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Dutch dividend withholding tax exemption extended to certain EEA countries — Orbitax Tax News & Alerts

In the Official Gazette of 21 July 2009, the State Secretary for Finance published Decree No. CPP2009/1310M (the Decree), in response to the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Commission v. the Netherlands (C-521/07). In that case, the ECJ held that by not exempting from withholding tax dividends paid to companies established in Iceland and Norway, under the same conditions which apply to dividends paid to companies resident in the Netherlands and other Member States, the Netherlands has failed to fulfil its obligations under Art. 40 of the EEA Agreement.

Under the Decree, with effect from 11 June 2009, dividends paid to companies resident in Iceland and Norway, having a shareholding of at least 5% in the Dutch distributing company, will be exempt from withholding tax if:

-   the receiving company is subject to tax in its country of residence; and
-   it has a legal form comparable to those listed in the annex to the Parent Subsidiary Directive 90/435/EEC.

Further, a refund can be requested for the withholding tax levied on dividends distributed before 11 June 2009. The request for refund must be filed within 3 years following the year in which the dividends were distributed.