Nick Shaxson ■ Read our lips: Ireland is a tax haven. Part xxvi


From Unite, Ireland (via Tax Research), a nice little graph showing effective corporate tax rates in Europe. We haven’t seen this one before. Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg – the Eurozone’s three most notorious tax havens – are the clear abusers. 

effective tax ratesWe singled out Ireland in our headline because their ‘we are not a tax haven’ spin machine has been so tiresomely hyperactive recently. The Unite blog aptly notes:

“Back in 2000, the effective corporate tax rate in the Eurozone was 18.4 percent.  By 2011, this had fallen to 12.5 percent.  This may not seem like a lot but it is.  This is equivalent to approximately €107 billion reduction in Eurozone corporate tax revenue.  €107 billion.

Imagine if that revenue was available to the Eurozone:  less tax on labour, more expenditure on public services and social protection, higher investment in telecommunications, renewable energy, and education (let’s not forget that there are 76 million people in the Eurozone at risk of poverty and social exclusion).  That €107 billion would mean a significant boost to domestic demand which would, in turn, mean more prosperous markets for exporting firms to operate in.”

Quite so.

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