Ireland is not a Tax Haven - Moscovici

Jan 27, 2017

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici was in Dublin on Tuesday, appearing before the Oireachtas Finance Committee where he faced questions from TDs and Senators on the relaunched Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB).

Mr Moscovici said the relaunched CCCTB plan was nothing like the old one stating that the CCCTB was necessary to boost competiveness and increase fairness for Member States.  He noted Ireland’s negative response to the plans and said he hoped to address the concerns in a formal reply in the coming weeks.  Mr Moscovici stressed that the CCCTB is not an attack on Ireland’s sovereignty and reassured that it will not be introduced unless Ireland supported the plans. He added that the CCCTB is no threat to Ireland’s 12.5% corporation tax rate.

The Committee voiced concerns over whether the amount of corporation tax collected in Ireland would reduce under the proposals.  When questioned about whether the EU Commission has scoped the possible impact of this for Ireland, Mr Moscovici stated that the Commission had not made a country-by-country assessment.  

Mr Moscovici was also pressed to comment on the fact that it is commonly acknowledged that countries exploit mismatches in corporation tax regimes to avoid tax but much of the multinational tax avoidance appears to come from mismatches arising between the member states and third party regimes rather than between member states. Therefore it was difficult to see how the CCCTB could fix this problem. 

The thrust of the Committee’s questions would suggest that the CCCTB is still somewhat of a hard sell in Ireland.  Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has stated that accepting the plan would restrict Ireland’s ability to use tax policy to differentiate how activities were taxed.

The full debate can be accessed here