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Pearse Doherty TD says "Departments of Jobs and Finance have huge questions to answer over support for billion euro tax breaks."

5 June, 2018 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said FOI documents he received have raised huge questions for both the Department of Finance and Department of Jobs over their support for a tax break which has cost the Irish people billions of euro.

Deputy Doherty said:

“I received documents from both the Department of Finance and Jobs on the issue of Michael Noonan’s infamous decision to raise to 100% the amount of intangible assets multinationals could write off against profit in any given year.

"The result was a huge onshoring of billions of euro of these assets.

"The FOI documents shed some light on the motivations behind a move that is costing the State €850m every year, but it leaves many questions unanswered. Why did Minister Bruton ignore the view of his Senior Tax Adviser? Where did the idea to move to 100% come from even though it seems there was no demand for it from any side? Why are the meetings with Apple where this issue was discussed been kept secret?

"The Senior Policy Adviser in the Tax Unit of the Department of Jobs warned against the move saying “I disagree on reputation grounds, this would reduce the potential minimum effective tax rate from 2.5% to 1.25%, as 1.25% is too low and such a change could backfire”.

"This is exactly what has happened except instead of 1.25% the potential minimum is now zero thanks to the decision to go 100%.

"There is no evidence that anybody from The American Chamber of Commerce, Department or Finance or Jobs pushed for a move to 100% yet Minister Noonan announced this on Budget Day. He needs to explain why.

"We know from a letter sent to me by Minister Donohue that the Department of Finance admits that Apple raised the changes in 2014 during the passing of the Finance Bill.

"The role of PWC in coming up with the Department of Jobs’ policy in this area is highly dubious. A tax firm which works with multinational tax interests effectively writing the Department’s policy which calls for a massive tax cut raises very serious questions.

"I am calling for the 80% cap reintroduced in the last Budget to be made applicable to the billions onshored under the 100% regime and therefore currently tax free and for full transparency including publication of the minutes and notes of the four meetings the Department of Finance held with Apple in 2014."

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