Dutch plan for Unilever "Exit Tax" over shift to London won't work, says legal adviser

AMSTERDAM, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Levying a tax on Unilever as it unifies its British-Dutch structure by shifting to a single London headquarters would be “irresponsible”, the Dutch government’s legal advice body said on Friday.

Unilever has said an “Exit Tax” bill introduced by an opposition lawmaker did not appear legal and, if passed by the Dutch parliament with retroactive force, would cost the company 11 billion euros ($13 billion), enough to derail unification.

The Netherlands’ Council of State said in advice published on Friday that “the deep changes to the dividend taxation system that the lawmaker proposes” were not in line with the rule of law and would be “irresponsible” if imposed.

$1 = 0.8474 euros Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Edmund Blair