Wednesday 25 April 2018

Ireland accused of being 'pirate' in EU tax debate

European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Shona Murray

Ireland's tax regime has come under fire during a heated debate on corporation tax in the European Parliament.

The vast majority of MEPs who participated in the discussion pledged their support for major changes to how multinationals pay tax across all EU member states.

Ireland was singled out several times for its low-tax model, and its consistent refusal to agree to a Europe-wide method of taxing corporations.

"I hope the larger countries like Germany and France will put the pressure on the smaller countries - countries like the Netherlands, Ireland, Malta, Luxembourg that are the pirates within the European Union", said Dutch MEP Paul Tang.

European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici outlined his proposals for the CCCTB - Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base.

The CCCTB would see one set of tax rules applying to all large-scale multinationals operating within the EU.

Each member state would apply their own tax rate after that, but the advantages gained by tax offerings in places like Ireland would be seriously reduced.

As would the amount of corporate tax paid in to the Irish coffers as the CCCTB proposes to tax revenue where sales and activity is generated, as opposed to profits from where the company is headquartered.

Supporters of the approach say it will make taxation more transparent and will put an end to aggressive tax avoidance by mega-rich tech giants who pay little back in to the exchequer of the countries they operate in.

"My main concern is that member states are being asked to transfer further powers to the Commission in exchange for the promise that this new system will end the ability of multinationals to shift profits - but this goal is unlikely to be achieved," said Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business