Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (104)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

104. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that non-governmental organisations and some Governments have called for the UN tax committee to be transformed into an intergovernmental body; if he supports the establishment of an intergovernmental body on tax matters under the auspices of the United Nations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31947/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The issues of tax fraud and evasion and aggressive tax planning need to be addressed as quickly as possible. Everybody recognises that an international response is required and that individual countries cannot resolve these issues by way of unilateral action. The OECD has been looking at this issue for some time and will present its proposals on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) to the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers on 18 and 19 July - the proposals are expected to be published shortly before the G20 meeting. Ireland has been deeply involved in this OECD work. The Deputy is correct in saying that the OECD does not include all countries, however, as part of the BEPS project, the OECD has sought the views of a large number of non-OECD countries. A recent meeting at the OECD headquarters in Paris was attended by a significant number of non-OECD countries, including China, Brazil, India, South Africa and Russia, as well as a representative of the UN. I warmly welcome the OECD's initiative in this regard as it is vital to achieve a global response to this problem. Furthermore, the OECD launched a three year tax and development programme in 2011 to enhance the enabling environment for developing countries to build appropriate and adequate tax regimes. Ireland contributed €300,000 to this development programme.

The OECD has developed the necessary expertise to tackle these difficult issues and it is now demonstrating this expertise by producing results. While a proposal to establish an intergovernmental body on tax matters under the auspices of the United Nations might have some merit in the future, I do not believe that it would be the right approach at this particular point in time. We need solutions quickly and the OECD is the appropriate organisation to develop these solutions.