Netherlands Begins Reassessment of Entire Tax System

On April 15, 2019, the Netherlands Ministry of Finance announced a major review of the tax systems in the country, which will aim for specific proposals by 2020. The plan is to conduct six independent investigations of various aspects of the current system. The six initiatives will assess digital taxation, the corporate tax, taxation of capital income, environmental taxes, simplification measures, and the current tax mix, including its distributive effects.

The intent is to provide a thorough examination of all aspects of the tax system. The State Secretary for Finance said that “just like a house, our tax system requires constant maintenance. Every now and then it is also necessary to modernize more thoroughly.”

According to the government, the investigation of the existing tax mix and its distributive effects will be targeted at options to reduce the tax burden on labor, and whether the current heavy reliance on revenue from labor income taxes is appropriate. Conversely, the Netherlands currently relies on taxes on capital income less than other EU countries. For 2018, the government received 53% of its revenue from taxes on labor, 29% from consumption, and 12% from taxes on capital income. It intends to use the review to examine other ways to tax investors and entrepreneurs.

Nino Nellissen, a Netherlands attorney with the Executive Mobility Group and Chair of Worldwide ERC®’s Global Forum, commented that “I welcome the fact that the authorities are up for a review of the tax system. Over time, the system that in essence was quite balanced had to be fixed with patchworks every now and then. We embrace the further boost the revised tax system will give to our investment climate.”

How This Impacts Mobility

The costs of doing business in the Netherlands, and of locating workers there, could be substantially reduced by changes made as a result of the study.

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