Corporation tax could be the never-ending war for Ireland

There may some benefits to the closed-down loopholes

If Google does shift even more of its operations to this country in the post Double Irish-world, perhaps Apple, Facebook and other may do the same.  Photograph: AP Photo/Jens Meyer

If Google does shift even more of its operations to this country in the post Double Irish-world, perhaps Apple, Facebook and other may do the same. Photograph: AP Photo/Jens Meyer

 

Unbearable pressure was exerted on this State by our neighbours in Europe to take action unilaterally to close down corporate tax avoidance loopholes such as the Double Irish, upon which time was called in last week’s budget.

The pressure and the Irish retreat it spawned was meant to chasten the State in the world of realpolitik. It would be supremely ironic then and, one imagines, infuriating for Europe if Ireland was to end up benefiting from the palaver.

A report in Le Monde this week suggested that, in light of the budget move, Google is weighing up shuttering its operations in Bermuda, where money that is catapulted out of Ireland using the Double Irish technique remains untaxed.

Separately, over the weekend, it was also reported by the Sunday Independent that Google is considering a €75 million bid to buy the Boland’s Mills complex adjacent to its current campus in Dublin’s docklands. The report speculated that Google is looking at further substantial expansion in Dublin, as it plans to reorganise its network following the Double Irish closure, and it would like to add Boland’s Mills to the €165 million it has already splashed on property in the area.

Google is an obvious contender to buy the Boland’s Mills site, even if sources close to the company say it isn’t working on a bid. It is a huge buiding and Google is not short of space in its current complex. If it were to snap up the Mills, it is highly likely that employee numbers in Dublin would spiral well past 3,000.

Shifting some its operations back to Dublin would allow Google to maximise the benefit of Ireland’s 12.5 per cent corporation tax rate.

If Google does shift even more of its operations to this country in the post Double Irish-world, perhaps Apple, Facebook and other may do the same. That would really get their goats in Berlin, Brussels and Paris.

Now that Europe has learned Ireland will eventually cave in to pressure brought to bear over our tax system, will attention return once more to our 12.5 per cent tax rate?

Corporation tax policy looks set to be a perpetual battleground for this country.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.