Ireland is not a tax haven and has never been one!
So says the secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Dr Angel Gurria.
Dr Gurria was responding to an announcement made in Brussels that investigations into the tax systems of Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are to be carried out at the request of the European Union.
Frank Barry, professor of international business and development at Trinity College Dublin, also declared recently that Ireland is not a tax haven during a speech to the Joint Oireachtas Subcommittee on Global Taxation.
Ireland agreed with plans discussed in the June G8 Summit in Co Fermanagh regarding cracking down on international tax evasion.
I however beg to differ. Here’s why
With such well placed ‘protectors’ you have to wonder if non-European Offshore Financial Centres patterned after the ‘Irish’ model can expect such robust defense.
It is worth recalling the 1998 OECD Harmful Taxation Initiative when the OECD described European low tax, treaty-based financial centres as ‘preferential’ jurisdictions and non-European OFCs and ‘tax havens’.
Funny how the more things change the more things remain the same!
The BIG question is why the rush to defend Ireland’s sovereign right to attract investment through competitive taxation?