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Tax Haven and Development Partner: Incoherence in Dutch Government Policies

Weyzig, Francis and Van Dijk, Michiel (2008): Tax Haven and Development Partner: Incoherence in Dutch Government Policies.

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Abstract

This paper focuses on a relatively new issue in the debate on policy coherence for development: the incoherence between tax and aid policies, using a case study of the Netherlands as illustration. Although the Netherlands cannot be considered a ‘pure’ tax haven like the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, evidence indicates that it does play a key role as ‘conduit’ country in tax planning structures of multinationals that wish to channel funds to ‘pure’ tax havens. This paper shows that as a consequence of the Dutch fiscal regime, other countries, including developing countries, are failing to collect important tax revenues which otherwise could have been used to finance health care, education and other essential public goods and services. It is estimated that developing countries miss about € 640 million in tax revenue – about 15 % of Dutch ODA. This suggests the Dutch tax policy is incoherent with the Dutch policy on development cooperation.

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