|President Obama speaks with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg in Feb 2011, Google's Eric Schmidt is in the foreground|
Tax Havens: The Netherlands competes with Ireland
in offering corporate tax haven facilities and the US tech giants, Google and
Facebook, use the Dutch tax rules to complement their drive to minimises taxes
through chanelling of sales revenues from other countries into Ireland. About
20,000 mailbox companies are hosted in Amsterdam and prominent musicians such as
Bono of U2 and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones avail of the system.
"Nearly one-third of all foreign
profits reported by US corporations in 2003 came from just three small, low-tax
countries: Bermuda, the Netherlands, and Ireland," a White House factsheet
stated in 2009. Like the Queen in Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' who protested that '"The
lady doth protest too much, methinks," the Dutch government hypocritically
objected to the Netherlands being dubbed a tax haven and the White House deleted
Bono, the well-known anti-poverty campaigner and frontman for Irish
pop group U2, could have told the Dutch politicians that every cent of royalties
from US radio plays of U2 CDs was going to the Netherlands to avoid having to
pay a cent in tax, following a change in tax policy in Ireland.
he Wall Street
Journal had also protested too much and like the Dutch had got the wrong end of
the stick. It said in 2009: 'The Dutch corporate tax rate is 25.5% -- which
isn't even all that low by current European standards. And the US is the largest
foreign investor in that 'small, low-tax country,' according to the Dutch
Embassy. Perhaps reducing American investment there and slamming the Netherlands
as a tax haven is Mr. Obama's way of reaching out to friends and allies...And
that investment is a two-way street -- the Netherlands is also the
fourth-largest foreign investor in the US."
Like headline trade figures courtesy
of the port of Rotterdam, one of the world's busiest, that flatter the Dutch,
the foreign direct investment (FDI) data partly reflect activities by foreign
companies in the Dutch tax haven. The Netherlands also hosts thousands of foreign
reading this article, subscribe to Finfacts Premium
for the low annual charge of €25.
It's a simple fact that in the
prevailing economic climate, the provision of high quality content cannot be
sustained through advertising alone.
If you are a regular user of Finfacts, 50 euro cent a week is hardly a huge ask
to support the service.
This article can