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Friday, 26 June 2015

Netherlands supports developing countries on tax issues

In recent negotiations between The Netherlands and Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia, the countries agreed to the inclusion of anti-abuse provisions in tax treaties. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen said, ‘These are just the first five out of a total of 23 countries with which we want to reach agreement on combating tax avoidance (…) We’re now starting to see real progress. It’s only fair that a company should pay a realistic amount of tax in the country where its operations actually take place.’ Talks are currently being held with seven countries. State Secretary for Finance Eric Wiebes explained,‘ The Netherlands wants to lead the way in amending treaties with developing countries.’ Besides revising tax treaties, the Netherlands is also helping to strengthen tax administrations in developing countries e.g. through capacity building initiatives such as Tax Inspectors Without Borders programme in Ghana and the ‘Addis Tax Initiative’. The Netherlands’ also has a new role in the OECD initiative on the Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS), designed to reduce tax avoidance.