Revenue hires to delve into multinationals

Experts in complex international tax avoidance schemes are to be recruited by the Revenue Commissioners to inspect the books of big multinationals based here.

The new hires will carry out transfer pricing audits on large corporate firms, “compliance interventions” and manage the roll-out of country-by-country reporting.
They’ll also be asked to draw up strategies to minimise tax evasion and avoidance.

It follows moves at a global level to clamp down on tax avoidance strategies and close off loopholes.
A year ago, G20 finance ministers agreed to back proposals drawn up by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which aimed to bring tax rules up to date with globalisation.

The so-called Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (Beps) project includes new rules around transfer pricing, which involves the setting of prices for the transfer of goods or services from one subsidiary to another within large groups and which critics say is used in some cases to slash tax bills. Ireland’s row with Brussels over Apple’s taxes hinges on transfer pricing rules.
The OECD rules include new minimum standards on country-by-country reporting, which for the first time will give tax administrations a global picture of the operations of multinationals. Revenue’s new hires are required to have a “practical experience” of transfer pricing issues, as well as a specialist expertise in the area of international tax planning, or in devising, developing or implementing tax planning and mitigation strategies for big businesses.

A spokeswoman said two extra staff will be brought in at Assistant Principal level.

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