Raymond Doherty 19 Oct 2017 04:12pm

Trump lying on Irish tax plans, says Varadkar

Ireland prime minister Leo Varadkar has described Donald Trump’s recent claim that the country plans to further lower its corporate rate as “fake news”

The US president is currently in the process of trying to push a radical tax reform bill through US Congress, central to which is slashing corporation tax rate.

At an event in the White House Rose Garden earlier this week he said, “You look at other countries, what they’ve done, and we’re competing with other countries.

“China is at 15% and I hear that Ireland is going to be reducing their corporation rates down to 8% from 12%,” he added.

However, Taoiseach Varadkar stated yesterday in the Dáil (Ireland’s parliament) that, "I can confirm that president Trump's claim that we are proposing to reduce our corporation profit tax to 8% is indeed fake news. There is no such plan to do so.”

Ireland’s corporate tax rate, which is 12.5%, not 12% as claimed by Trump, is one of the lowest in Europe. The statutory tax rate for corporations in the US is 35%.

Ireland has been criticised in the past for acting as a tax haven for large multinationals. It is currently involved in a high-profile legal dispute with the European Commission (EC) over a tax bill owed by Apple.

The EC concluded last August that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13bn (£11.6bn) to Apple between 2003 and 2014, which is illegal under EU state aid rules.

However, Ireland decided to appeal the decision and accused the EC of exceeding its powers and interfering with its sovereignty.