White House takes Netherlands off tax haven list

6th May 2009, Comments 1 comment

The United States will remove the Netherlands from its tax haven list following protests from the Dutch ambassador in Washington.

THE HAGUE – The United States is to remove the Netherlands from a list of corporate tax havens where it figured owing to a "misunderstanding", the Dutch finance ministry said on Wednesday.

"It is a misunderstanding that the United States regrets. It has never considered the Netherlands as a tax haven nor as a country that imposes particularly low taxes on companies," ministry spokesman Marcel Homan told AFP.

"The White House has informed us that it will edit the list today."

The retraction came in the wake of an angry denial by Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos, who said the accusation is "completely unjust" and stresses that the Netherlands is not planning to change its tax system.

The Dutch fiscal system was "very transparent and certain" and the Netherlands has concluded numerous bilateral treaties that allow enterprises to avoid double taxation, Homan said.

The Netherlands was featured, along with Bermuda and Ireland, on a list of tax havens published by the United States on Monday as President Barack Obama announced savings of 210 billion dollars by squeezing offshore havens and US firms' ability to profit from outsourcing jobs.

Obama complained that many American multinationals avoid paying the country's 35-percent corporate tax by setting up overseas corporations. Although the practice is legal, the US government considers it harmful to the economy.

Radio Netherlands / AFP / Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • sun-n-fun posted:

    on 6th May 2009, 15:31:14 - Reply

    Sounds like a tax haven to me....

    "Albert Hollander, chairman of the Tax Justice NL campaign group, told the Volkskrant he could understand the US's irritation. 'The Netherlands says 'use my legal system to avoid paying taxes in other countries. There are tens of thousands of letter box companies here, creating an industry of thousands of jobs.'

    In 2006, researchers at the multinational research foundation SOMO said more than 20,000 multinationals and private individuals – including the Rolling Stones and U2 – are based in the Netherlands in order to cut their tax bills elsewhere. "