• Register
Return to: Home > News > Standards > CPA Ireland head slams Irish tax system as "unfair"

CPA Ireland head slams Irish tax system as "unfair"

Newly elected Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland) president Brian Purcell has criticised Ireland's tax system as "unfair", saying it is turning home-grown entrepreneurs towards the UK.

Purcell, who is a partner at Purcell McQuillan Tax Partners, called for the country's tax system to be changed to render it more competitive compared to that of countries such as the UK, incentivising Irish business-starters to stay in the country.

In particular, he called for changes to what he described as a punitively high capital gains tax on entrepreneurs.

"In Ireland, you have the absurd situation where the greater the value an entrepreneur adds to a business the more they will owe the government in tax when they eventually come to sell it or pass it on to the next generation," he said.

"This prompts them to sell the business sooner rather than later and well before it has an opportunity to realise its full potential in terms of international scale or employment generation."

Purcell's comments follow a general shift in the Irish government away from tax competition, in the wake of ongoing public backlash against both businesses appearing to avoid tax and countries seemingly enabling them to do so.

In November last year, Ireland Minister of Finance Michael Noonan announced the scrapping of the country's controversial double Irish scheme.

The scheme, which allowed foreign businesses to establish an operating firm in Ireland and subsequently move the majority of their taxable income to Irish-registered firms in foreign tax havens, had come under fire by the international community and the EU in particular.

However, Purcell said unfavourable tax legislation not only hampered Ireland's international competitiveness, but also impact Ireland's ability to retain talent and unfairly discriminates against the self-employed.

Comparing Ireland's tax environment to the UK's, Purcell particularly praised the entrepreneur's relief scheme which allows businesses to only pay 10% capital gains tax on the first £10m of profit derived from the disposal of a business.

"The Irish government needs to follow suit," he said. "It is an intolerable situation where Irish entrepreneurs have to pay more than three times as much tax as their UK counterparts. That's certainly not a sign of a great country in which to start up and grow a business."


Top Content

    Accountancy Europe: the winner takes it all

    Jonathan Minter spoke to Olivier Boutellis-Taft, chief executive officer at Accountancy Europe, about how technology could change the industry, and how training needs to keep up to enable the profession to develop

    read more

    Embracing global technology trends

    Accountancy Europe’s Digital Day 2018 found the European accounting profession looking to tackle the challenges presented by new technologies head on. Jonathan Minter reports from the day

    read more

    IMA Conference: automation of the audit

    At the annual conference of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) in Indianapolis, Deloitte partner Alex Smith gave a presentation on digital transformation in the profession. Joe Pickard spoke to Smith following the presentation to find out more about his views on the future of audit

    read more

    IMA Conference: technology and the human effect

    The annual conference of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) took place in Indianapolis this year. Members of the profession gathered to hear the latest from the institute and other market players, covering some of the challenges and opportunities the profession faces.

    read more

    The Caribbean: a digital paradise

    The ICAC hosted its 36th annual conference in June this year – very much looking to the future following a tough 2017 for the Caribbean. Jonathan Minter spoke with chief executive officer Misha Lobban Clarke

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.