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Ireland: An emerging tax haven with the second lowest corporate tax rate in Europe
  • Posted 26 Dec ,2018


Ireland, a country well-known of its strong knowledge-intensive industry, has always been a world leader in high-tech fields, for instance, information technology. It is also the world's largest exporter of computer software. As Brexit is gradually implemented, an increasing number of multinational companies prefer to start up business in Ireland in order to maintain their relationships with the EU. However, location is not the only factor that makes Ireland popular. Ireland is favored by many investors also because it is an emerging tax haven.

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In July 2018, The University of California (Berkeley) and the University of Copenhagen published a joint investigation report, The Missing Profits of Nations.


The report points out that in 2015, a total number of EUR 90 billion of profits was shifted to Ireland by overseas multinational companies. The number is much larger than the sum of profits shifted to the Caribbean Islands, not to mention that of Switzerland and the Netherlands.


Now, Ireland has become the world's largest destination for profit shifting and an emerging tax haven.


The report also believes that most of national income of Ireland should be attributed to its corporate tax revenue. “Until 1990s, Ireland collected a relatively low rate of corporate taxes, which accounted for about 1.5% to 2% of national income only and was much lower than that of the United States. However, with the surge in profit shifted from multinational companies, the corporate tax revenues of Ireland have increased significantly. Since the mid-1990s, the corporate tax revenues of Ireland have far exceeded that of the United States, and it was twice as much as that of the United States by 2015."


According to the report published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Ireland in 2015, Ireland has become the number one destination for FDI (foreign direct investment) in the United States. The direct investment of the United States in Ireland exceeded the total investment of the BRIC countries in Ireland. The income of large multinational companies based in Ireland accounted for nearly one-third of the GDP (gross domestic product) of Ireland.


To draw a conclusion, the second-lowest corporate tax rate (12.5%) in Europe, the friendly English-speaking environment, and the vast market for the EU make Ireland an emerging tax haven and help Ireland attract many multinational companies. Therefore, for developing the European market, Ireland Intra-Company Transfer Program is undoubtedly the best choice. Starting up business and obtaining a permanent status can be realized at the same time.

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Here are some famous large multinational companies in Ireland.


1, Nine of the world's top ten technology companies established their European headquarters in Ireland, including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.


Facebook's international headquarters in Dublin was established in 2009. It has grown from a small team of 30 people to a team of more than a thousand people. Its functions cover development, marketing, human resources, and operation in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In the headquarters, it has the largest Facebook operation team in the world, which consists of more than 500 people. Facebook is well-known for its high salary. In 2014, the average annual salary of staff of Dublin headquarters was about EUR 94,000 to 113,000.


1Facebook's European Headquarters in Dublin


Google's European headquarters in Dublin has expanded again this year. A total of EUR 890 million was invested in two new office buildings, in which there are 7,000 employees. Google's growth in Dublin has benefited from the corporate growth and the development of cloud computing services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


2Google's new European Headquarters


2, Many companies in the financial industry also set up headquarters in Ireland, including Big Four accounting firms, Citibank, and JP Morgan Chase.


KPMG has five offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway, and there are more than 2,500 employees.


3KPMG (Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler)


4PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)



6JP Morgan Chase


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