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Jan Vleggeert on potential ‘fine’ for Unilever moving to London

Unilever is considering staying in the Netherlands after all. This follows from draft legislation by the GroenLinks party introducing an exit premium that large companies leaving the Netherlands would have to pay to compensate lost tax income. Dutch radio programme BNR and newspaper the Volkskrant asked Jan Vleggeert, Professor of Tax Law and Economics, for his thoughts on the matter.

Unilever is currently still an Anglo-Dutch company, with two separate headquarters and two separate shares. The company wants to simplify its structure and therefore in June it announced that it wanted to unify the two Unilever companies into one British legal entity, with headquarters in London. There would then no longer be headquarters in Rotterdam.  

The company believes that the proposed legislation would conflict with European legislation, Dutch-British tax arrangements and the European Convention on Human Rights. According to Jan Vleggeert, European law and the existing tax arrangements are indeed serious legal obstacles to the exit premium.

Read the article (in Dutch) in the Volkskrant.

Listen to the item (in Dutch) on BNR

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