Capital city: Dublin
Currency: Euro (€) & Pound Sterling
Population: 6.4 million
Language: English, Irish, Ulster Scots Dutch
GDP €241 billion
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic and is separated from the neighbouring island of Great Britain by the Irish Sea and the North Channel (only 23 km away). Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland), which is an independent state and covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland (a constituent country of the United Kingdom).
The standard rate of corporation tax is among the lowest in the world at 12.5% and applies to trading income of companies. The higher rate, 25%, applies to non-trading income such as interest, foreign sourced income and profits, rental income, income from working minerals, and petroleum activities.
Ireland’s economic and taxation policies favour corporations invested in research, development and innovation as Ireland only charges a corporate tax rate of 6.25% for revenue tied to a company’s patent or intellectual property. In addition, Ireland has enacted policies allowing research and development intensive start-ups the ability to claim back taxes (even if the start-up is incurring losses and cannot pay their corporate tax). Amazingly, the 25% tax credit is applied against the corporate tax rate of only 12.5%.
The financial environment of Ireland also allows for special-purpose vehicles to be established for the reduction of taxes. There are currently over 750 special-purpose vehicles located in Ireland holding assets of over 450 billion euros. The special-purpose vehicles are attractive to foreign multinational companies as they do not have to provide public accounts of turnover, subsidies received, profit or amount of taxes paid.
"You’d be stupid not to try to cut your tax bill and those that don’t are stupid in business"
- Bono: U2