Tax Justice Netherlands started a campaign to stop the repeal of the Dutch dividend tax. The Dutch Cabinet is planning to introduce a bill in the Lower House in September to repeal the dividend tax. In the coming months, the Dutch network of civil society organisations intends to make clear that the elimination of this tax is misguided and this plan must therefore be abandoned.

The Netherlands loses out on 1.4 billion euros

If the dividend tax is eliminated, the Dutch government will lose out on 1.4 billion euros per year. These funds are sorely needed for many vital issues such as healthcare and education. The campaign kicks off with a joint petition.

Arnold Merkies, coordinator of Tax Justice Nederland:

“One and a half billion euros is being given away to foreign shareholders and foreign tax authorities, year in, year out. No one has requested this except the lobbyists of Shell, Unilever and the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers [VNO-NCW]. Moreover, it now appears that the justification was based on a report financed by these parties, behind the scenes. The vast majority of people do not want to eliminate the dividend tax. It is time for the Government to listen to us.”

No increase in jobs through the repeal of the dividend tax

The elimination of the dividend tax would not contribute to more jobs or better jobs in the Netherlands as SOMO research and memos from the Ministry of Finance have shown (an argument often used by advocates of repealing the law). Most of the revenue, 77 per cent, would go to foreign tax authorities. The remaining 23 per cent would end up in the United Kingdom and in tax havens, and thus guarantee no investments in job creation in the Netherlands.

Worse still: eliminating the dividend tax would worsen tax competition between countries, the so-called race to the bottom. The Netherlands already has a negative image internationally as a tax haven. The only other major European country that has no dividend tax is the United Kingdom.