Panama Papers: Revenue to review Irish firms in leak

Revenue says has sought access to papers of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca

 

The names of the more than 200,000 offshore companies, including hundreds with links to Ireland, are contained in the Panama Papers published today.

The golfer, Pádraig Harrington; U2’s former manager, Paul McGuinness; and Aidan Phelan, the former business accountant of businessman Denis O’Brien, are among those whose names are in the files.

There is nothing illegal about having shares in an offshore company nor does it imply any tax offence. Nevertheless, tax authorities around the globe, including the Revenue Commissioners, will be studying the names of the companies, shareholders, and beneficiaries that are to be published.

The data being released is designed to include the type of information that would normally appear on public registers. The actual documents contained in the leaked files will not be published.

The Panama Papers are the leaked files of the Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, one of the world’s largest providers of offshore services. The files were leaked to Suddeutsche Zeitung which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington DC. In April, reports based on the leaked files were published by ICIJ partners around the world, including The Irish Times.

Mossack papers

The Revenue, in a statement to The Irish Times, said it is participating in the OECD-organised Panama Papers Network and has sought access to the Mossack papers directly and through the network.

“We understand information will be published by the ICIJ on Monday and we will continue to systematically address information regarding Irish connections to the firm as it is disclosed, using our investigative powers as necessary,” the Revenue said.

Thirteen Irish economists are among 300 who have signed a letter to be published today, urging world leaders to bring an end to offshore financial secrecy. The letter comes ahead of a summit on offshore corruption in London on Thursday, which politicians from 40 countries are expected to attend.