Calls for help to close tax loophole

The Department of Finance is calling for international co-operation to tackle tax-dodging corporations but it is refusing to comment on whether or not it is closing the “double Irish” loophole.

A spokesperson for the department of finance refused to comment on reports at the weekend that Ireland was to bow to international pressure and end the practice of allowing companies have dual residency for tax reasons.

“Tax planning structures, by their very nature, often seek to take advantage of differences in or mismatches between different countries tax systems,” a spokesperson for the department said. “The only way to effectively tackle this is at international level through the OECD. for example.”

The Sunday Times reported that Trinity finance professor Jim Stewart had listed Ireland as one of six countries in the world with “tax haven/ low-tax features”.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Business Post reported that Ireland was poised to end the “double Irish” loophole created by Charles Haughey in 1990 due to international pressure.

A spokesperson for the department of finance said that Ireland was committed to tackling these issues.

“Ireland is fully committed to working with other countries to tackle these issues and is an active participant in the OECD base erosion and profit shifting project which is specifically designed to achieve this. An action plan on this is due to be published by the OECD later this year,” he said.

However, Fianna Fáil’s spokesman for finance, Michael McGrath cautioned against moving too quickly.

“If Ireland makes any changes that disadvantages Apple and other companies a number of other countries will gladly fill our shoes. We need to tread carefully and make sure any changes are made with international co-operation,” he said.


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