Bringing Us Together VI, Offending Then Apologizing to the Dutch

By May 6, 2009General, Taxation

From Dutch News:

The United States is to remove the Netherlands from its list of tax havens after protests from the Dutch ambassador in Washington, junior finance minister Jan Kees de Jager told reporters late on Tuesday night.

On Monday US president Barack Obama had announced a series of measures to shut down offshore tax havens which could have implications for American firms with Dutch subsidiaries.

A briefing note attached to the announcement stated that 83 of the 100 largest US corporations have subsidiaries in tax havens, most notably the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Ireland and the Netherlands.

The Dutch government reacted angrily, with officials noting its corporate tax rate is 25.5 percent, about average by European standards and lower than the United States’ 35 percent. A finance spokesman for the Dutch government said the Obama Administration will remove the Netherlands from the list.

The above story, “Obama pakt Nederland aan” is from the Algemeen Dagblad, a major daily. The headline is, more or less, “Obama Takes on the Netherlands.” (proceeds, tackles, picks on) It’s big news in Holland.

Here’s more, a story that just moved from AFP, “US To Remove Netherlands From “Tax Haven” List – Minister

THE HAGUE (AFP)–The U.S. is to remove the Netherlands from a list of corporate tax havens where it figured owing to a “misunderstanding”, the Dutch finance ministry said Wednesday.

“It is a misunderstanding that the United States regrets. It has never considered the Netherlands as a tax haven nor as a country that imposes particularly low taxes on companies,” ministry spokesman Marcel Homan told AFP.

“The White House has informed us that it will edit the list today.”

Restoring our ties with Europe, one country at a time.

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