US tax haven claim surprises Dutch

US president Barack Obama has announced a series of measures to shut down offshore tax havens which could have implications for American firms with Dutch subsidiaries.

A briefing note attached to Monday’s announcement stated that 83 of the 100 largest US corporations have subsidiaries in tax havens, most notably the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Ireland and the Netherlands.
And the Netherlands, Bermuda and Ireland claimed nearly a third of all foreign profits reported in 2003 by US corporations, the briefing note said.
A spokesman for the finance ministry, quoted in free newspaper Spits, said the US embassy in Washington has contacted the US authorities in order to ‘share its surprise’ about the claims.
The spokesman said the Netherlands has ‘very average taxation pressure’.
In 2006, researchers at the multinational research foundation SOMO said more than 20,000 multinationals and private individuals – including the Rolling Stones – are based in the Netherlands in order to cut their tax bills elsewhere.

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