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Ireland To Keep Tabs On Existing Tax Rulings

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

16 September 2016

The Irish Government has proposed that the tax agency will undertake a full review of tax rulings every five years.

In a statement before Dáil Éireann, the lower house of Parliament, on September 7, 2016, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the tax agency will amend relevant guidance and instructions to provide that tax rulings will not remain valid beyond five years without a full review.

Noonan added that the Revenue will publish in its Annual Report the number of opinions issued each year, in a way that fully respects taxpayer confidentiality.

The announcement comes shortly after the European Commission's conclusions that two tax rulings issued by Ireland to Apple have substantially and artificially lowered the tax paid by Apple in Ireland since 1991. The Irish Parliament on September 14 backed a Government motion in favor of an appeal against the Commission's decision.

In his statement, Noonan said that "the reaction to the Commission's decision has, at times, painted an outdated and unfair caricature of Ireland's position on tax. This is a caricature that is at odds with the evidence and which overlooks our proven track record in recent years. The facts show our constructive engagement at the international table, with matchless implementation of reforms ahead of many of our partner countries."

Noonan added: "Reputation is not only important to Ireland's standing in the world and our ability to engage with other countries in a mutually respectful way. Reputation is also a proxy for certainty. By building our tax system around policies and principles that are recognized as best practice internationally, we can provide the stability and certainty that businesses at home and abroad are crying out for."

TAGS: compliance | Finance | tax | investment | business | European Commission | tax compliance | Ireland | tax avoidance | revenue guidance | law | enforcement | ministry of finance | tax authority | agreements | multinationals | legislation | tax planning | transfer pricing | advance pricing agreement (APA) | tax reform | trade | European Union (EU) | Europe | BEPS

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