Members login

Goforgotten
password

Join IASW today

Apply Now

News

Ireland branded one of world’s worst tax havens

  • 12 Dec 2016

Oxfam ranks 15 countries it says facilitate tax avoidance on an industrial scale

12th December 2016

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

The Irish Times

Ireland has been branded as one of the worst tax havens in the world, on a par with countries like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands when it comes to helping big business dodge billions of euro each year in tax.

In a damning report by development agency Oxfam, Ireland was placed sixth in a list of 15 countries that facilitated large-scale corporate tax avoidance through profit-shifting, aggressive tax planning structures and so-called sweetheart deals.

Jim Clarken, chief executive of the agency’s Irish arm, said Ireland was part of a toxic global system that services the very wealthiest while ordinary people pay the price and lose out on essential public services.

Facilitating inequality

“Around the world, we are known as a country of good fun, bad weather and awful tax policies that facilitate worsening inequality by allowing some of the world’s richest companies to avoid paying their fair share to society,” he said.

In Oxfam’s Tax Battles report, Bermuda was ranked as the worst of the 15 countries under review, followed by the Cayman Islands and the Netherlands.

Switzerland and Singapore were ranked in fourth and fifth place followed by Ireland, with Luxembourg, Curacao, Hong Kong and Cyprus making up the rest of the top 10.

The final five were the BahamasJerseyBarbadosMauritius and the British Virgin Islands.

 

RankCountryCharacteristics
1 Bermuda 0% corporate income tax (CIT), 0% withholding taxes, lack of participation in multilateral anti-abuse, exchange and transparency initiatives, evidence of large-scale profit shifting.
2 Cayman Islands 0% CIT, 0% withholding taxes,31 lack of participation in multilateral anti-abuse, exchange and transparency initiatives, evidence of large-scale profit shifting.
3 Netherlands Tax incentives, 0% withholding taxes, evidence of large-scale profit shifting.
4 Switzerland Tax incentives, 0% withholding taxes, lack of participation in multilateral anti-abuse and transparency initiatives, evidence of large scale profit shifting.
5 Singapore Tax incentives, lack of withholding taxes, evidence of substantial profit shifting.
6 Ireland Low CIT, tax incentives, evidence of large scale profit shifting
7 Luxembourg Tax incentives, 0% withholding taxes, evidence of large scale profit shifting
8 Curaçao Tax incentives, 0% withholding taxes, lack of participation in multilateral anti-abuse, exchange and transparency initiatives, evidence of substantial profit shifting.
9 Hong Kong Tax incentives, 0% withholding taxes, evidence of large scale profit shifting.
10 Cyprus Low CIT, tax incentives, 0% withholding taxes.
11 Bahamas 0% CIT, 0% withholding taxes, lack of participation in multilateral anti-abuse and transparency initiatives.
12 Jersey 0% CIT, 0% withholding taxes, evidence of substantial profit shifting.
13 Barbados Low CIT, 0% withholding taxes lack of participation in multilateral anti-abuse and transparency initiatives.
14 Mauritius Low CIT, 0% withholding taxes, lack of participation in multilateral anti-abuse and transparency initiatives.
15 British Virgin Islands 0% CIT, 0% withholding taxes, lack of participation in multilateral anti-abuse and transparency initiatives.