Tuesday 10 December 2019

Philips joins Shell in admitting it does not pay profit tax on Dutch ops

Philips HQ in Amsterdam. Photo: Philips via Wikimedia Commons

Dutch healthcare technology group Philips does not currently pay any tax on its profits booked in the Netherlands, the company said during round table talks with MPs about the Dutch tax system earlier this week.

Paint maker Akzo-Nobel, which was also involved in the talks, declined to say if it currently paid any tax but both it and Philips said they expected to do so in the coming years.

Earlier this month, Anglo Dutch Oil and gas giant Shell admitted paying no tax on profits earned in the Netherlands in an interview with current affairs magazine Elsevier.

In the interview, Shell Nederland president Marjan van Loon and Alan McLean, the multinational’s executive vice-president taxation, say that even though Shell Nederland makes a profit – €1.3bn in 2017 – the company is loss making, ‘as a natural consequence of the Dutch tax system’.

The Dutch tax system allows companies like Shell and Philips with an international headquarters here, the option of deducting costs against the international HQ, such as losses booked elsewhere.

As a consequence, the Dutch companies are, on balance, loss making and do not have to pay any corporation tax.

The companies admit that the tax regimes that allow them to pay no, or very little, tax are no longer acceptable to the public, the Financieele Dagblad reported.

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