According to the report Google, which just recently reached an agreement with the British government over a tax avoidance scandal, has “funneled away” roughly €10.7 billion through the Netherlands in 2014. NU reported that the Dutch holding ended paying €2.8 million in corporate tax.
According to the report, the €10.7 billion, derived from royalties of major foreign entities of Google. Those royalties were being transferred to the Dutch holding which is property of an Irish entity of Google, which is being managed from Bermuda. According to the report, the Dutch holding kept €11 million and payed roughly €2,8 million corporate tax for it.
On 16 February, the Greens also reported that IKEA is taking advantage of the EU and Dutch regulations to move its revenues to lower tax regimes. According to the Greens research, IKEA also shifts royalties from each IKEA store to a subsidiary in the Netherlands, which acts as a conduit. The royalties go in and out the Netherlands untaxed and end up in Liechtenstein or Luxembourg.
This is not the first time which is reported that Google uses the Netherlands to transfer money to Bermuda. In 2012, it was reported that the US giant, legally funneled profits through the Netherlands to Bermuda. Then it was reported that the company reduced its Irish tax liabilities by sending cash to Bermuda via the Dutch holding company.
On 8 February, British daily The Guardian, reported that in an effort to tackle tax evasion, the European Commission is planning to introduce a draft law which is going to oblige all big multinationals to publish all of their EU country-by-country profits and taxes paid.
Then, Tove Maria Ryding, tax justice coordinator for the European Network on Debt and Development, told Guardian that if the EU body chooses to limit public reporting to large companies – those with more than €750m in annual turnover – then 85% of the world’s multinationals would be unaffected.
“That would obviously be a very big problem,” she said. “If you want to have a situation where small and medium-sized enterprises who don’t use these tax structures can compete, then we can’t leave 85% of the multinationals with very obvious loopholes that mean that they can avoid taxation.”