Cliff Taylor: Thumbscrews on hand if Ireland does not sign tax deal

Biden and Yellen must get Congress on side first for a deal to go ahead

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe have had one-to-one meetings in the context of the proposed tax deal. File photograph: Bloomberg

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe have had one-to-one meetings in the context of the proposed tax deal. File photograph: Bloomberg

Governments don’t admit they are going to change things – until they do. Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is caught between declaring commitment to the Irish 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate and conceding that there are circumstances in which it might be gone.

The problem, he says, is a lack of clarity in the current Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) plans. This is a fair point – “at least 15 per cent” does not translate into a tax rate. And there are a host of other issues to be sorted too, some of which may yet see backtracking from some of the 131 countries who have signed up to the outline OECD plan.

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