Sunday 18 August 2019

Cosgrave spent €20,000 on Facebook ads to highlight tax regime here

‘Game is up’: Paddy Cosgrave is critical of the tax regime here. Picture: Reuters
‘Game is up’: Paddy Cosgrave is critical of the tax regime here. Picture: Reuters
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave spent what he described as "a very small amount" of about €20,000 on Facebook adverts highlighting Ireland's corporation tax regime.

The advisements, which came from the Irish Tax Agency page, were targeted at people working for the European Commission, the OECD, and the International Monetary Fund.

In addition, people working for a "range of political parties" across Europe that have an interest in Irish tax affairs were targeted.

Earlier this week, Facebook removed the Irish Tax Agency page.

The social media giant said the page had violated its policies against impersonation.

Mr Cosgrave, who has been very critical of Ireland's tax regime, said he thinks there is "a great crime being committed" in terms of billions in revenue that should be taxed "being siphoned out of this country".

He said that his behaviour had been "aggressive but justified".

Addressing members of the media yesterday in Dublin, Mr Cosgrave said he did not know who British Finance - the person who altered IDA Ireland's Wikipedia page - was, despite relying on them for his tax website.

When asked if British Finance could be relied upon as a reliable source, Mr Cosgrave responded by saying: "Wikipedia is a reliable source."

He said he would not be taking any more measures to highlight the country's tax regime.

He added that he thinks "the game is up" and that Ireland should "start to close down all of these things and start to negotiate a route out of our dependence on a very preferential tax treatment for different entities".

In respect of his own company Amaranthine, a San Francisco-based venture capital fund, which is incorporated in Delaware, Mr Cosgrave said: "It is more tax-efficient to incorporate out of Ireland, but that fund is operated out of the United States.

"It is the standard procedure for venture capital funds [to set up there]."

Irish Independent

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