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The Netherlands remains a key player in the world of tax evasion

By making use of artificial tax arrangements via the Netherlands and other countries, corporations and wealthy individuals worldwide together manage to avoid paying $472 billion in tax.

This is claimed by the Tax Justice Network, a British NGO that advocates fair taxation. On 25 July, it published its annual report which Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant wrote about. In the article, Jan Vleggeert, Professor of Tax Law at Leiden University, commented on the position of the Netherlands as a conduit country – a transit country for shifting coporate profit.

One of the conclusions in the Tax Justice Network report referred to in de Volkskrant, is that the Netherlands, together with Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, accounts for more than half of worldwide tax evasion by corporations.

De Volkskrant compares the outcome of the report to what outgoing State Secretary for Tax Affairs and the Tax Administration Marnix van Rij, had previously said about the Netherlands in relation to taxation. According to Van Rij, the Netherlands is not a tax haven and various measures had been taken to tackle tax avoidance.

Vleggeert says in de Volkskrant that ‘there’s still much to do to tackle tax evasion’. He is, however, critical of the figures on which the Tax Justice Network bases its conclusions: these are figures from the Organisation for Economic cooperation and Development dating back to 2018. The figures take no account of the measures taken in recent years. Vleggeert: ‘For instance, Europe is working to introduce a minimum 15% tax on profits for large corporations – inconceivable in the past. That said, the Netherlands remains an important conduit country.’

Would you like to know more?

Read the full article (in Dutch) in de Volkskrant (€). 

Read the 2023 report of the Tax Justice Network. 

Photo at top of article: Alexander Grey via Unsplash

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