I was amused by the FT’s hilarious juxtaposition of a report on some growth in the Irish economy, about which the Irish Development Authority had obviously delivered some puff to the press, with the true underlying cause, which the FT sees as tax abuse. I found it funny because I’m so intelligent and knowledgeable about tax that I laugh at most reporting about tax. It is beneath me.
As the FT puts it:
Many foreign multinationals operating in Ireland supply goods and services throughout the European region and book their profits and pay tax on these in Dublin. Other companies, including Google, use legal tax avoidance strategies known as the “Double Irish” and “Dutch Sandwich” to book revenues in Ireland but shift these through the Netherlands and Bermuda to reduce their tax bill.Records filed with Ireland’s Companies Office show Google Ireland generated turnover worth €12.5bn in 2011, gross profit of €9bn, pre-tax profit of €24.4m and paid €22.2m in tax.
The Irish are in denial about this:
“The performance of our export oriented sectors are absolutely crucial to our recovery strategy,” said Richard Bruton, Ireland’s minister for enterprise.
Yes, of course they are, you bog snorkelling racist.
But he was forced to move on, presumably by the mention of my name: He defended Ireland’s 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate and said the country did not employ harmful tax practices.
“Lots of people have criticised it because they don’t like what we do but it has always been clear that it does not breach any rules in terms of harmful tax competition. It is fair transparent and uniform across all companies,” he said.
Mr Bruton said Ireland’s corporate tax rate was of “absolutely crucial national interest” and a “red line” issue for the government.
Ah, the age old defence: it’s legal so it’s OK. Even David Cameron’s now seen through that one. We all now know that nothing legal is moral. Nobody in their right mind should pay any attention to the law.
Democratically established laws are never moral, so it is up to those of us with strong moral compasses (ie those of us on the Left), to tell the people which laws you should ignore and which you should obey.
Ireland think they can establish whatever rate of corporation tax they want. Well they can’t.
And when we get unitary taxation (which is a law that must morally be obeyed) that will stop Ireland setting their own rate of tax.
That’s because unitary taxation will decide what profits are taxable in a jurisdiction as opposed to what rate they are taxed at. Elementary.
So, the war-mongering aircraft carrier that is Ireland will no longer be able to send raiders into Europe to “trade”, they will have to sit in their grotty little country and starve.
That’ll learn you for trying to compete globally, you worthless lump of rock.