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Shell is not above the law on paying tax says Dutch lawmaker

Shell refuses to come. That reinforces the suspicions that it is avoiding tax on a large scale, “says Nijboer. According to him, companies like Shell should respond to a request from the House of Representatives. “Shell is not above the law.”

Printed below is an English translation of an article published today by the Dutch FT, Financieele Dagblad.

Shell refuses to account in the Chamber for tax assessment

Van onze correspondent: 10 April 2019

Shell refuses to appear next week at a hearing from the House of Representatives on the taxation of multinationals. Marjan van Loon, CEO of Shell Netherlands, informed the Standing Committee on Finance that had invited her to know that she had to deal with a representative of the VNO-NCW entrepreneurial organization.

In the Chamber, Henk Nijboer from the Labor Party responded indignantly. “It is unprecedented that Shell refuses to come. That reinforces the suspicions that it is avoiding tax on a large scale, “says Nijboer. According to him, companies like Shell should respond to a request from the House of Representatives. “Shell is not above the law.”

But the chance that the Chamber will still try to persuade Shell does not seem that great. The shoulders are being shrugged at the largest VVD government party, which initially supported the invitation. “The choice to be represented by VNO-NCW is up to Shell itself,” said a spokeswoman.

Partly the reason for the hearing is news that Shell in the Netherlands – except for natural gas extraction – does not pay profit tax. Due to the fiscal unity that Shell Nederland forms with parent company Shell Petroleum NV, worldwide losses are settled here, while tax is paid elsewhere on the vast majority of the profit.

Shell says that, like all other companies, it complies with tax legislation in the Netherlands. ‘A political debate about the tax system concerns all entrepreneurs. That is why VNO-NCW is speaking on behalf of the entire business community, “says Van Loon.

Shell itself pays ‘neatly billions of euros’ tax on royalties, profit, wages and sales, according to the CEO. It did, however, appear before at a hearing on the intended abolition of the dividend tax.

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