The Netherlands: A tax haven?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNetherlands Yearbook of International Law 2016
Subtitle of host publicationThe Changing Nature of Territoriality in International Law
EditorsMartin Kuijer, Wouter Werner
Place of PublicationThe Hague, The Netherlands
PublisherT.M.C. Asser Press | Springer
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-6265-207-1
ISBN (Print)978-94-6265-206-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

PublisherT.M.C. Asser Press
ISSN (Print)0167-6768
ISSN (Electronic)1574-0951


  • tax haven
  • tax treaties
  • multinational enterprises
  • Base erosion profit shifting
  • letter box companies


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