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Is Ireland a Tax Haven ?

Jim Stewart
Associate Professor in Finance
School of Business,
Trinity College,
Dublin, 2.

IIIS Discussion Paper No. 430

The view that Ireland is a tax haven has received widespread publicity following the Google appearance before the Public Accounts Committee in the U.K. and the report of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on offshore profit shifting and Apple Computer. The Irish Government responded to the U.S. Senate Report by stating that the Report was flawed in several respects. This paper summarises the U.S. Senate Subcommittee evidence that Ireland is a tax haven and considers in detail the response of the Irish Government. The paper presents evidence indicating that several companies claiming to be located for corporate tax purposes in another jurisdiction are in fact ‘managed and controlled’ in Ireland. The OECD currently does not classify any country as a tax haven and lists only one country with harmful tax practices, yet several countries have features of tax havens. In addition many countries (including Ireland) have introduced tax arrangements for dealing with large businesses which have been criticized as treating them more favorably than other tax payers. The paper concludes that Ireland is not a tax haven but has features of a tax haven.

Keywords: Height, Senate Report and Apple, tax havens, corporation tax and Ireland.



Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).