Dutch Railway Company Again Accused Of Tax Evasion

Dutch railway company NS, which operates services in Germany and Britain, continues to avoid corporation tax through its subsidiary Abellio in Ireland, despite the Dutch government’s warning to abstain from using this tax avoidance scheme, Dutch Newspaper Trouw reported.

Background

Abellio has set up Disa Assets Limited which finances NS trains operating on its concessions in Germany. Abellio has built up a profit of €1bn over the years, which is being taxed in Ireland. This tax scheme has been discussed in parliament in 2012, which concluded the practice is ‘undesirable’. Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that the country loses €8m on every €100m in NS profit because of the scheme.

Company Pledged to End its Practice

In March 2015, NS agreed to terminate the Irish operation. The company promised that 90% of the trains leased from the Irish unit would be transferred to the Dutch parent company by 2024. In principle, the NS will pay tax in countries where the trains are being used. This, however, is not the case with the German trains, Trouw pointed out. The Irish option is being used because of the limited length period of the train concessions. "At the end of the contract, the trains can easily be leased to the new contract holder," spokesman said to Trouw.

Source: Trouw (in Dutch), Dutch News, NLTimes
 

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