The four largest tobacco companies in the world send billions through the Netherlands every year to avoid tax. That is the conclusion of journalist collective The Investigative Desk, about which NRC writes.
The companies concerned are British American Tobacco, Philip Morris, Japan Tobacco and Imperial Brands. The journalists looked at financial transactions in the period 2010-2019.
The tobacco manufacturers would use Dutch letterbox companies as a transit port for part of their foreign income. According to the investigative journalists, this involves at least 7.5 billion euros in dividends, interest and royalties.
The tobacco manufacturers do not want to respond to NRC substantively to questions about their financial policy. In a response, they say that they comply with the laws and regulations in each country.
In the Netherlands, a lawsuit is pending against British American Tobacco, for allegedly diverting 4 billion euros in interest through the Netherlands without paying tax on it. The tax authorities are demanding 1.2 billion euros from the tobacco giant.
Last year, the European Parliament approved a resolution with the message that the Netherlands is a tax haven. State Secretary Snel denied that at the time.
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