Recently, Oxfam launched a report that stated that The Netherlands is the #3 of world’s
worst corporate tax havens. And with this in mind a debate was held on
Thursday, January 12 which discussed this issue. The debate offered experts and
stakeholders a platform to discuss their point of views.
Is the Netherlands a tax haven? According to the majority of the panelists The
Netherlands is indeed a tax haven. One of the arguments given was that the
Netherlands is not transparent in informing the public. All tax dealings
happen behind closed doors. However, The Netherlands is transparent about their
tax policies which are facilitating corporate tax avoidance.
The gloom and doom
The gloom and doom of Globalisation, America, Neoliberalism, etc. During the debate
one of the panelists mentioned these keywords to describe their effect on the
Netherlands as a tax haven. He said that they are the reason why The
Netherlands is considered a tax haven. However this argumentation is weak and
was quickly overruled by other panelist saying that it is the Dutch policies
that facilitate these practices and that by changing the policies and being
transparent The Netherlands can reduce its role in facilitating corporate tax
time is always right to do what is right.” -Martin
Human vs. Tax consultant
One of the panelists was asked whether he always supports his actions as a tax
consultant. What might be beneficial for a corporation, might be disastrous for
society. Do we need whistleblowers to figure out what practices are conducted
by our government? No, we need tax consultant to practice with their
conscience. And as Martin Luther King said; “The time is always right to do
what is right”.
The economy of the 99%
Tax avoidance has affected individuals, societies and governments in many
developing countries. Take Jane Muthoni, a Kenyan lady, who worked as a maid in
homes of the rich in the capital Nairobi. Jane and others in the Kenyan society
are having difficulties breaking the cycle of their environment. Occasionally
they do not have access to basic human needs, e.g. to water. Giving the fact
that many corporations avoid paying taxes in developing countries, these
governments cannot invest in education, health care and infrastructure as much
as they need to. Overall this leads to increase of the global inequality.
This blog is written by Habon, Intern
communications and campaigning EVENITUP!