Jimmy Cox _ Dividend Withholding Tax Exemption

The first of January 2018 was the effective date of expansion of the Dutch dividend tax withholding regime. It was also the date of duty notification being imposed regarding the application of the taxation exemption in respect of dividends paid out to non-Dutch based recipients. This blog discusses said newly introduced duty of notification by elaborating on the following themes: “Dividend withholding tax specification”, “Dividend withholding tax exemption conditions”, “Abuse of dividend withholding tax exemption” and “Artificial construction in connection with dividend withholding tax”.

Dividend Withholding Tax Specification

It is compulsory within one month of the dividend payment date to notify the Dutch Tax Authorities accordingly – using the designated “Dividend withholding tax specification” form – where use is being made of the dividend withholding tax exemption. The Tax Authorities use the relevant information in assessing whether the distributing company or holding cooperative has rightly availed itself of withholding exemption. Please note that the tax authorities are authorized to impose default surcharges of up to € 5,278 each for tardy notification or failure altogether to effect notification, as well – worse still – as negligence penalties for intent or gross culpability, in amounts of up to 100% of the outstanding taxes. (Whether or not the tax service’s practice in this respect is entirely EU proof remains to be seen. Then again the institution of proceedings to find out can be a costly affair.)

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Jimmy Cox On Taxes In The Netherlands

According to a majority of the members of the European Parliament, the Netherlands is, just like Malta, Cyprus, Ireland and Luxembourg, a fiscal paradise and it is demanding (without any underlying jurisdiction, incidentally) that the European Commission place these five countries on its list of tax havens.  This list is, of course, is more akin to a pillory than an honor roll.

Does the Netherlands merit being designated as a tax haven?  Most inhabitants of the Netherlands would not experience this as being the case; after all, the VAT on shopping, for crying out loud, has increased by 50% this year alone, and the highest bracket in income taxation (over EUR 68,508) remains at 51.75%:  a solid deduction indeed.  It is true that taxation on company profits has decreased from 20 to 19%, but this latter figure is still considerably higher than in Ireland (12.5%) or Bulgaria (10%), for example.  Furthermore, companies making profits higher than EUR 200,000 continue to pay 25% over this threshold.

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Jimmy Cox - Tax Exemptions

Since January 1, 2018, the withholding tax exemption has been extended. At the same time, a reporting obligation has been introduced for the application of the withholding exemption on dividend paid to a recipient who is not established in the Netherlands. In this blog I discuss the reporting obligation entered when applying the withholding tax exemption based on the following topics:  Declaration of dividend tax ,  Condition for dividend tax exemption ,  Misuse of dividend tax exemption ,  Artificial construction of dividend tax .

Dividend Tax Statement

Within 1 month after the dividend has been paid, the ‘Dividend Tax Declaration’ form drawn up by the Dutch Tax Authorities must state that an application is made of the withholding tax exemption. As a result of this reporting obligation, the Tax and Customs Administration can determine whether the withholding exemption has been correctly applied by the paying company or holding cooperative.

Please note: if no or late notification is made, a default penalty of up to € 5,278 can be imposed or, in the case of intent or gross negligence, even a penalty for offense. Criminal fines can amount to 100% of the tax payable. The question is whether this scheme is EU-proof, but initiating a procedure to find this out is also a costly matter.

The ‘Dividend Tax Declaration’ form must contain the following information:

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Jimmy Cox- How do I invest In The Netherlands

If you want to invest as an individual in a Dutch company, there are various options for doing so. In this blog we will discuss a few different options and what the consequences might be. We focus on the possibilities with profit-sharing certificates and shares.

Participate Through Profit-Sharing Certificates

A profit-sharing certificate entitles the person who owns this, the participant, to the profit of a company. This right only concerns the net profit of the company, not the capital. In addition, a profit-sharing certificate does not give ownership to the company or the shares of the company. This also means that a profit certificate does not give the right to vote and / or control.

Because there are many types of profit-sharing certificates and they do not have to be registered with the notary, many elements of a contract can be determined themselves. You therefore have control over how complex the contract becomes and how the profit certificate will be valued. There is also no decision required for the issue of a profit certificate.

Participate Via Shares

Participation via shares gives the participant a right to ownership of the company. Shares can be issued without voting rights and without profit rights. Please note that this cannot be done at the same time. Shares cannot contain no voting right and no profit right at the same time.

Issue or sale of shares does require the intervention of a notary. A disadvantage of participation via shares is that there is little possibility of deviating from standard shares, so that there is less flexibility in the valuation of shares.

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