‘Single Malt’ tax loophole shows the need for a standing commission on tax

27 November 2018

Labour Spokesperson on Finance, Joan Burton TD, has called on Minister Paschal Donohoe to establish a standing commission on tax.
Commenting today Deputy said:

“The ‘Single Malt’ tax loophole shows the need for a standing commission on tax. After the ‘Double Irish’ loophole was closed in 2014, the ‘single malt’ replaced it. Multinational companies have used it for years to cut their tax bills to the Irish Exchequer.

“While I welcome Minister Paschal Donohoe’s comments today that he supports the work done by the Revenue Commissioners in closing this loophole but there is much more to be done at a statutory level to ensure Ireland is a leader in tax reform.

“Ireland needs a standing commission on tax. If the government were serious about this they would accept my Bill put before the Dail.

“In July this year, I introduced the ‘Tax Law Reform and Codification Advisory Committee Bill 2018’ which would be tasked with monitoring, reviewing and advising the Minister for Finance on matters concerning the implementation and reform of tax law.

“If passed into law, it would look at case law judgments, issues arising from our membership of the EU and the OECD, the all too common controversies about the use of tax loopholes, and other international tax developments.

“The key aim of the Bill is to tackle once and for all the emerging international view of Ireland as a tax haven.

“It would also be charged with commissioning research and analysis and advising the Minister. As part of this, it would promote tax equity, seek to protect the revenues of the State, facilitate enterprise while also simplifying the operation of the law and enhancing compliance.

“It is my view that recent international studies can no longer be ignored or downplayed by the Government. As the recent Coffey Report shows, Ireland has made significant progress, but the growing view and recent academic studies that Ireland is a tax haven must be addressed definitively.

I firmly believe that we need a Commission now to examine matters like this that should be continually closely monitored and such a body would be ideally suited to examine these.

“I have also been calling for the implementation of a minimum effective corporate tax rate to ensure that profitable companies in Ireland cannot use accounting tricks and tax losses from the property crash to avoid paying their fair share. Such a Standing Commission should be tasked with investigating this.”

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