Multinationals snub Dutch MPs’ tax evasion inquiry panel: Volkskrant

Efforts by Dutch MPs to find out more about multinational tax evasion via the Netherlands appear to have flopped, with just one out of five invitees agreeing to attend a parliamentary hearing.

Multinationals Amazon, furniture group Ikea and coffee chain Starbucks have refused to appear before a parliamentary committee to explain how they reduce their tax bills via the Netherlands, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

In addition, the Promogroep, the office which runs the Rolling Stones tax affairs, has refused to take part.

The four companies declined to appear before a financial committee panel to answer questions from MPs, according to official parliamentary records. Trust office TMF has agreed to appear at the hearing on September 12.

Insult

‘Ignoring an invitation is an insult to parliament,’ MP Jesse Klaver from the left-wing green party GroenLinks told the paper. Klaver is one of the MPs behind the hearing. ‘There is a wider ongoing debate about tax evasion and it is unacceptable for companies to fail to explain their reasoning.’

The discussion about tax evasion took a new turn last year when Amazon and Starbucks bosses appeared before a British parliamentary hearing and were savaged by MPs.

Starbucks eventually agreed to increase its tax payments in Britain and the G20 group of industrial nations is also working on proposals to reduce the influence of tax havens.

Both Starbucks and Ikea operate companies in the Netherlands. Ikea has a foundation which controls its trademarks here, while Starbucks’ European headquarters and its roasting facility for Europe, the Middle-East and Africa are located in Amsterdam.

Tax treaties

In the Netherlands, the government announced last week it is revising tax treaties with 23 developing countries because of concerns they are missing out on much-needed income.

A report for Holland Financial Centre by economic institute SEO in June said that €278bn flows through shell companies based in the Netherlands every year.

This stems from the tax break on participations, relatively low tax on interest and royalties and the wide tax treaty network with other countries, the SEO report said.

The SEO report states the Netherlands has some 12,000 multinational holding companies, of which 75% are based at trust offices. These holding companies generate between 8,800 and 13,000 jobs – or around one job per company.

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More tax levied over tax haven income
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Starbucks under fire in Britain over Dutch tax deal
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Letterbox companies largely exempt from tougher rules
The Netherlands is a popular tax haven for FTSE 100 firms
Holland no longer a US tax haven
More tax levied over tax haven income

 

 

 

 

 

 

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