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"There was no sweetheart deal for Apple" in Ireland

CEO of IDA Ireland Barry O’Leary told the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee that foreign companies are paying a substantial amount of corporation tax.

CEO of IDA Ireland Barry O'Leary.
CEO of IDA Ireland Barry O'Leary.
Image: Oireachtas

THE CEO OF IDA Ireland Barry O’Leary has said that he thinks that foreign companies in Ireland are paying a substantial amount of corporation tax and he does not believe the country is being used as as a tax haven by companies like Apple.

O’Leary was speaking to the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee today where he faced tough questioning from independent TD Shane Ross who queried how much tax companies are actually paying and whether they were just using Ireland as “a kind of conduit”.

“They are paying a substantial amount of corporation tax at €2.7 billion,” he said, adding that this amounted to around €19,000 per employee per year.

O’Leary told the committee that other countries are doing deals with companies which offer lower levels of tax while Ireland’s 12.5 per cent rate is “transparent” and steady.

He denied that there had been a “sweetheart deal” for Apple to encourage the company to invest in Ireland.

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Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy was critical of the line of questioning on corporation tax, saying it creates the impression that companies “only exist to create tax” and ignores that fact that they also employ thousands of people who pay tax and spend money in the economy.

His colleague John Deasy also spoke out against Ross’s questions on Ireland’s taxation system, telling the committee that the focus of the IDA should be on making the country more competitive “within the rules”.

“I think that we annoy countries by being so successful and by attracting so many companies into Ireland,” he added.

Read: Ireland is Apple’s ‘Holy Grail of tax avoidance’>

Poll: Do you think Ireland’s corporate tax rate should be retained?>

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