Is Ireland a tax haven? European Parliament says yes

Smart Money: Ireland strongly criticised for helping multinationals to cut their tax bills

The European Parliament is targeting economies that are used for aggressive tax planning by multinationals. Photograph: iStock

The European Parliament is targeting economies that are used for aggressive tax planning by multinationals. Photograph: iStock

The Republic helps big multinationals to engage in aggressive tax planning and the European Commission should regard it as one of five “EU tax havens” until substantial tax reforms are implemented. So says a report this week from the European Parliament. Ireland has long objected to this tag, but has also moved to reform or eliminate a range of loopholes in recent years as the heat is turned up under this issue internationally. So is it correct to call the State a tax haven? And what is the importance of what is happening?

1. The tax haven debate

Part of the row here comes down to semantics – and it is a bit of a distraction from the main arguments.

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