Eighty of the world’s 100 biggest companies have set up Dutch operations for tax reasons, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.
In particular, special holding and finance companies are a popular option, the paper says.
By last year, there were 13,000 of these companies registered in the Netherlands, handling financial transactions to the value of over €10,000bn. This is 17 times Dutch gross domestic product, the paper says.
The rise in foreign companies setting up special vehicles in the Netherlands is due to a combination of generous tax breaks on participations and advance tax treaties.
The paper says it is not clear how much tax companies have avoided by locating themselves on paper in the Netherlands, nor how much the Dutch state earns from the practice.
In 2009, the US removed the Netherlands from a list of official tax havens following an official protest.
Central bank figures from 2007 say the Netherlands earns €1.5bn from its status as a tax haven. Of this, €1bn was raised in taxes and €500m is in the form of ‘added value’ to the economy.