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Is the Netherlands a tax haven or not?

No, the Netherlands is not a tax haven, the new State Secretary for Tax Affairs Marnix van Rij said shortly after his introductory meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Rutte. Yet there are numerous reports that describe the Netherlands' role as a tax haven.

Jan Vleggeert

In Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant Professor of Tax Law Jan Vleggeert speaks about the issue. 'For tax specialists, a tax haven means palm trees, sun, zero tax and no exchange of information. The Netherlands is not like that. But if you look at it from a different perspective, the Netherlands is a tax haven for large companies.'

Late last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development came with an international minimum 15% tax rate for companies.  Last month, the European Commission presented a plan to detect and tackle letterbox companies. Early in 2020 in the Netherlands, after the appointment of State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief, a start was made on how to deal with tax evasion via the Netherlands, says de Volkskrant. 'We will have to wait and see what the approach will be on tackling letterbox companies’, says Vleggeert. 'This still has to be implemented. But a minimum tax rate will make it a lot more difficult for large companies to evade tax.’

Read the full article (in Dutch) here.

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