There is no evidence that the royal family has received extra cash to compensate for the asset tax they have had to pay since the 1970s, prime minister Mark Rutte told parliament on Wednesday.
MPs had asked the prime minister to explain claims made by broadcaster RTL Nieuws which said the king and queen receive ‘generous’ financial compensation for the tax they pay over their income from assets.
RTL said it had found secret documents showing that queen Juliana was given a higher allowance by the state to compensate her for the tax payments in 1973.
However, Rutte said there is no evidence to back up the claim and that finance ministry notes from 1970 show the idea was discussed but rejected. The prime minister did, however, pledge to carry out further research to find out what the king’s allowance is actually based on.
Currently, members of the royal family receive a tax-free salary and are not required to pay gift or inheritance tax.
A year ago, Rutte defended the royals’ tax free status, arguing that ‘a deal is a deal’. Much of their money is in foundations, which do not pay tax. The taxpayer also picks up the bill for security, rebuilding palaces and the former queen’s yacht De Groene Draeck.
The Dutch royal family is considered to be the most expensive in Europe, and costs the taxpayer some €40m a year, excluding security.
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