I have known for some time that the BBC has a shell company, BBC Worldwide Holdings BV registered in the Netherlands with tax avoidance specialists Intertrust. This is from the Wikipedia entry on Intertrust:
Since tax on royalties are very favourable in the Netherlands I suspect that BBC is channeling worldwide royalties for shows funded by the TV licence payer, through the Dutch shell company. Such an arrange is know as a Dutch royalty conduit:
Not being an expert on tax I contacted Britain’s leading tax justice expert who campaigns against tax avoidance, and often appears on the BBC – this is what happened:
I have now made a Freedom of Information Act request to the BBC for further information:
Please treat this as a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
I understand that BBC Worldwide Holdings BV is registered with Intertrust in Amsterdam, with no staff in attendance. Can you please tell me the role of BBC Worldwide Holdings BV. Is it a royalty conduit company? Where are funds passing through the company channelled to? Does it administer BBC royalties worldwide?
I look forward to hearing from you.
And this is the BBC response, which is meaningless waffle. They have answered mainly about BBC Worldwide, which is a different company. They have given no information at all about BBC Worldwide Holdings BV, the subject of my request. What is its purpose? Note “in respect of UK taxation” :