Obama site lists State as tax haven


IRELAND HAS been described as a tax haven in a graphic posted on the website of US president Barack Obama.

The image illustrates the investments of President Obama’s Republican opponent in the Presidential campaign, Mitt Romney.

The locations that feature are Ireland, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. The headline on the graphic reads: “Has Mitt Romney avoided US taxes by investing millions in tax havens?”

It notes that a trust associated with Mr Romney held an undisclosed amount of money in a Goldman Sachs fund and in other accounts in Ireland.

While Bermuda and the Cayman Islands are listed as having zero tax, Ireland is listed as having a tax rate of 12.5 per cent (the corporation tax rate here).

At the bottom of the graphic is a note in small type saying the featured countries have been mentioned as tax havens in a Congressional Research Service report.

Earlier this year Mr Romney published his tax returns for 2010, giving some details of his wealth around the globe, income, and the tax he pays. Despite being the richest candidate to contest the presidency, he pays a rate of tax less than a US middle-income citizen. “Tell Mitt Romney to bring his offshore accounts back to the USA,” urged the Obama website.

The Obama administration is considering measures aimed at imposing a minimum level of tax on the profits of US multinationals that are located outside the US. Such a move could act as a disincentive to foreign direct investment into Ireland.