PBP TD highlights evidence in Revenue figures of a massive increase in profit shifting by Apple and select group of MNC’s in aftermath of 2007 tax ruling, which nail’s lie that government and tax authorities did not collude with tax dodging.
In a speech in the Dail today, Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance has condemned the Dail speeches of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour party spokes people, who he said continued a “dishonest cover-up of their own collusion and the collusion of Ireland’s tax authorities with the tax dodging activities of Apple and a select group of multi-national corporations.”
He said the establishment cover-up and protection of Apple’s tax dodging activities and Irish collusion with them led Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour to vote down a People Before Profit proposal in 2013 to the Finance committee to bring Apple, Facebook and Google into the Dail for questioning, and to further vote to turn off the public camera’s during the debate on the motion.
Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed to the fact that deductions allowed to corporations, which allowed those corporations to reduce the amount of their profits that would be liable to tax, jumped from €2 billion a year in 2003/2004 to €21 billion by 2011. Deputy Boyd Barrett said the figures showed that by far the biggest jump in these write-off’s, which would have benefited Apple and a small number of other multinationals, happened directly after the controversial tax ruling given to Apple in 2007. The deductions allowed by revenue following the ruling jumped from €6 billion in 2007 to €19 billion in 2009 and this massive increase in allowable deductions thus reduced by €20 billion the amount of corporate profits that were subject taxation. (Ref: Dept. of Finance Technical paper on Effective rates of Corporation Tax in Ireland pp27-28)
Deputy Boyd Barrett said that the Department of Finance has admitted in a Technical paper on effective rates of corporation tax in Ireland, produced in 2013, that the vast bulk of this enormous increase in tax write-offs were as a result of patent royalty payments of Multinational Corporations to their own non-tax resident subsidiaries (i.e. the Double-Irish tax avoidance scheme.) (Ref: Dept. of Finance Technical paper on Effective rates of Corporation Tax in Ireland pp27-28)
Deputy Boyd Barrett said it was “simply inconceivable that both government and tax authorities did not notice this enormous jump tax in the write-off’s claimed by Apple and other MNC’s, following the 2007 tax ruling, and that they did not know that these write-offs were a massive exercise in tax dodging – shifting profits to companies registered in Ireland but liable to tax no-where in the world.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett said, the only conclusion one can draw is that “both the government and the tax authorities knew exactly what Apple and others were doing and turned a blind eye to it or worse helped design the system of tax dodging in collusion with Apple.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett said, it was clear from the figures that “Apple and other MNC’s were effectively allowed to write their own tax bills and shift as much profit as they wanted outside any tax net with the full knowledge of the authorities here – a privilege not allowed to ordinary taxpayer’s or business in the country.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett also pointed out that, “contrary to repeated claims by the government that the double-Irish tax scam, which allowed Apple and others to evade taxes has not been abolished but will continue to operate until 2020, potentially allowing billions more to be evaded in corporate tax by Apple and others.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett said the government should “drop the appeal against the EU ruling, launch a major investigation into likely tax evasion by other MNC’s, and bring representatives of Apple, Google and Facebook into the Dail to face questions about their tax affairs in Ireland.”