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Coffey Report on Corporation Tax raises very important questions – Doherty

13 September, 2017 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has welcomed the publication of the Coffey Report on Ireland’s Corporation Tax system.  He said although the Terms of Reference were designed to be narrow the report, it still raised some very important questions for policy makers.  He signalled out the report’s recommendation to cap at 80% of income the amount against which intellectual property can be deducted as important and as something that can be implemented as soon as October’s Budget.

Deputy Doherty said:

“This is a comprehensive report that will take some time to examine. Nevertheless, the recommendations from the report stand out as being very significant. The recommendation to reduce to 80% the limitation on the quantum of relevant income against which capital allowances for intangible assets (including intellectual property) and any related interest expense may be deducted in a tax year.

“Despite the government spin this recommendation alone means this report is far more than a simple ‘everything is grand’ report as sought by government. This issue which touches on intellectual property is critical; this was a door that was opened when the Double Irish was closed. If experience has taught us anything, it’s that the government will deny it can be closed for a couple of years before eventually closing it and saying they are proactive. There is no reason not to do it in October’s Budget.

“We are entering a period where there will be challenges to Irish sovereignty in tax affairs.  There will also be legitimate challenges to things we do in this State that may be unfair to the developing world for example.  Lumping all these challenges together in some reactionary rejection of all international moves towards transparency of fairness will not serve us well.

“As we have seen with the Apple case, the Irish government has so far picked the wrong fights wasting precious diplomatic capital. The real fight may yet to be come and getting our own house in order and have a grown up conversation about the Coffey report and our Corporate tax system.” 

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