Ireland denies being tax haven despite low tax rates enjoyed by top companies Ireland denies being tax haven despite low tax rates enjoyed by top companies

Ireland denies being tax haven despite low tax rates enjoyed by top companies
29 Jan 2018

Eight out of the 100 companies in Ireland with the highest taxable income had effective tax rates of zero last year.

Some firms that enjoyed negative rates even ended up receiving tax rebates, according to figures given to the Public Accounts Committee by the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) Seamus McCarthy’s office. But Office of the Revenue Commissioners’ chairman Niall Cody denied that Ireland is a tax haven.

The figures also revealed the narrowness of the tax base, with 37% of receipts coming from just 10 firms and 70% coming from the top 100, said The Southern Star.

The news is likely to increase conflict with US president Donald Trump, who is keen to reduce the amount of tax US companies can keep offshore. His new tax legislation will reduce the US corporation tax rate from 35% to 20% - although this is still be well above the Irish rate of 12.5%.

In August 2016, the European Commission ordered Apple to repay €13 billion (US$15.4 billion) in unpaid taxes to Ireland. But the Irish government is challenging the ruling as it believes collecting the money would send the wrong message.

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

Eight out of the 100 companies in Ireland with the highest taxable income had effective tax rates of zero last year.

Some firms that enjoyed negative rates even ended up receiving tax rebates, according to figures given to the Public Accounts Committee by the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) Seamus McCarthy’s office. But Office of the Revenue Commissioners’ chairman Niall Cody denied that Ireland is a tax haven.

The figures also revealed the narrowness of the tax base, with 37% of receipts coming from just 10 firms and 70% coming from the top 100, said The Southern Star.

The news is likely to increase conflict with US president Donald Trump, who is keen to reduce the amount of tax US companies can keep offshore. His new tax legislation will reduce the US corporation tax rate from 35% to 20% - although this is still be well above the Irish rate of 12.5%.

In August 2016, the European Commission ordered Apple to repay €13 billion (US$15.4 billion) in unpaid taxes to Ireland. But the Irish government is challenging the ruling as it believes collecting the money would send the wrong message.

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

Leave a Reply

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing