The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, wants the government to explain a controversial deal that Shell made with the Dutch tax authorities in 2005. As a result of this deal, Shell's British shareholders are exempt from dividend tax in the Netherlands, through which the Dutch treasury lost out on over 7 billion euros, newspaper Trouw reported on Saturday.
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 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.
On Wednesday Prime Minsiter Mark Rutte wrote to parliament stating that no evidence was found to suggest that the Dutch government compensates the Royal family for the taxes they pay. A few hours later RTL Niuews published more evidence that such a deal indeed exists.
The Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) will receive a confidential and technical briefing on the agreements made between the tax authorities and the United States coffee chain Starbucks, Secretary of State Eric Wiebes (Finance) promised today.
The European Commission has reasonable doubts about the tax deal between US coffee chain Starbucks and the Dutch tax authorities. The commission wants to make its concerns known this week.