart tax deal with Starbucks, the American coffee chain. The European Commission ruled that the deal amounted to illegal state aid and ordered the Netherlands to collect the back taxes. The government disagreed and turned to the European Court.