'Double Irish' to be phased out

'Double Irish' to be phased out

In delivering his Budget 2015 speech, Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed a phasing out of controversial tax arrangements - known as the "Double Irish" - which allows multinational companies to slash their tax bills by locating in Ireland.

Major global technology and pharmaceutical firms have been able to use the scheme to save billions of euro.

“I am abolishing the ability of companies to use the 'Double Irish' by changing our residency rules to require all companies registered in Ireland to also be tax-resident,” said Mr Noonan.

The law will kick in on January 1 next year for new companies, but firms already benefiting from the loophole will have until the end of 2020 to comply with the changes.

“This proactive change will not bring an end to international tax planning. That requires co-ordinated action by all countries,” said Mr Noonan.

“By taking action now and making this change as part of a broader reform of our corporate tax system, we are giving certainty to investors about corporate tax in Ireland for the next decade.”

However, he trenchantly defended Ireland's 12.5% corporation tax, which has attracted criticism from some European leaders.

“The 12.5% tax rate never has been and never will be up for discussion,” he said. “The 12.5% tax rate is settled policy. It will not change.”

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