Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
I thank the Deputy again. I must reiterate that it would be inappropriate for a Minister or Minister of State to comment on the tax affairs of an individual taxpayer here in the House. The competent authorities agreement that was signed came into effect in November 2018. This effectively brought an end to the single malt structure the Deputy has been speaking about.
The objective of the agreement was to counteract the arrangement that sought to take income out of the charge of tax in Ireland on the basis that the company was not tax-resident in Ireland but also out of the charge of tax in Malta on the basis the company was not domiciled there.
The Christian Aid report provides no evidence that the competent authority agreement was ineffective in achieving that objective. On the contrary, paragraph 18 of the report states that the 2018 competent authority agreement appeared to end the spate of new single malt structures that multinationals had begun to set up from 2015 onwards. Since November 2018, only four companies have been incorporated in Ireland with a place of business registered in Malta. The four were subsidiaries of one group, registered in 2019. One case is being discussed and the Revenue is keeping a close eye on that.
In effect, the Christian Aid report acknowledges the competent authority agreement has achieved its objective in preventing double non-taxation that would otherwise arise from a mismatch of the rules. The real story is why sufficient prominence was not given to the Christian Aid report in that regard. Within a short period, it was effectively eliminated and there is only one case outstanding. That is receiving close scrutiny. The purpose of providing opportunities for double taxation is set out clearly in the various reports and Ireland has a proven record of improvements in our international corporation tax regime. We have listed a number of the improvements that have happened year by year over the past couple of years. There will be further developments in the coming budget.