September 15, 2021
Questions over how pharmaceutical giant ‘used Irish and Maltese structures to avoid tax’ – Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has called on the Minister for Finance to respond to research by Christian Aid which suggests a pharmaceutical giant used Irish and Maltese tax structures to avoid millions of euros in tax.
This comes despite Minister Donohoe having previously promised to the Oireachtas that the ‘single malt’ structure, which allowed companies to avoid tax, had been shut down with the signing of a Competent Authority Agreement with Maltese tax authorities.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:
“Extensive research by Christian Aid has found that a pharmaceutical giant has, since 2019, created a tax shelter in Ireland and Malta to avoid tax on profits made by one of its divisions.
“According to the research, the company has used three Irish-incorporated companies tax resident in Malta to avoid tax on millions of euros in profits made from the sale of rapid testing products.
“The tax arrangement used is similar to the so-called ‘single-malt’ structure which was used by companies to avoid tax and facilitated by the Irish Government.
“The Minister for Finance claimed that this structure had been closed down at the end of 2018, with the signing of a Competent Authority Agreement between Revenue and the Maltese tax authorities.
“These revelations, uncovered by Christian Aid, blow a hole in the effectiveness and operation of that agreement.
“The Minister for Finance has serious questions to answer.
“He must respond to the findings of this research and clarify if he or any of his officials have been aware of the use of such tax arrangements since 2018 by any company.
“He must clarify if he or any of his officials have at any point been in contact with Revenue or the Maltese authorities regarding the existence of such tax structures and their use by any company, and if so, how his Department or Revenue responded.
“Aggressive tax planning through the use of tax structures facilitated by Irish law has inflicted considerable reputational damage on the State.
“Today I have written to the Oireachtas Finance Committee requesting the attendance of the Minister, Revenue and Christian Aid before the Committee in response to these findings.”

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