Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

Brussels, 17 June 2022

MEPs discussed Ireland’s tax rules with two experts on Thursday, seeking to obtain more information of the legacy of these rules and Ireland’s expected position on upcoming reforms.

The hearing, held in the European Parliament’s sub-committee on tax matters, was addressed by two Irish experts on tax policy, Professor Frank Barry from Trinity College Dublin and Seamus Coffey from the University College Cork. The sub-committee had also invited Apple to address the hearing but no representative was sent.

Both experts were generally supportive of Ireland’s tax architecture, arguing that the companies attracted to Ireland are to a large extent from the United States and have a tangible footprint in Ireland, contributing about 13% of Ireland’s national income. These elements indicated that most of the foreign companies present were not in Ireland for aggressive tax planning.

Many MEPs taking the floor were of a different opinion suggesting that Ireland’s tax system has eroded the tax base of other EU countries, comparing the Irish regime to that of the Netherlands, and attempting to understand the state of public debate in the country regarding tax issues. The need of better establishing beneficial ownership and general traceability was also pointed out. Finally, some MEPs asked about what Ireland’s official position on the unshell legislative proposal was expected to be.

A delegation of MEPs from the subcommittee will be travelling to Ireland in the third week of September.

You can watch the hearing again here.