I propose to take Questions Nos. 262 to 267, inclusive, together.
I assume the Deputy is referring to exchange of information in relation to direct taxes. All of Ireland’s mutual assistance requests in relation to direct taxes take place in accordance with the exchange of information provisions in: Ireland’s Double Taxation Treaties; the EU Council Directive 2011/16 on administrative co-operation in the field of taxation; and Ireland’s Tax Information Exchange Agreements. A full list of Ireland’s Double Taxation Treaties and Tax Information Exchange Agreements is available on the Revenue website www.revenue.ie.
The total number of exchange requests regarding direct tax matters received from non-OECD countries in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 is as follows: 2009, 23; 2010, 18; 2011, 26; and 2012, 23. Information was provided in all cases.
Ireland does not have an exchange of information provision with any of the countries listed as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) (other than Zambia). No request for information in relation to direct taxes has been received from or provided to Zambia. The total number of requests for information regarding direct tax matters received from OECD countries in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 is as follows: 2009, 89; 2010, 157; 2011, 176; and 2012, 142. Information was provided in all cases.
Effective exchange of information is a critical tool in ensuring that countries are able to collect taxes owing to them. Ireland has now fully signed up to the joint Council of Europe/OECD Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Ireland’s instruments of ratification were deposited on 29 May of this year and the Convention/Protocol will enter into force on 1 September 2013. The Deputy may wish to note, in particular, that an amending Protocol extends the opportunity to participate in this Convention to developing countries. This enables developing countries, which sign and ratify the Convention, to access exchange of information with an ever-increasing range of countries without having to incur the expense of negotiating individual agreements with each of the Convention countries concerned.