Thursday, 30 May 2013

Questions (85)

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

85. Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide an update on claims in the United States Senate hearings that Ireland made a special deal with Apple and the other claims that Ireland was a tax haven; the steps being taken to rebut these claims; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26595/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I would remind the Deputy that owing to taxpayer confidentiality I am only able to speak in general terms about this issue and matters that are already in the public domain. As the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, numerous other Ministers, and I have explained already, there is no special tax rate deal done with any company in Ireland. All companies in Ireland pay the standard 12.5% rate on their trading profits arising in Ireland. All companies here pay a corporation tax rate of 25% on their non-trading income, and chargeable capital gains are taxable at the capital gains tax rate of 33%. These rates are set down in statute law and are not open to negotiation with taxpayers.

In relation to the company specifically referred to in the question, I understand that their CEO has now publicly confirmed that they “have no special deal with the Irish Government that gives us a 2% flat tax rate ”. I would also restate that Ireland is not a tax haven. The OECD identifies four key indicators of a tax haven and none of these apply to Ireland: the first is having no taxes or only nominal taxes; the second is a lack of transparency; the third indicator is an unwillingness to exchange information with tax administrations of OECD member countries; and the fourth indicator is absence of a substantial activity requirement. None of these criteria apply to Ireland. We are in regular contact with our friends in the United States and we will communicate these issues via the appropriate channels at the appropriate time.