MPs back changes to corporate tax rules to close double taxation loophole

Photo: Joep Poulssen
Photo: Joep Poulssen

There is majority support in parliament to change the rules governing corporate losses so that companies like Shell would have to pay tax on its profits in the Netherlands, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday.

The left-wing green GroenLinks, the socialist party SP and the Labour party PvdA have submitted a motion which would change the current rules and can count of the support of two coalition parties – D66 and ChristenUnie – the paper says.

‘We are not angry with Shell, but we have to change the law,’ GroenLinks MP Bart Snels told BNR radio. ‘All multinationals do is use the laws which we make.’

The move follows revelations made by Trouw last year in which it emerged Shell is unlikely to pay any corporation tax in the Netherlands, apart from via its 50% share in gas company NAM.

Shell and other multinationals make use of a tax provision which allows them to write off losses incurred when liquidating a foreign subsidiary from their Dutch profits.

But Snels argues this goes against other tax regulations aimed at preventing subsidiaries being held liable for tax in more than one country.

The measure has now been put out to public consultation and MPs on the parliamentary finance committee will discuss the issue with industry representatives on Thursday.

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