Tuesday 10 December 2019

Government rejects calls to change corporate tax policy

Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs Enterprise & Innovation
Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs Enterprise & Innovation

Daniel McConnell

The Government is to reject OECD demands to change its international tax policies in the Budget, saying such a solo-run could damage the country's competitiveness.

There were calls yesterday for Ireland to end the controversial "Double Irish" tax arrangement, which allows companies run profits through here to lower tax havens.

OECD head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans said it would make sense to have something included in the Budget which would address the controversial tax arrangement.

Mr Saint-Amans called into question the viability of our crucial 12.5pc corporation tax rate as long as we are facilitating such transfers of profits.

"Is Ireland about facilitating the shifting of profits to Bermuda or is it a competitive country with a 12.5pc tax rate? If you want to fight on the rate, are you making your case stronger by facilitating profit shifting to zero tax economies?" he said.

Despite those warnings, government sources were ruling out a solo-run by Ireland.

"Ireland moving before the rest of the international community could be damaging to us and we could find ourselves out of step and our competitiveness could be affected," said a senior Government source.

Speaking yesterday, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said Ireland is unlikely to move by itself to address the "Double Irish" tax arrangement but will only move as part of a coordinated international approach.

He said: "We need all countries moving together."

Mr Bruton said the OECD project, known as BEPS, needs to accelerate its work.

"All countries need to move together. But we need to remain competitive, but Ireland has to be very careful. We will change the tax code, but the OECD needs to get moving," he said.

"The international tax code is changing. Ireland will be competitive in that new environment," Mr Bruton said on RTE 's The Week in Politics.

Irish Independent

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