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Saturday 20 December  
Lauren Comiteau's picture
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dutch tax dodge for Mitt Romney?

Published on : 5 November 2012 - 1:23pm | By Lauren Comiteau (photo: ANP)
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We’ve had the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Luxemburg. Now there’s a new name to add to the growing list of countries that US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney allegedly uses to dodge taxes: The Netherlands.

According to an investigation by the website Follow the Money and the Dutch daily newspaper de Volkskrant, Romney has made millions of tax-free dollars through the private-equity company he established in 1994—during his pre-political days--Bain Capital.

Although Romney stepped down from Bain in 1999, he and his wife were reportedly still allowed to invest in the company until at least 2009, and were still reaping the benefits in 2010 and 2011.

And as part of his so-called “golden handshake,” the investigation says Romney got a severance deal that paid him in capital gains rather than salary, meaning the taxes he had to pay were significantly lower.

How it works

The story goes like this: In 2004, Bain acquired the Irish pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott, which was originally registered in Bermuda but moved to Ireland in 2009 to avoid President Obama’s crackdown on Bermuda’s lax tax rules.

Then two years ago, Bain registered its interest in Warner Chilcott with the private Dutch company Alter Domus, which provides administrative services for multinational corporations and investment funds. If a Dutch company owns more than five percent of the shares in another company, than that other company is exempt from paying taxes on all capital gains. 

Through exemptions like that and a host of other complicated tax treaties, the Netherlands offers huge tax breaks to companies like Bain, which is reported to have evaded 80 million euros in dividend taxes by running through the Netherlands.

Dutch tax haven

“The Netherlands is the world champion of participation exemption,” Jos Peters of tax consultancy firm Merlyn told Follow the Money.

By examining Bain’s filings with US regulators, Dutch Chamber of Commerce documents and those made public by Gawker, and even Romney’s own tax returns, Monday’s report says Romney has been able to financially benefit from the “Dutch route” as well.

The investigation says that there is a discrepancy between Romney’s tax filings and the tax-exempt Warner Chilcott shares he donated to his son’s charity in 2011, worth about $450,000.

The Tyler Foundation donates most of its money to the Mormon Church, of which Romney is a member.

Both Bain and Romney have refused repeated requests to comment on the issue.



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NM Remote 12 November 2012 - 2:52pm / USA to read that the rest of the world knows about the failed effort by the US ultra-right bible thumpers. Their work to corrupt the US election system with trainloads of money and lies (they do go hand in hand) failed miserably (except in the red-neck bible belt, where white still rules over black). Thanks to the "information" age...

Anonymous 11 November 2012 - 7:54am / USA

If Romney was doing anything illegal, he'd be prosecuted. The U.S. Tax Code provides many ways of lowering our tax liability. Anyone who itemizes deductions utilizes them. Wealthy people, many of them Democrats such as the Kennedy family, have always attempted to reduce their tax liability through foreign investments. Mitt Romney does not claim all of his charitable deductions because if he did he might not pay any taxes. He never pays less than 14% tax.

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Anonymous 6 November 2012 - 6:25am / usa

Might I remind you Leo, that the so-called 'Republican' controlled goverment you are referring to includes the Democratic controlled Senate led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. As a 'former' Demobot, the Republicans are the only party that will even attempt to control ANY spending and attempt to get the deficit under control. Also, your use of cuss words is totally unnecesary, speaks to the level of your intelligence. I have been in Nevada the last three days and see mostly Romney signs and very few Obama signs so you might as well get used to a Romney presidency. At least he IS an American and loves his country. Can't say the same for Obama. Also, why is it you Europeans love Obama so much? Just because many of you are socialists, doesn't mean the US wants or needs to be, so please just worry about your own country; let us take care of ours.

Vera Gottlieb 6 November 2012 - 5:47pm / Switzerland

Good idea...take care of your own country but you don't. Your nose is always stuck in other nations' business while neglecting the own back yard. Always a big show...scratch the surface and there ain't much underneath.

Anonymous 6 November 2012 - 4:11pm / USA

Pretending that the GOP will restrain spending is laughable. One has to go all the way back to the 1960's to find a Republican administration that was not fiscally irresponsible. Trillions in spending on wars with no benefit, massive expansion of the federal Govt. under "Homeland Security",700 billion medicare drug bill, No Child Left Behind, along with massive tax cuts are the legacy of George Bush alone.
I am not surprised you are that partisan and uninformed though. You berate another post for swearing and then immediately accuse the president of "hating America" followed by saying he is not even American. Nicely played.

Anonymous 6 November 2012 - 2:21pm

Controlling spending like Iraq and Afghanistan and additional 2 trillion in military spending? Typical GOPer with half truths...

Dean Martinelli 5 November 2012 - 9:18pm / USA

More power to him and others who make and employ millions of people and keep the economy alive....Hip Hip Hooray.!!! If I had money I would invest it over seas if it was legal also.!! Now for the real crook, Mr Obama is stealing the future for all the youth in our country (America) right now and has for the past 4 years...

Wez 6 November 2012 - 2:10am / us

Show us the facts that display that Romney has created so many jobs. He was not a job creator, that was not the business he was in... he was a corporation wealth extractor. The goal was to "harvest them at significant profit." Watch his speak the words himself here.

If he "created" jobs, you can be sure they payed lower wages and had fewer benefits in order to pay himself and his backers outrageous fees and profits. The rest of the jobs were off shored or destroyed. Is that how you want America to be treated?...not as "we're all in this together" but as another thing to exploit and "harvest"the wealth from, lower wages eliminate benefits and this for his very wealthy backers

You modern conservatives worship all profit as equally legitimate... wether made from actually creating and selling something or being a parasite and extracting or "harvesting" wealth that was pretty much already there, created by others. Totally sickening.

Leo Colaizzi 6 November 2012 - 1:51am

You must love following the blind Dean. I think its in your best interest to read facts before you say something very unintelligent. Our youth has been destroyed since 2001. How many young men and women fought a unecessary war(s) and died??? How much money did we lose after a huge surplus when Clinton left office??? You forget about that??? Mr. Obama is not a crook. The republican controlled government are the crooks and romney is a "tagalong" who will follow the footsteps of our worst president ever, gw bush. How about you go back to school or start reading the truth?? 

The last two sentences of this coment were removed by the editor as they contained abusive language. 

Anonymous 7 November 2012 - 4:16am / usa

ANYONE who uses the term surplus or the "Clinton Surplus" is beyond ignorant and it proves the lack of true knowledge and the true repeating of demoncrat talking points. There was NEVER a surplus. Check the facts, check the CBO reports, there has never been this surplus you believe in.

AnonymousX 7 November 2012 - 7:47pm / USA

Anyone who claims there wasn't a surplus without bothering to make the distinction between the budget deficit and the national debt is obviously just quoting Republican talking points and either doesn't understand the issue or is not really interested in actually setting the record straight.

Vera Gottlieb 5 November 2012 - 4:55pm / Switzerland

A crook through and through!

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