In recent years, the Netherlands has concluded a number of tax treaties containing a Limitation of Benefits (“LOB”) article that includes a ‘catch all’ clause. Such clauses are found in the tax treaties concluded with the United States, Japan, Barbados, Kuwait, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Panama. The catch all clause entitles taxpayers that initially would not qualify for the benefits of the relevant treaty to nevertheless access some or all the benefits provided for in the treaty.
The Directorate for International Fiscal Affairs of the Ministry of Finance was authorized to deal with such requests. However, it has recently been decided to transfer this authorization to the APA/ATR Team of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration in Rotterdam. According to the Ministry, this will make the request process more streamlined and subsequently more efficient, as it is often the case that taxpayers have also submitted/intend to submit an APA/ATR request. The transfer of authority will apply to catch all requests based on current tax treaties that include a catch all clause, as well as future tax treaties or other regulations containing such a clause. The transfer will take effect as of January 1, 2014, and applies to both new and pending requests.
Comments by KPMG Meijburg & Co
Currently there are a large number of requests pending at the Ministry. Hopefully, this transfer of authority will improve the speed at which requests are dealt with and thereby reduce delays.