I assume the Deputy is referring to the European Commission's "Recommendation for a Council Recommendation on Ireland's 2014 national reform programme and delivering a Council opinion on Ireland's 2014 stability programme" which was published on June 2nd. Although this Recommendation does not contain any reference on a need to do more to address aggressive tax planning, the issue was raised during a press conference.
The Deputy should be aware that Ireland has taken many steps in the past 18 months or so in the fight against aggressive tax planning, some of which I will highlight here:
- During Ireland's EU Presidency in 2013, we led the fight against aggressive tax planning to ensure a co-ordinated approach across the EU
- We are actively involved in the discussions at EU and OECD level
- We were one of the first countries to commit to being "early adopters" of the OECD's new Common Reporting Standard
- In Finance (No. 2) Act 2013, we ensured that no company could be "stateless" for tax purposes
- As part of Budget 2014 we published Ireland's International Tax Strategy which sets out our approach to international tax issues
- We have recently published a consultation paper on the OECD's BEPS project.
- All countries recognise the need for them to do more to address aggressive tax planning and they all recognise that an international approach is required. That is why we have the OECD BEPS project which is tasked with finding answers to these difficult questions.