Wednesday 22 September 2021

Shell Nederland admits paying no tax on profits, due to Dutch system

Part of the massive Pernis refinery. Photo: Shell Media Library

Anglo Dutch Oil and gas giant Shell has 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’.

In the Netherlands Shell, McLean told the magazine, ‘pays fair tax in line with both the letter and the spirit of the law.’

The Netherlands, they say, has deliberately created a tax-friendly climate for multinationals. This offers companies like Shell with an international headquarters here, the option of ‘deducting many costs that we make for our international head office’.

As a consequence, Shell Nederland is, on balance, loss making and does not have to pay any corporation tax.

Last November Trouw first reported that Shell Nederland did not pay tax on its Dutch earnings.

Law

Opposition MPs have called for a debate on the revelations, and are putting pressure on the government to change the law so that profits booked in the Netherlands are taxed.

In April, the left-wing green GroenLinks, the socialist party SP and the Labour party PvdA submitted a motion to parliament which would stop Shell and other multinationals making use of the tax provision which allows them to write off losses incurred via a foreign subsidiary from their Dutch profits.

‘We are not angry with Shell, but we have to change the law,’ GroenLinks MP Bart Snels told BNR radio at the time.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.