Wednesday 27 January 2021

Google shifted €128bn to Bermuda via NL to cut taxes: NOS

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Internet giant Google moved €128bn to Bermuda using a Dutch subsidiary between 2012 and 2019, generating some €25m for the Dutch tax office, broadcaster NOS said on Wednesday.

The construction was made possible by the fact the Netherlands does not levy tax on royalties and Bermuda’s role as a tax haven, NOS said.

The company stopped using the construction last year and the Netherlands has introduced a tax on incoming royalties from 2021.

The broadcaster calculates that the construction allowed Google to avoid a maximum of €38bn in tax in the US, based on the corporate taxation rates in operation at the time.

Google told the broadcaster in a reaction that the calculations are based on a fictitious scenario and that the company has paid an effective tax rate of 21% over the past 10 years, of which 80% in the US.

Some 10,000 shell, or letter-box, companies are based in the Netherlands and are primarily used to shift corporate earnings and obscure ownership. Google has used its Dutch affiliate to move money since 2004.

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.