Burke Institute and taxing multinationals


Sir, – In his rejection of the Edmund Burke Institute’s concerns about Revenue’s aggressive tax reassessments damaging Ireland’s reputation (Letters, March 30th), Bill Power fails to address in any way those concerns but instead talks about attempts by large corporations to avoid tax and about what he sees as Revenue’s efforts to enforce the law. He is missing the point.

No one would argue against Revenue’s role in enforcing the law; however, it serves Ireland no good when Revenue effectively changes its mind on what the law means, and I believe that is the central tenet of the Burke Institute’s argument. The success of Ireland as a location for foreign direct investment, led over decades by State agencies such as the IDA, had “tax certainty” as one of its key messages.

Multinationals looking at suitable countries in which to locate their factories, etc, relish that certainty.

When the tax authority decides to apply the law in a way at variance to that applied for many years previously, no amount of talking about our 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate will convince multinationals to take Ireland seriously as an investment location.

Of course apply and enforce the law, but do it with clarity and consistency. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – The “Edmund Burke Institute” declares that “aggressive” tax reassessments by the Revenue Commissioners are damaging Ireland’s reputation among foreign multinationals (Business, March 24th).

The degree to which any statement by that “institute” can be taken remotely seriously is greatly undermined by the listing on its website, under the heading of “Resources”, of a novel apparently entitled One Day in the Life of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, authored by somebody called Ivan Denisovich. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.