Ireland has long been established as the onshore location of choice for the world’s leading multinational enterprises (“M.N.E.’s”). Although Ireland’s attractiveness as a location for foreign direct investment is based on a number of factors, the low corporate tax rate of 12.5% is crucial.
Ireland’s corporate tax regime has received persistent and pervasive scrutiny from international media in recent times, focusing on topics such as the “Double Irish,” the O.E.C.D. B.E.P.S. initiative, and the Apple investigation. What must not be forgotten in the midst of such coverage is that Ireland has nothing to hide and nothing to fear from any of the above issues. Ireland is a small jurisdiction, and as far back as the 1950’s, the cornerstone of the economy has been foreign direct investment (“F.D.I.”).
Ireland makes no secret of its wish to compete with other jurisdictions for F.D.I., and its highly competitive corporate tax regime, including the 12.5% tax rate, forms part of a broader strategy that allows Ireland to “play to win.”
This article will discuss some of the main O.E.C.D. and E.U. initiatives impacting Ireland and the effects such initiatives are likely to have on Ireland and the M.N.E.’s which are based here.