Multinational companies which conduct business in the Netherlands will soon be forced to pay taxes on their profits, instead of creatively using an accounting loophole to avoid tax liabilities in the country. The ruling Dutch cabinet, led by third-term Prime Minister Mark Rutte, has reportedly agreed to back an initiative from the left wing opposition parties, according to broadcaster NOS and newspaper AD, both citing unnamed sources.
Since the British population decided that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union in a referendum in June 2016, Dutch investments in the UK decreased steadily and existing investments were even withdrawn. British investments in the Netherlands, on the other hand, more than quadrupled since the Brexit decision was made, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday.
The left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks, SP and PvdA want multinationals like Shell to pay profit tax in the Netherlands. They are submitting a bill to achieve this to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, later this week, NOS 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 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.
The three left-wing opposition parties are presenting an alternative plan for the Rutte III government agreement on Tuesday. GroenLinks, SP and PvdA's government agreement includes six plans under the title "People over multinationals", NU.nl reports.
The parties' plans mainly have to do with taxes and climate.
The Netherlands is the number one choice in the world for multinationals to funnel money into tax havens, according to a study done by researchers at the University of Amsterdam. The researchers concluded that 23 percent of capital flows through the Netherlands go towards tax havens, ANP reports.
Britain comes in second place with 14 percent, followed by Switzerland with 6 percent, Singapore with 2 percent and Ireland with 1 percent. Together these five countries account for nearly half of the money globally funneled towards tax havens.
The Dutch tax authorities' investigative department FIOD arrested a 65-year-old employee of an unnamed multinational as part of an investigation into corporate espionage. He is suspected of leaking corporate secrets, including patent rights, to a competitor in China in exchange for money, the Public Prosecutor announced on Friday.
The man was arrested at a train station in Twente. According to the Prosecutor, he was about to travel to China. The man's luggage, workplace and Twente home were all searched. The prosecutor seized physical files as well as digital data carriers.
GroenLinks will focus on an ambitious climate policy, stopping tax evasion by large multinationals and getting rid of the existing inequality in the Netherlands, party leader Jesse Klaver promised in his party's election campaign presented in a packed Melkweg in Amsterdam on Tuesday night, NRC reports.
European Union States decided to tone down the language used in the European Commission's proposals on reducing tax evasion by multinationals
The judgement made by the European Commission over the Starbucks tax agreement could have far reaching consequence across the country, with nearly 15,000 such deals having already been made. Tax authorities have seen the period between 1991 and 2014 as the main problem era, with billions at stake.
A delegation from the European Parliament will be visiting the Netherlands in May for an investigation into the so-called sweetheart tax deals with multinationals like Starbucks.
The Cabinet should inform the Second Chamber about what arrangements the Tax Service has made with multinationals. This is according to an opinion piece in the Volkskrant written by Jesse Klaver (GroenLinks), Arnold Merkies (SP,) Carola Schouten (ChristenUnie) and Pieter Omtzigt (CDA).