The American Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands said in a statement on Friday that it is now opposed to the government’s proposal to abolish the dividend tax, particularly in terms of the financing.
The Dutch government has said it will press on with scrapping the tax, despite widespread criticism from politicians and some sectors of industry, and despite the €2bn price tag.
The €1.9bn that will be ‘saved’ by not abolishing the tax should be used to ‘strengthen the general business climate, by further reducing the corporate tax rate and by preserving the 30% facility for expats,’ Amcham said in a statement.
‘Amcham is also concerned about the lack of public support for the measure,’ the statement said.
The US-Dutch tax treaty already provides for exemptions to the tax on dividends and the impact on Dutch and American firms will ‘not have a significant impact’, Amcham said.
The Lobby group also refers to rumours the corporation tax will only be cut to 22%, rather than 21% to help pay for abolishing the tax on dividends.
The money from the dividend tax that will no longer flow to the treasury could also be used to maintain the 30% tax break, Amcham suggested.
‘This would benefit not only the international business community, but also the academic and the start-up climate… and prevent the Dutch government from being considered unreliable by the foreign business community,’ the organisation said.
Tax minister Menno Snel told news agency ANP he is surprised by Amcham’s U-turn. ‘People can always change their mind, but this is remarkable,’ he said.
But Amcham’s suggestion that the Netherlands is not working hard to improve the general business climate were wrong, Snel said.
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