Always wanted to know how to evade tax? Just book an excursion with Kamerplant Tours, Dutch for Houseplant Excursions, in Amsterdam and they'll teach you all you need to know.
Actually, this is an art project by artist Tinkebell and financial journalist Arno Wellens to illustrate the absurdity of the Dutch tax system.
By now everybody knows that many companies from all around the world use shell companies in the Netherlands to evade tax. The tax authorities in Amsterdam try to make this more difficult by inventing rules which should ensure that these companies are actually operating locally and aren't just empty shells. One of the ways they check this is the houseplant rule; after all, if an office has a houseplant, there must be somebody working there to water it, right?
A a result of this rule there are now tens of thousands of empty offices in Amsterdam, with only a houseplant. If you book one of these Houseplant Excursions, tour guide Arno Wellens will show you many of these "houseplant offices" and provide you with many astonishing facts (which are all sourced, for those who are skeptical). Like the fact that due to these constructions thirteen (!) times more money flows through the country than it actually makes on its own.
But of course the most important goal of these excursions is to raise awareness of this unjust system and to urge lawmakers to finally really do something about it. These shell companies are used by companies from around the world to avoid paying taxes anywhere, cumulatively depriving these countries of billions of dollars in taxes which could be used for necessary public services, but are instead accumulating in the bank accounts of the super rich.
For more information and to book one of these excursions, check out the links below: