Big companies in the Netherlands paid an average effective tax rate of 17.1% in 2017, down from 22.9% in 2006, even though corporate taxes have not changed, according to research carried out on behalf of the finance ministry.
The bigger the company, the lower the tax pressure, the researchers, from national statistics agency CBS, found. Companies with assets of €40m to €100m paid an average of 20.6% in corporate taxes in 2017, while companies worth more than €500m paid just 16.2%, the report said.
Critics argue that the reduction in tax pressure shows that more companies are trying to avoid tax and some politicians have argued that plans to cut corporate taxes should be scrapped.
The government plans to cut the higher rate of corporation tax from 25% to 21.7% in 2021 but needs to put together a majority to support the proposal.
The finance ministry told the Financieele Dagblad in a reaction that the figures need to be interpreted carefully to determine why some companies pay more tax than others.