Saturday 20 January 2018

Brendan Keenan: Europe wants Ireland in 12-step programme over tax-break habit

Although the country may not deserve Obama's 'tax haven' label, our lower rates are open to legal challenge

ANY port in a storm, they say, but when is a haven not a haven? Whatever the definition of Ireland's tax status, there are storm clouds threatening on every horizon.

Most of us are a bit illogical when it comes to tax. In particular, taxes on assets, whether it be on property, interest paid on bank savings, or gains from investments, are more unpopular than taxes on earnings.

One might say it is because the money which acquired the assets has already been taxed. But so has the money used to buy stuff in the shops; yet VAT is generally accepted without a murmur (although it may be resented a bit more than income tax).

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