A strange site crossed the sky of Amsterdam Centrum on Thursday afternoon, when a KLM passenger jet escorted by four F-16 fighter jets flew past Central Station at just 1,500 feet (457 meters). Though the fly-by was a scheduled event, it was kept as a closely-held secret, frightening many people who took to social media concerned about what they had seen.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security wants stricter legislation to prevent mayors from being threatened. The maximum prison sentence for threatening a public official must be increased from two to four years, and the Minister is also looking into how the government can confiscate more money and possessions from serious criminals, he said in an interview with the Telegraaf.
Shell companies annually siphon 199 billion euros out of the Netherlands in the form of dividends, interest and royalties. Approximately 22 billion of this amount end up in tax havens, according to a study bye SEO Economic Research commissioned by the Ministry of Finance, ANP reports.
The government plans to tackle the outflow to tax havens, countries with very low tax rates, by introducing a so-called withholding tax in 2021.
American companies are investing less and less in the Netherlands. This is mainly due to tax reforms in the United States - president Donald Trump reduced corporation tax significantly, making it more attractive for American companies to invest in their own country. But the Rutte III government's planned crackdown on shell companies may also play a role, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte refused to answer substantive questions about a tax deal between Shell and the Tax Authority in the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, leaving parliamentarians furious.
For the first time ever, a member of the Dutch government attended the commemoration fo the Armenian genocide of 1915 and 1916 in Yerevan.
State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance was at the ceremony in the Armenian capital, at the insistence of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. In the presence of the other foreign guests, he lay flowers at the monument for the victims, NOS reports.
State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance will attend the commemoration of the Armenian genocide in Armenia next week. This is the first time a member of the Dutch government will be present at the commemoration. From now on a Dutch Minister or State Secretary will attend the commemoration every five years, RTL Nieuws reports.
In the coming years the Netherlands plans to make itself a less attractive option for companies to establish shell companies in the country. The government is taking a number of measures to ban companies that only choose the Netherlands to avoid taxes at their home base.
The number 2 at the Finance Ministry, Menno Snel, wants to get rid of the image of the Netherlands as a place to dodge taxes. "The Netherlands is not a tax haven," he says. "We are going to make sure that the [business] constructions that were in the news are no longer possible."
A Dutch tax regulation for deductible interest on loans between parent companies and subsidiaries is in conflict with EU rules, the European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday. Last year Eric Wiebes, the State Secretary of Finance, warned that this ruling could cost the Dutch treasury 400 million euros, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch Tax Authority made procedural mistakes in at least 78 tax rulings with multinational companies, State Secretary Menno Snels of Finance wrote in a letter to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. The government will not abolish rulings, but will revise the way in which they are issued to prevent further mistakes, Snels wrote.
The Dutch Tax Authority still hasn't stopped welfare payments to any suspected Dutch jihadists who joined the war in Syria, despite a law making this possible being implemented in October, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch Tax Authority will not share details on the majority of its tax rulings with multinational companies with other European Union countries, despite an obligation to share all agreements with 'cross-border effects' over the past five years with Europe, Trouw reports.
According to the Tax Authority, it makes an estimated 2 thousand deals per year with large and small companies that also have consequences for foreign countries. That amounts to around 10 thousand tax rulings that the Netherlands is obliged to share with the EU.
State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance ordered an investigation into 4 thousand tax deals the Tax Authority made with companies and organization. He wants to make sure that the proper procedures were followed in making these so-called tax rulings, NOS reports.
The names of the Rutte III cabinet's Ministers and State Secretaries were announced on Saturday. In addition to Prime Minster Mark Rutte, there wil be 15 Ministers and eight State Secretaries. Just over a third of the new government are women. The expectation is that the Rutte III cabinet will take office on October 26th, RTL Nieuws reports.