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Green Party calls for corporation tax reform

The party urged the Government to close the ‘Double Irish’ loophole which it said enables companies to pay less than 12.5 per cent tax.

The offices of Google Ireland
The offices of Google Ireland
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE GREEN PARTY has urged the Government to alter Ireland’s corporate tax regime to close a loophole which it said allows companies to avoid paying the full rate.

The move would give Taoiseach Enda Kenny a strong negotiating position when he travels to Brussels this evening to lobby for economic stimulus measures at an informal summit of EU leaders, the Green Party said.

Party leader Eamon Ryan called on the Government to end the so-called ‘Double Irish’ tax avoidance strategy, which he said is used by multinational corporations to pay far less than the official 12.5 per cent rate.

The Taoiseach will have a better negotiating hand at the European Council meeting if he shows he is willing to change one of the worst aspects of our tax laws. The ‘Double Irish’ tax dodge is a scandal and it is time for it to go.

The ‘Double Irish’ is a strategy in which firms move money between two Irish-registered companies – one located in an offshore tax haven – in order to reduce their tax liability.

BusinessWeek reported in 2010 that Google used the scheme to keep its effective tax rate at 2.4 per cent outside the US.

Ryan said there would be “minimal” risk of companies pulling out of Ireland if the loophole was closed. “It is hard to see how they would justify a practice which shows a lack of any corporate social responsibility,” he said.

Read: So far… 2012 tax take ahead of target>

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Michael Freeman

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