Michael Noonan defends 'stateless company' tax loophole
Responding to criticism from leading US business people, Minister Michael Noonan defended his government's new rules removing the "stateless company" tax loophole.
Minister Noonan said the reform, which he introduced in this year's budget, was necessary because the tax loophole had "caused Ireland great reputational damage" and "the solution was in our hands".
The loophole until recently allowed countries to incorporate in Ireland but declare profits in other low-tax or tax-free jurisdictions, meaning they could in theory pay no corporation tax at all.
"It was of no advantage to us because we got no revenue out of it" he said.
The Minister was responding to comments made by Peter Keegan, president of the American Irish Chamber of Commerce, who beseeched the government not to make any more unilateral tax changes at the organisation's annual Thanksgiving lunch in Dublin today.
Mr Noonan confirmed that there would be no further unilateral action, but said Ireland will fall in line with any international tax reforms - which will happen soon, he said, because they have the support of the G20.
"We don't see ourselves as part of the problem, we see ourselves as part of the solution," he said.
However he repeated his government's commitment to a 12.5pc corporation tax rate and said Ireland was legally entitled to keep it.