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Tuesday 28 March 2017

Ireland appears on tax havens 'blacklist' with Panama, Monaco

Peter Vale of Grant Thornton
Peter Vale of Grant Thornton
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Ireland has been added to a "blacklist" of tax havens by the Department of Federal Revenue of Brazil just weeks after the European Commission ordered Apple to repay €13bn in back taxes to the State.

It is understood the decision to place Ireland on the list will have immediate implications for transactions between the two countries.

However, the effect of the listing remains unclear.

Ireland was included on the list under an article of Brazilian law that highlights countries that tax companies at less than 20pc or where domestic law does not permit access to information on the firm's structure or their ownership.

Grant Thornton tax partner Peter Vale said Ireland must strongly rebuff the decision by Brazil.

"We have, and it's acknowledged by the OECD, one of the most transparent tax systems in Europe, if not the world. If having a low tax rate means you're a haven, then perhaps.

"Most of the rationale and the basis for people calling it a tax haven is to do with structures that we have outlawed in response to the noise around it, while we would have strongly held the view that it wasn't an Irish issue," he said.

Ireland's addition brings the total number of countries and dependencies listed as havens by Brazil up to 67. Also included on the list are Panama, the Isle of Man and Monaco. The Irish State appeared on the list on Tuesday, September 13.

Whether or not its presence on the list is due to the Apple Tax ruling is unclear.

Irish Independent

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