Orange Business Club: the era of letterbox companies in the Netherlands is over


Orange Business Club, an informal group of Russian top managers and business owners having interests in the Netherlands, on 16 November in Moscow held a meeting of its members to discuss the upcoming tax policy for holdings in the Netherland and its effects on international companies.

Finally, in October 2017 after more than 200 days of negotiations, a newly formed coalition between four political parties in the Netherlands announced the plans on how to improve tax situation for holding structures. All the expected changes were presented in details by ErnstJan Rutten, an expert of Taxperience.

Among all, the Club’s members found out about serious curbing tax benefits for holdings in the Netherlands, especially for ones without substance (a so called letterbox company), and also they learned about the corporate income tax rate and the withholding tax on paying dividends, tax benefit for expats and VAT.

ErnstJan Rutten noted that the new coalition agreement will improve the overall investment climate for ‘serious’ international companies, operating in the country: “The tax authorities in the Netherlands are flexible and are interested to keep international companies in the Netherlands. Implementing the new OECD and EU regulations will take place, but the Netherlands will not be the first, and not be the strictest in the interpretation of these new rules. But it does mean that the era of letterbox companies in the Netherlands is over and that substance, in the form of employees and a functioning office, is going to be required”.

Head of Orange Business Club and a partner of Energy Consulting Gerard Uijtendaal added that companies, who might have created a holding structure in the Netherlands for tax reasons, now have a great opportunity to make that entity the main hub for their international expansion: “The Netherlands is a great country to receive international finance flows, and a good place to structure international investments from. However, under the new rules, this opportunity can be successfully used by a number of companies to transfer to the Netherlands some departments, for example strategy, business development, or corporate finance.”

The Orange Business Club is an informal group of Russian top managers and business owners having interests in the Netherlands. It is a place to combine and share knowledge about doing business in the Netherlands at the highest level. The organizer of the Club is Energy Consulting. Learn more

Energy Consulting is an audit and consulting firm with a focus to support Russian companies in implementing their international strategy, a member of an international accounting network HLB International. Energy Consulting provides professional, high quality services in Russia and abroad, through its offices in the Netherlands and Germany, as well as 600 other affiliated offices of HLB worldwide.
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