Brussels wants to tackle the many thousands of letterbox companies in the Netherlands this year

Brussels wants to tackle the many thousands of letterbox companies in the Netherlands this year

The Amsterdam South Axis could just empty considerably in the coming years now that Brussels will come up with a firm approach to letterbox companies this month. The Netherlands has many thousands, sometimes hundreds, at one address.

Companies without a ‘substantial’ presence or economic activity in a particular Member State will soon lose their tax advantage without mercy, European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Paolo Gentiloni announced this afternoon. He also wants to get rid of the zero rate. His proposals will pass the Commission on December 22.

After years of stagnation in numerous tax files, Brussels finally seems to want to accelerate. This is partly due to the Pandora Papers with concrete revelations about how governments worldwide miss 443 billion euros annually due to tax avoidance. And partly because Brussels desperately needs that money, or the European part of it, to combine the economic recovery after corona with unprecedented greening and digitization. Gentiloni asked the tax specialists from the European Parliament to help him, but the call seemed rather unnecessary: ​​they have been hanging on his leg day and night.

Corporation tax

Quite a few of them urged that the minimum 15 percent corporate tax rate, agreed worldwide through the intercession of US President Biden, be increased immediately. “If we make 25 percent of that, we’ll get three times more money,” said Manon Aubry of the ultra-left GUE. According to Gentiloni, the 15 percent is a minimum and the rate in important EU member states is already above that: “And it will remain that way.”

He himself wants to focus next year on the effective payment of income tax. Several MEPs also called for a much more comprehensive blacklist of tax havens. “There are now only nine countries on it, you even removed three more shortly after the Pandora Papers,” said Aubry again. “And one of the people who draws up such lists, Wopke Hoekstra from the Netherlands, turns out to have interests there himself.”

Stricter rules

The fact that countries are disappearing from that list is positive, Gentiloni replied, because it means that tax havens are more compliant with rules, which are also becoming stricter. “It’s a process. From next year they must also start reporting on the profits per country of multinationals.” For years, Parliament has been thorn in the side that EU tax havens such as Luxembourg, Ireland and the Netherlands are by definition not included in the list. Gentiloni: ,,I didn’t come up with the setup.” Parliament is more enthusiastic about attempts by the Italian to fight tax avoidance through majority decision-making. The fact that every country still has a veto right in the tax field has been the main obstacle to an effective European approach for years.

PvdA MEP Paul Tang, who chaired the consultation with Gentiloni, criticized the fact that an important adviser to letterbox companies avoided a debate with Parliament. Law firm Baker McKenzie, also a resident of the South Axis frequently mentioned in the Pandora Papers, was not interested in this confrontation. Tang: ,,A missed opportunity. But with more hearings on the way, they too cannot escape public scrutiny.”

D66 wants the financial interests of new ministers to be made public before they are appointed. That is stated in a new proposal after Hoekstra’s name appeared in the Pandora Papers, as can be seen in the video below:

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Brussels wants to tackle the many thousands of letterbox companies in the Netherlands this year | Economy
Source link Brussels wants to tackle the many thousands of letterbox companies in the Netherlands this year | Economy

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