Jan Vleggeert on the Netherlands’ position on tax haven ranking
The Netherlands remains one of the most important locations when it comes to tax evasion. According to Tax Justice Network only the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda play a greater role.
Every two years, International ngo Tax Justice Network draws up a ranking of tax havens. The researchers looked at Dutch tax legislation in the past year and at the billions of euros pushed through the Netherlands in 2019 to evade tax. They conclude that the role of Netherlands in tax evasion has ‘earned’ it a fourth position on the ranking.
The Dutch Ministry of Finance does not agree with this picture and points to new legislation such as a withholding tax on interest and royalties which became effective this year. A withholding tax on dividends is also to be introduced in 2024.
But this new legislation will not make a difference, says Professor of Tax Law Jan Vleggeert on Dutch NOS news site: 'I sometimes wonder – are we introducing this legislation because we really want to put an end to these tax structures, or is it more an attempt to bolster the reputation of the Netherlands? The new withholding tax affects around 10 per cent of the interest and royalties that flow through the Netherlands. So 90 per cent is unaffected.'