How the Netherlands Built One of the World’s Worst Tax Havens

And How to Shut It Down

Yves Herman / Reuters

Dutch officials really don’t like it when someone calls their country a tax haven. In 2009, the Obama administration did just that, naming the Netherlands as one of a number of countries where scores of major American firms had established subsidiaries in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes. In a press briefing, the White House also noted that, taken together with Bermuda and Ireland, the Netherlands claimed nearly a third of all foreign profits reported in 2003 by U.S. corporations. These statements provoked outrage in the Netherlands and a protest from the Dutch ambassador in Washington. “We’re not happy,” …