Global Tax Alert | 20 June 2013

OECD official says Ireland competes fairly for foreign direct investment

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Mr. Saint-Amans (Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy) was a keynote speaker at a conference held in Dublin on 19 June 2013. The conference was organized by the Irish Department of Finance covering themes of tax and economics.

Key messages from Mr. Saint-Amans' speech and subsequent interviews included:

  • Ireland competes fairly for foreign direct investment including its 12.5% tax regime
  • The Director expressly noted that recent negative publicity about the Irish tax regime describing it as “a false perception and was not based on good analysis of the facts”
  • An acknowledgement of Ireland's smart and constructive engagement in the OECD BEPS project
  • Confirmation that the OECD BEPS proposal is likely to be issued on 16 July

Irish Minister for Finance Comments

In the opening conference address, Ireland's Minister for Finance, Mr. Michael Noonan, confirmed Ireland's commitment to maintaining the country's international competitiveness. He spoke about the Irish Government's continued focus on improving the impact of taxation on investment (both domestic and international) and international competitiveness consistent with improved levels of job creation in the Irish economy.

The Irish Government target is the creation of 100,000 new jobs by 2016. The Minister reiterated the Government's commitment to a fair and competitive tax system noting that the personal tax base has been widened in recent years while holding rates at a consistent level.

He reconfirmed that Ireland remains committed to the 12.5% corporate tax rate.

The Minister added that the Irish tax system is open and transparent, set down in statute and policed by the Revenue Commissioners to ensure that companies pay 12.5% on the profits earned in Ireland. He echoed Mr. Saint-Amans' comments noting that profits earned outside the scope of the Irish system are not subject to Irish tax and therefore incorrectly counting these profits as Irish gives a misleading analysis of the Irish system and throws up very low effective tax rates. Ireland can only tax profits that are liable to tax in Ireland.

Ireland will continue its work at the forefront of EU and OECD efforts underway to seek a multilateral response to aggressive tax planning. Minister Noonan confirmed Ireland's continued commitment to the BEPS project in seeking multilateral coordinated responses to these international issues rather than unilateral national actions.

For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

EY (Ireland), Dublin
  • Joe Bollard
    +353 1 221 2457
  • Kevin McLoughlin
    +353 1 221 2478
EY (Ireland), Cork
  • Frank O'Neill
    +353 21 480 5718
EY (Ireland), Limerick
  • John Heffernan
    +353 61 319988
EY (Ireland), Waterford
  • Paul Flemming
    +353 51 872 094
Ernst & Young LLP, Irish Tax Desk, New York
  • Karl Doyle
    +1 212 773 8744

EYG no. CM3551