Netflix’s profit soars as they shift millions through Netherlands and avoid tax obligations

Some people are defensive when you point out the Netherlands is a tax haven but it is nonetheless true and each year hundreds of companies take advantage of this. Netflix is one of these companies who moved between 294 and 385 million euros in profit through the Netherlands in 2018 and bypassed more or less all their international tax obligations. 

Is this illegal?

Nope. Netflix, as well as other companies such as Google and Amazon set up various offices in different countries, which form a complex infrastructure and allows them to abuse legal loopholes and avoid paying tax. What Netflix does is not illegal, because Dutch laws allows it.

Last year, the European Parliament said outright that the Netherlands is a tax haven. PvdA MEP, Paul Tang, responded at the time “So far, everyone has kept far from it, but the parliament now says there are tax havens in the EU” and continued “The bad role that the Netherlands plays in tax evasion is now being looked at, and the Netherlands should be concerned about that.”

Taxwatch calls Netflix out

Taxwatch, a new tank that investigates companies movements, wants Netflix to own up to what they do. Director of Taxwatch, George Turner, wants to know what happens to the money that is shifted around “But where exactly the money goes is a mystery” NOS reports. 

Netflix has not yet responded to Taxwatch’s accusations but a spokesperson for the streaming service commented “Ultimately, it is up to governments to determine the rules when it comes to taxes – and in all countries where we operate, Netflix acts in accordance with these rules.”

What do you think about this? Immoral or okay because it is legal? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature image: Jade87/Pixabay

Freya Sawbridge
Freya was born in Edinburgh but raised in New Zealand (cue every person she meets saying “oh I have always wanted to go there but it’s so far away!”). A restless and curious nature has led her to move countries 5 times in the last 3 years in attempt to find a place she can call home. She contacted DutchReview on a whim and arrived in the Netherlands in summer 2019 to start her internship.


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