Ireland to end tax lures that drew U.S. firms

“Ireland on Tuesday sought to shore up its international image by announcing plans to end a corporate accounting rule that permitted hundreds of U.S. multinationals with European bases in Ireland to shift their non-American profits between two Irish-registered companies and avoid tax,” Shawn Pogatchnik reports for The Associated Press. “Finance Minister Michael Noonan declared that the tactic called the ‘Double Irish’ would be outlawed for new applicants from Jan. 1. Existing beneficiaries — among them scores of global pharmaceutical and technology giants including Apple and Google — would have until the end of 2020 to find different shelters.”

“The change came as Ireland unveiled its first expansive budget Tuesday since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger economy six years ago, ending an era of austerity earlier than expected thanks to the return of Europe-leading growth,” Pogatchnik reports. “Measures unveiled in the 2015 budget will increase spending and tax breaks by a combined $1.5 billion, including a plan to build 6,700 state-funded homes for the poor as Ireland seeks to stimulate even more tax-driving growth. The U-turn follows seven hard-cutting budgets that, when combined, took nearly 30 billion euros annually — representing nearly a quarter of previous domestic demand — out of a shell-shocked economy.”

“Noonan said that even with Tuesday’s plans to cut income tax and boost spending, Ireland still expected to post a 2015 deficit of 2.7 percent of GDP,” Pogatchnik reports. “Among dozens of tax tweaks, Noonan said Ireland’s top income-tax band would drop to 40 percent from 41 percent, and the level that it kicks in would rise by 1,000 euros to 33,800 euros ($43,000). He raised the starting point for lower levels of income tax to take 80,000 more low-paid workers out of the tax net. The only new tax: another 40 cents on a pack of cigarettes, raising their average price to 10 euros ($12.70).”

Read more in the full article here.


      1. Ireland is bowing to EU pressure, which would affect any other country in Europe equally. The only places that might offer incentives have drawbacks like inaccessibility or instability. Dubai? Not enough local customers to justify relocation from Europe. The EU is going to make sure that profits on European sales get taxed somewhere in Europe.

    1. Who’s to say Apple would have stayed either way? Another country is bound to offer a better tax evasion deal at some point anyway.

      Running a national tax havens is nothing but a race to the bottom. Ireland is smart to get out of that “business” and focus on things with real economic value.

    2. Yes, and they only have 6 years to do that. Come on this is no problem. Didn’t you read that companies will surely have new tricks up their sleeves. Relax.

    3. They will have until 2020 to adapt. And it may be that Ireland will continue to provide a favorable tax environment afterwards. Another possibility is that this promise of tax reform fades to nothing as the 2020 deadline approaches and the country faces losing key corporations.

        1. if you haven’t read it, “The Creature From Jekyll Island” is available from iBooks Store for $22.95 digitally. An in-depth analysis of the creation of the Federal Reserve System and its whore sister, the Federal Income Tax, both of 1913.

          1. I read Secrets of the Temple years ago and have a pretty good idea.
            Note how Dollars that used to say United States Note now say Federal Reserve Note.

            What kills me is people bitch about the TARP and Obama bailouts which ran about $800 Billion each and never say a word about the Trillions the Fed conjured out of thin air and basically handed out to the very Banksters (Discount Window) and foreign Central Banks without the approval of a President, the Congress or any elected official acceptable to the people.

            1. one more time, courtesy of the Bard Of Monticello:
              “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

  1. Apple should just bring the money home, pay our crazy taxes, and watch it get burned up in a couple months paying interest on the national debt. Wouldn’t want them to do anything stupid like investing in new technologies, creating jobs, research and development, etc.

    I read recently that if you owe $100,000 in taxes in Israel and you invest in a startup, your taxes are considered paid. I wonder if President “shovel ready” ever thought about proposing such a program here to help fire up the weakest economic recovery in history,

    1. I am pretty strongly against the tax loop holes but I think 5 years is reasonable to fix it. I run a small business and while we don’t need government aid we do need a stable regulatory environment. There is nothing worse than sudden un signaled changes. You invest based on the rules being as they are, once you hire staff and lease a building its not that easy to up and move when the rules change. Signaling changes while in advance is the kind of thing that will keep companies investing in Ireland even after the loop hole is closed.

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