Friday 22 November 2019

Shell has paid no tax on Dutch profits for years: Trouw

Shell’s technology centre in Amsterdam. Photo: Shell Media Library

Shell has paid no tax on its profits booked in the Netherlands for years, Trouw reported on Thursday, quoting unnamed company and other sources.

The company, which earns ‘billions of euros’ on Dutch soil, uses legal deductions to minimise its tax bill here, Trouw said, a claim which the paper says is backed up by an internal document from the Dutch finance ministry.

Over the past 10 years, Shell’s net profits have ranged from €2bn to €55, most of which is earned abroad. In the Netherlands, the headquarter operations, roadside petrol stations, the Pernis refinery and the Moerdijk chemicals plant added up to net profit of €1.3bn last year.

NAM, the gas joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil, is not included in the national book-keeping.

‘Various sources’ have highlighted two ways in which Shell is able to polish away any corporation taxes, Trouw said. One involves using legal deductions such as interest on loans made to invest abroad.

The second allows Shell to deduct losses booked abroad, such as on exploration, from the Dutch profits.

A spokesman for Shell told Trouw it is not true to say the company pays no tax on its profits in the Netherlands. However, he declined to say if this tax is paid by NAM, which does not publish an annual report.

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