Friday, September 13, 2013

13/9/2013: Another month, another 'look into' Irish tax rules

The regular readers of this blog are aware that I try to track the more important news items concerning Ireland's corporate tax policies. The links to these stories can be successively follows from here:

Two more items from today are worth listing in addition to the above:

  1. An article from the Irish Independent ( Couple of selective quotes: "Details of how multinational companies' tiny tax bills are calculated are to be revealed by the State for the first time." And per usual disclosure that the Stockholm Syndrome patients must have: "Irish authorities have always insisted that there are no special tax deals for companies. Under Irish law, all businesses are supposed to be subject to the same laws and tax rates." Alas, as article notes: "This is the first time information about how Ireland taxes big corporations has ever been shared outside of the Revenue Commissioners and the companies themselves... Tax rulings are so confidential that even the Department of Finance is never given details by Revenue of individual cases." Ok, nothing to see there, folks, it's just so we like secrets, we've just decided to have our own Area 51... cause we like it that way, not cause there's any smoking guns or something...
  2. And so we don't really have to worry about out tax policies, as the Government says we shouldn't, here's a article from the Irish Times ( More selective quotes: "Ireland is likely to face tough questions about its corporate tax regime when EU finance ministers gather today in Vilnius for a two-day meeting, following confirmation that the European Commission has begun a preliminary inquiry into the country’s tax practices." Repeat with me... there is nothing in these codes to worry about. "... Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands will be under pressure to defend their tax structures amid claims that all three countries may have offered tax deals to specific companies in breach of state aid rules." Clearly all G7 nations, plus all EU nations are just being taken for a ride by someone, somewhere, who got it into their heads that there is something questionable going on with Irish tax system. In case you have doubts: "Dublin moved quickly yesterday to deny suggestions that Ireland had engaged in anti-competitive behaviour, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisting that the State was committed to a “transparent” system. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said that Ireland’s tax regime was open and “statute-based”. He said his understanding was that the inquiry was part of an “information-gathering exercise which is done from time to time”." Yes, that's right folks: 'from time to time' 'routine stuff'... Would Mr Gilmore - with his wisdom and perfect knowledge of the matters suggest to us when was the last time the 'routine' thingy 'gathering' such information was done? Or when was the last time G7 and G20 discussed Ireland's tax rule before 2011-2013? Just for the record, please, Mr Gilmore?
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