Coming out of the economic crisis Ireland was one of the best performing economies, with GDP growth rates of 8.5% in 2014 and an extraordinary 26.3% in 2015. But how much of this economic activity was real, and how much a fiction created by Ireland’s tax haven status? A new paper by Heike Joebges of the University of Applied Science in Berlin considers the evidence.
2016 was the year when the world underwent profound political change. Most notably there were a series of political earthquakes in the US and Europe, with the election of Donald Trump and the decision of the UK to exit the European Union.
Going into 2017 these changes look likely to have a deep and lasting impact on tax policy and the distribution of wealth.
In the October 2016 Tax Justice Network podcast: we look at the offshorisation of Iceland’s economy, its collapse and recovery. What are the lessons? Also, Brazil adds Ireland to its tax haven black list and Panama threatens anyone who dares call it a tax haven with a new law…plus more scandal and unique analysis you won’t find anywhere else. Produced by Naomi Fowler for the Tax Justice Network and featuring Sigrun Davidsdottir, journalist, blogger and podcaster, journalist Ingólfur Sigfússon and John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network.
Updated with further information about Brazil’s decision – see below.
From the Financial Times:
More precisely, a group of 185 American CEOs has sent letters, co-ordinated by the Business Roundtable lobby group, to the leaders of 28 EU member states to try and get the European Commission to row back from claiming €13bn in underpaid taxes from Apple. They call the attempt a “grievous self-inflicted wound”.
We have for years remarked that one of our informal markers of a tax haven is loud tax haven denials. See our ‘we are not a tax haven‘ blog for more. There’s probably no place more vocal than Ireland, where there seems to be a veritable industry of tax haven deniers, which specialises in cherry-picking convenient facts and making a pudding of them. (The other big Irish tax myth is that it was the 12.5 percent corporate tax rate that created Ireland’s Celtic Tiger: no, it wasn’t.)
Let’s state it clearly: Ireland is a big tax haven for multinational corporations, even if it isn’t particularly secretive. Or, in more succinct form, for those who have difficulty reading small text:
Ireland is a tax haven.