Netherlands news: ABBA joins U2, Rolling Stones in using Dutch tax break for royalties

Via De Telegraaf:

“Every time an ABBA song is played, the cash register rings in Hilversum. The world-famous act use a Dutch construction to avoid the Swedish taxman.”

The revelation is based on a new edition of the book “The Netherlands: tax haven. Why nobody pays tax here except you”.

The Telegraaf article notes that “Holland is a popular registration place for artists, because our country does not have a withholding tax on royalties. They can then profitably channel the royalty income to one of the many countries the Netherlands has a tax treaty with.”

According to this list, the Netherlands has tax treaties with 77 countries including Switzerland and Luxembourg, ranked first and second on the Financial Secrecy Index.

The article closes by reminding readers that the Rolling Stones and U2 also channel royalties through the country, and that both bands have an office on Amsterdam’s Herengracht.

There is also a lively debate under the article. A small sample:

– Hugo44: “I would do the same if I could. It’s completely legal!”

– Vriez: “Strange that something like this can happen in Holland, citizens pay tax through the nose and the rich keep getting richer. Brussels should do something.”

– rob10: “…governments are creative in the ways they plunder citizens financially with crazy taxes, companies and people are forced to be equally creative in avoiding these taxes.”

– mart2: “…they do pay some tax in the Netherlands, which means they create jobs, which means on balance this is positive for our country…the regulation should stay as it is, otherwise it would cost us a lot of money and jobs and they (multinationals) would just go somewhere where they don’t pay any tax at all and then nobody benefits.”

– sjaak: “Tax constructions for foreigners create jobs in the Netherlands. The trust sector employs 100.000 people”.

– ghita: “Almost no jobs are created, it’s usually nothing more than a postbox.”

– rjmkanters: “This should better stop; it makes no sense to keep facilitating megawealth and cut down on normal salaries and pensions. Stop this!”

(translation from Dutch with some help from google.)

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