Ireland

Facebook to overhaul Irish tax scheme

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Source: BBC.co.uk 12 December 2017

“Facebook is to overhaul its tax structure so that it pays tax in the country where profits are earned, instead of using an Irish subsidiary.

The online advertising giant is to make the change in every country outside the US where it has an office.

However, that does not necessarily mean it will start paying more tax in other countries as a result of the overhaul, Professor Prem Sikka of the universities of Sheffield and Essex told the BBC.

Taxes are paid on profits, and “the huge difficulty with large companies is trying to determine exactly what the profit is,” he said.

There are a number of ways firms can muddy the waters, including charging intra-group management fees, royalty fees, and profit-sharing, he said.”

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“A wind of change blowing across the Irish Sea?”

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Reproduced from The Tax Justice Network’s “Offshore Wrapper” – Sunday December 10th

A recent editorial in the Irish Times demonstrates an extraordinary shift of opinion in one European tax haven. Ireland has for many years staunchly defended its corporate tax policy as being key to the economic development of the country. Attacks on Ireland’s tax haven status have been interpreted as an attack on Ireland’s right to share in a prosperous global economy.

Telling its readers that the county can no longer afford the damage being done to its reputation by Ireland’s tax haven policy, the article – which would have been unimaginable in a major Irish newspaper even a few years ago – concludes:

“There is a broad consensus that Ireland must defend its 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate. But that rate is defensible only if it is real. The great risk to Ireland is that we are trying to defend the indefensible. It is morally, politically and economically wrong for Ireland to allow vastly wealthy corporations to escape the basic duty of paying tax. If we don’t recognise that now, we will soon find that a key plank of Irish policy has become untenable.”

Amazon and Apple caught in latest EU tax crackdown

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Source: bbc.co.uk 4 October 2017

The European Union has launched a fresh crackdown over taxes paid by tech giants Amazon and Apple.

Amazon has been ordered to repay €250m (£221m; $293m) in back taxes after the European Commission said it had been given an unfair tax deal in Luxembourg.

The Commission also plans to take Ireland to court over its failure to collect €13bn of back taxes from Apple.

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