State Secretary Marnix van Rij during a committee debate on the Tax and Customs Administration in the House of Representatives.Photo: ANP/Hollandse Hoogte/Laurens van Putten
State Secretary Marnix van Rij (Taxation) still supports an internal investigation in which the Tax and Customs Administration found that officials were too friendly with tech company Uber, but that there was no favoritism. In allegations made earlier this week by whistleblower Mark McGann in a conversation with the House of Representatives, Van Rij has heard “not really new facts”.
According to McGann, who worked as a lobbyist for Uber for years, the company behind the taxi app of the same name enjoyed very favorable tax treatment. The tax authorities would also have passed on very valuable information to Uber about how the tax authorities of other countries work. “The red carpet for us was redder and longer than for the royal family,” McGann told the Chamber.
Documents However, Van Rij states that the whistleblower told the same story as previously reported in the media, and that his claims “seem to be at odds” with the findings of the Tax Authorities. According to him, there was “nothing wrong” with the tax agreements that the tax authorities made with Uber, so-called rulings. The Secretary of State does say that he is “very interested” in documents to which McGann referred during the hearing.
Van Rij believes that the fact that the investigation into the allegations was left to the Tax Authorities itself can still be defended. He points to the “validation” of that research by independent experts. He does acknowledge, however, that he should have consulted the House in advance about the way in which the investigation would be set up. An external investigation could also have been done, but was not necessarily necessary, says Van Rij.
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