McManus responds to tax avoidance claims

McManus responds to tax avoidance claims

Irish businessman JP McManus has responded to claims that he left Ireland to avoid paying his taxes. 

Last week, it was reported that McManus, one of Ireland's wealthiest men, is set to donate €1 million to every GAA county board in Ireland. The fee donated by the McManus Charitable Foundation is to be distributed equally among the GAA, LGFA, and Camogie organisations in Ireland. McManus' total donations from the foundation add up to around €103 million over the last two decades.

However, the latest gesture was not appreciated by everyone in Ireland. The donation, according to People Before Profit, is exempt from income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, and deposit interest retention tax.

McManus is also a tax exile, claiming an official residence in Switzerland while having a current property in Limerick, Kilmallock, Ireland.

"A man whose wealth totals over one thousand million decides to donate thirty-two of those millions to GAA. That's like someone whose wealth is only €10,000 donating €320. Or, like, six quid a week in their local GAA lotto draw. He should just end his tax exile status and pay his dues in Ireland. We'd all be so much better off then," was a comment made by one user on X last week.

McManus, who has not for the first time come under fire for his tax affairs, has hit back at the claims around his latest donation.

“I didn’t leave the country in order to avoid paying tax or to avoid paying a future tax that was about to come down the line. I paid my taxes, and I set up a business abroad,"he said

“If I was somebody who set up a business abroad and it didn’t go so well, I’d be considered an emigrant; if it goes well, I’m considered an exile."

McManus has also defended his donation by claiming that he is doing the country more good than bad by being abroad and will continue to help in any way he can.

“Now, what do they want? Do they want you to come back and try to support the local economy, try to earn some money abroad, and then put it in the local economy? That’s what I like to do.

“I consider myself Irish. I’m proud to be Irish, and I think I’m doing the country more good by being abroad, trying to earn a few quid. If I bring it back and decide to spend it however, I like it here, at least I’m improving the economy.”