The Minister for Finance has claimed that Ireland does not get the recognition it deserves from some quarters for the amount of change it has made in its corporate tax code and policy.
Reacting to claims by respected US economist, Professor Gabriel Zucman, that Ireland remains the number one tax haven for US multinationals, Paschal Donohoe said the Government had published a roadmap for corporate tax reform and work is underway to implement the necessary changes.
He said the Government is currently working on new rules in relation to transfer pricing and has made huge changes in relation to the removal of stateless entities from the tax code.
He also claimed progress has been made in relation to the phasing out of the so-called "Double Irish" from the tax system and changes have been made to capture the movement of intellectual property inside and outside the country.
Further changes have also been made across the world through the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) process, he added, and by the Trump administration to US corporation tax policies.
Together, he said, the changes are what is required to ensure large companies are required to pay a fair level of taxation for the level of profit they generate for their shareholders.
Latest figures from Revenue show the effective tax rate paid by the 100 largest corporate tax payers in the country was 12.3%, he said.
This shows Ireland has a corporate tax policy that works, he claimed.
The latest stats on US multinationals are out!— Gabriel Zucman (@gabriel_zucman) August 26, 2019
Ireland remains the #1 tax haven
US firms booked $83 billion in profits in Ireland in 2017, more than in Germany, France, Italy, China, Mexico & India combined
The effective tax rate in Ireland reaches a new low, 4.9% pic.twitter.com/JEhaJLY0X4
He said Professor Zucman is a long-standing critic of the status of global corporate tax policy and Ireland's place inside that debate is well-known.
Mr Donohoe said the reason he is making the changes that need to be made is that they are in the long-term interests of Ireland's competitiveness.
He said he is deeply skeptical about the idea of minimum globally applied effective tax rates.
Earlier, the Department of Finance said Ireland did not meet any internationally recognised standard of being a tax haven, according to a statement from the Department of Finance.
The department was reacting to a report in today's Irish Independent detailing new figures which show that US multinational companies based in Ireland, made €74 billion in profits in 2017.
This represents a third of the total profits made by US multinationals in Europe that year.
The figures are contained in the US government's Bureau of Economic Analysis annual report.
It prompted a tweet from Professor Gabriel Zucman of University of California, Berkeley, who wrote, "Ireland remains the #1 tax haven".
A spokesperson for the Department of Finance, said, "In an era of declining tax rates, we have consistently maintained our 12.5% rate of Corporation tax to encourage real and substantive investment in the economy. It is applied transparently to domestic and international companies with real substantive operations in Ireland."
The spokesperson said the corporation tax rate provides a stable economic environment which ensures employment for citizens and provides significant levels of taxation which provide for the needs of Irish citizens.
"The internationally-accepted definition of a tax haven considers rate, secrecy and substance, and by that definition Ireland is not and never has been a tax haven. A rigorous peer review showed that the country is fully compliant in all aspects of exchange of information and transparency," the spokesperson said.
Ireland has three corporate tax rates, 12.5% on trading income, 25% for investment income and a 33% rate for capital gains.
Additional reporting: Petula Martyn