Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Tax Paradise Holland

Barack Obama has declared that The Netherlands are a tax haven, along the lines of Ireland and the Cayman Islands, used by US firms to avoid paying tax in their homelands. Measures, expected to yield $20bn, will make it more difficult for those companies to use that route. Fair enough. Except that the Dutch government has expressed its disappointment, and will be seeking clarification from Mr Obama. And ask for Holland's name to be removed from the list, thank you, Mr President. Private individuals wouldn't agree that there tax laws are lax out here; it is more amenable for corporations. However, to rank the Netherlands among the likes of the Cayman Islands is way off the mark. Not really the way to treat an old friend, is it now?

I've been favourably inclined towards Mr Obama since his election last November. This is a bit of a hoist of one's own petard, I think. The US president came to office on a ticket of change. If he can manage to persuade Americans that paying taxes is actually for their own, individual good (by spelling out what is being done with their tax dollars), he might actually see an increase in tax revenue. For the moment, I do not detect a lot of change in attitude, judging by what my American fellow-journalers are writing. To summarise: Mistrust of government, and a perception that they don't pay taxes to turn America into a socialist paradise.

1 comment:

projY - B said...

you can tell me one thing, Holland is NOT a tax paradise... you pay with an avarage income around 20 - 30 percent income tax and up to 52 percent max! then whenever you want to buy something you pay 19 percent again, except for foods which is 6 percent!!! and no so-called closed banks whatsoever...