THE EUROPEAN UNION is expected to announce tomorrow that it will begin a formal investigation into Ireland’s tax deals with multinationals.
RTÉ reports that EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia will make the announcement tomorrow, but the European Commission is firmly saying “no comment”.
International concern about the tax practices of multinational firms in Ireland has been growing in recent years with both the G7 and European Commission saying that they wish to see greater controls globally.
Ireland was brought into specific focus by hearings in the US Senate when Apple’s CFO claimed that the Ireland had given the company a special 2% tax rate over 30 years ago.
That claim has been repeatedly rejected by the government, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny saying that the effective rate of tax is around 11.9% in Ireland.
A spokesperson for Almunia said that they are not commenting on the speculation.
A full blown investigation into Ireland’s tax regime would “be worrying and serious”, Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath has said.
Speaking at Government Buildings this evening, Enda Kenny said in relation to Ireland’s corporation tax that the legislation underpinning it “is very strong, is ethically implemented and we’ll defend that robustly”.
- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell