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EP Special TAXE Committee:  Visit to Dijsselbloem’s tax haven

MEP  Fabio De Masi GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur for the TAXE Special Committee

“The Netherlands is a tax haven for big corporations that deprive taxpayers of billions of euros every year in Europe.  At the same time, the Dutch Finance Minister and president of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, dictates reductions in wages, pensions and public investment,” commented Member of the European Parliament and GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur for the TAXE Special Committee Fabio De Masi about the visit of a delegation of parliamentarians to The Hague on Friday 29 May 2015. On the delegation's agenda were meetings with Dutch MEPs, representatives of the Ministry of Finance, as well as scientists and lobbyists.

De Masi continued: “The Netherlands is the international hub for direct investments which are disproportionate to the importance of the real Dutch economy. This is primarily for tax reasons: the Netherlands is home to tens of thousands of letter box companies and foundations which mask their real owners and where financial flows are kept out of the public domain.  There is no tax deduction at source and, specifically, there is tax exemption for dividend return flows in particular for foreign subsidiaries which is why thousands of multinational parent companies (so-called holdings) have registered in the Netherlands.  As a result, a network of double taxation treaties leads to non-taxation of multinational companies.  This practice, however, is supported by the Finance Ministers of major countries such as Germany in order to gain benefits for big German corporations.

“In order to effectively combat tax fraud and tax evasion, what is required is the publication of special tax treatment through tax assessments, which is what economic experts in The Hague have also called for. Moreover, we need the obligatory publication of country-specific reporting for all multinationals (country-by-country reporting (CBCR)).  The latter has even been requested by the Dutch Parliament itself; the EU Commission, however, remains inactive on such a proposal.  A recent compromise on CBCR reached in the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee in the context of theSshareholder Directive is at risk of being  stopped by conservatives and liberals in the plenary.

“At the level of the member states, double taxation treaties with uncooperative tax havens are to be terminated and profits taxed at source.  Banks which are repeatedly aiding and abetting tax evasion, must lose their licence. Royalties and license fees as well as interest that is not sufficiently taxed in the country of destination should no longer be deductible for tax purposes.  For the purpose of detecting fraud in large companies, we must also improve the legal protection of whistleblowers.”