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Noonan Defends Irish Tax Rules

by Jason Gorringe,, London

17 December 2013

Ireland's tax system is open and transparent, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said.

Noonan defended Ireland's tax rules – which have been criticised for seemingly enabling multinational corporations to reduce their tax bills – to the UK's Telegraph newspaper.

In an interview timed to coincide with Ireland's exit from its bailout program, Noonan stressed that the country had "one of the most open economies in the world." He pointed in particular to the publication of a new international tax strategy alongside his Budget in October, explaining that the document offered "a clear and accurate picture of our corporate tax regime."

Noonan also criticised the recent series of US Senate hearings on multinationals' tax affairs, where Ireland was condemned as a "tax haven." Such claims, according to Noonan, "did not stand up," because "all profits earned in Ireland are charged at a tax rate of 12.5 percent."

The Finance Minister has nevertheless taken steps to close perceived loopholes. This year's Finance Bill overhauls Ireland's company residence rules, to eliminate any mismatches between tax treaty partners that can be used to allow companies to be "stateless" in terms of their place of tax residence.

As Noonan made clear to The Telegraph, "the changes that we introduced were very well received and there were OECD comments to that effect."

TAGS: compliance | Finance | tax | tax compliance | Ireland | tax avoidance | corporation tax | ministry of finance | multinationals | tax planning | tax rates | tax breaks | Tax | Tax Evasion

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