Tuesday 21 November 2017

And there's page after page of damning research

IT'S NO wonder that the Americans are not amused. Companies from the USA declared $87bn in profits in Ireland last year, the United States Centre for Tax Justice revealed last week.

That's equivalent to 48 per cent of Ireland's GDP – the total produced by every man, woman and child on the island in the year.

It just doesn't equate, the CTJ's damning report on the matter said.

It's just the latest in a steady flow of deeply troubling research into Ireland's tax approach to multinationals to be published in the last year, making headlines around the world.

And only weeks before that, data from the Australian Tax Office showed that Australian companies shuffled $7.2bn to Irish subsidiaries in 2012, with the 'Sydney Morning Herald' highlighting that Ireland was sixth in terms of in-company payments despite ranking just 32nd among Australia's trading partners.

In February, Trinity College Dublin finance professor Jim Stewart made headlines when he published a paper alledging that US subsidiaries operating in Ireland paid an effective tax rate of just 2.2 per cent in 2011.

Based on statistics from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, his research suggested that Ireland's effective tax rate for American firms was similar to that levied by tax havens like Bermuda.

Apple was cast under the spotlight last May, with the publication of a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report that alleged the technology giant had companies whose control and management was not located in Ireland, as Irish onshore companies with addresses at its Cork, Ireland campus to the world.

"Since the early 1990s, the government of Ireland has calculated Apple's taxable income in such a way as to produce an effective tax rate in the low single digits,'' the report said.

Since 2003, this rate has been two per cent or less – in one year, 2011, it was 0.05 per cent, it found. The findings "demonstrate Ireland has essentially functioned as a tax haven for Apple, providing it with income tax rates approaching zero", the report said.

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