The Netherlands has denied claims by a Starbucks executive that the Dutch tax office asked it not to release details of its tax agreements, the Financial Times reports.
The coffee company’s chief financial officer told a British parliamentary inquiry in November he was bound by confidentiality agreements not to say what tax rate Starbucks pay in the Netherlands.
But junior finance minister Frans Weekers has now told parliament this is not true and companies are not required to keep tax agreements secret.
‘There is no hindrance from the Dutch government or tax authorities for individual companies to publicise their arrangements,’ the FT quoted the minister as saying. Weekers also said he is to contact the British parliamentary committee to make this clear.
According to the FT, Dutch MPs are to press Starbucks to explain its tax rulings in the Netherlands at hearings of their own.
Starbucks’ European headquarters and its roasting facility for Europe, the Middle-East and Africa are located in Amsterdam.
British MPs are angry Starbucks UK pays a 4.7% fee to the coffee giant’s Dutch arm for the right to use its branding and coffee recipe. The fee, which the paper says has been as high as 6%, reduces its UK tax bill.
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