The Irish tax regime
Sir, – Kevin McLoughlin in “Reassurance on stability of Irish tax regime vital” (Opinion & Analysis, January 16th) makes an extraordinary statement: “Ireland must remain steadfast in its policy of continuing to offer a competitive, stable, and transparent tax environment”.
Transparent to whom?
With most mid-size and large-sized companies seemingly engaged in “tax planning”, and especially companies with international operations, their purpose in my experience is to be anything but transparent. They use inter-company interest charges via Luxembourg to reduce taxes at home and abroad; send royalty payments to fellow subsidiaries established in offshore centres in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Bermuda, etc; use the different tax codes for companies and branches to great effect, establish unlimited companies to avoid having to file audited accounts and yet have those companies owned by limited companies outside the State, and often in the Isle of Man, where public filing of accounts is not required; and establish special-purpose companies owned by charities so that all profits can be paid out by way of management charges. So how does Mr McLoughlin propose to make these structures transparent? – Yours, etc,