The Netherlands: A Tax Haven?

  • Eric C.C.M. KemmerenEmail author
Part of the Netherlands Yearbook of International Law book series (NYIL, volume 47)


The taxation of multinational enterprises is currently subject to intensive international and national debates. In these debates the Netherlands has sometimes been labelled as a ‘tax haven’. This term has a strong negative connotation. In any case, a country’s reputation is at stake if it is qualified as a tax haven. The main research question of this chapter is: Is the Netherlands a tax haven? In this context, it will be discussed whether the following features make the Netherlands a tax haven: (1) The Dutch participation exemption (2) The non-existence of withholding taxes on outbound interest and royalties (3) The Dutch tax treaty network (4) The Dutch advanced tax ruling and advance pricing agreement practice (5) The Dutch exchange of information rules and practice.The chapter starts with the question of whether tax havens are a problem. Subsequently, it discusses a number of definitions of the term tax haven. Based on one of them, the Netherlands’ position will be tested and the research question will be answered. At the end, the author sums up his main conclusions and suggestions for improvement of the Dutch tax system, inter alia in respect of letterbox companies.


Tax haven Tax treaties Multinational enterprises Base erosion Profit shifting Letter box companies 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

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