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Is a minimum international level of corporation tax a threat to Ireland?

  • #2
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 26,604 mod ancapailldorcha


    The G7 group of advanced economies has reached a "historic" deal to make multinational companies pay more tax.

    Finance ministers meeting in London agreed to battle tax avoidance by making companies pay more in the countries where they do business.

    They also agreed in principle to a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% to avoid countries undercutting each other.

    Tech giants Amazon and Facebook are among those likely to be affected.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics

    I think it's fantastic that some progress has been achieved. These companies have, in my opinion, been dodging their fair share of tax for far too long now. The covid-19 pandemic only threatens to worsen inequality so hopefully, raising more money from these corporations will yield long term benefits.

    I'm hoping that Ireland signs up to this agreement as well. Ireland's corporation tax rate is not far below the 15% rate at 12.5%. I don't think there's likely to be any damage to Ireland should it sign up as the country is a well established base of services, high quality agriculture and manufacturing in both engineering and pharmaceuticals. I think the country has much more to offer than simply a mere tax haven.

    From the article:
    The rules on making multinationals pay taxes where they operate - known as "pillar one" of the agreement - would apply to global companies with at least a 10% profit margin.

    Twenty percent of any profit above that would be reallocated and taxed in the countries where they operate, according to the G7 communiqué.

    In the case of the UK, for example, more tax revenue would be raised from large multinationals and would help pay for public services.

    Hopefully, this will offset or help to mitigate some of the financial damage caused by the pandemic and lead to a new source of sustainable income for governments.


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Comments

  • #2


    This has been a revelation. I did not fully realise that our own low corporation tax rate did not just apply for business done in Ireland, but was being piggy-backed on by multinationals to deprive the rest of Europe (and elsewhere) of much needed revenues.

    I do not think Ireland struggled for independence just so we could take part in a tax race to the bottom and beggar our neighbours.

    We should sign on to the new G7 agenda with no ifs, ands or buts even if it does cost us. If we could afford to pay 64 billion Euros to bail out the banks, and if we could afford to refuse 13 billion Euros in the Apple appeal we can certainly afford to ship a 2 billion loss on corporation tax if it helps to produce fair and just taxation on multinational enterprises.


  • #2


    Yes, a good idea and more equitable. Will probably drag on over the next couple of years while the detail gets sorted and be delivered to us close to the next election if that hasn't already happened in the meantime. Here you are, from FFG to SF, deal with this.

    Ultimately, we need to present our country as being as attractive for FDI without the stonking tax breaks. Broadband and other infrastructure such as transport and housing are the obvious areas where we still lag behind. Tax harmonisation has been gathering pace for a good few years. When will be ready for it?


  • #2



    I think it's fantastic that some progress has been achieved. These companies have, in my opinion, been dodging their fair share of tax for far too long now.



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  • #2


    What is a "fair share"?

    Apple pay 24%-26% CT typically.

    If they pay a dividend out of those profits, the dividend is taxed when received by the shareholder?

    Any gain from selling shares is subject to CGT, in most countries.


  • #2


    2020 effective corporate tax rates:

    Source: Seamus Coffey, UCC.


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  • #2


    This has been a revelation. I did not fully realise that our own low corporation tax rate did not just apply for business done in Ireland, but was being piggy-backed on by multinationals to deprive the rest of Europe (and elsewhere) of much needed revenues.

    I do not think Ireland struggled for independence just so we could take part in a tax race to the bottom and beggar our neighbours.

    We should sign on to the new G7 agenda with no ifs, ands or buts even if it does cost us. If we could afford to pay 64 billion Euros to bail out the banks, and if we could afford to refuse 13 billion Euros in the Apple appeal we can certainly afford to ship a 2 billion loss on corporation tax if it helps to produce fair and just taxation on multinational enterprises.

    Genuine question. Didn't you? It's just that our media doesn't make much of a song or dance about it. Speaking to family and friends in the UK and US, we are viewed now along with the likes of the Bahamas, Lichtenstein, Jersey etc as one of the world's major tax havens.

    Will be interesting to see how our media presents this to Irish eyes and ears.


  • #2


    Yes it is. The Finance Minister has stated on the news tonight that it will cost us about 2 billion Euro pa.


  • #2


    It’s fine as long as every country in the world does it, problem is they don’t!

    Therefore, what might seem a good thing, will actually lead to other countries benefitting.

    While I think the large internet companies will find ways to avoid tax no matter what, my own feeling is this will hit ordinary Irish companies harder than any of the large MNCs it is aimed at.


  • #2


    NSAman wrote: »
    It’s fine as long as every country in the world does it, problem is they don’t!

    Therefore, what might seem a good thing, will actually lead to other countries benefitting.

    While I think the large internet companies will find ways to avoid tax no matter what, my own feeling is this will hit ordinary Irish companies harder than any of the large MNCs it is aimed at.
    I don't think it's going to apply to Irish generated profits so those companies won't be effected.


  • #2


    I don't think it's going to apply to Irish generated profits so those companies won't be effected.


    AIUI there are actually two main changes proposed:


    1) A minimum effective corporate tax rate of 15%
    2) A mechanism for sharing out some tax revenue in countries where sales are actually made, not where profits are booked.


    It's the second one that will hit Ireland hard. We will have to hand over to other countries our corporate tax revenue on profits made by these companies based in Ireland on their sales to other countries.


    So for example if Apple (based in Ireland) makes profits on sales to Germany, today Apple pays corporate tax to Ireland on the profits from those sales and those taxes are returned to the Irish Exchequer. In the future we will hand over those corporate taxes to the German Exchequer (at the German corporate tax rate). We will only keep the corporate tax on Apple profits from their sales within Ireland which for these large companies is tiny compared to their overall sales.


    This change is estimated to cost Ireland €2.2B a year in lost corporate tax revenue which will have to be made up in the future by additional tax revenue from other sources (i.e. the Irish taxpayer). Of course it also does away with any advantage Ireland has with it's low corporate tax rate for inward investment by large corporations.


  • #2


    It's bad for Ireland clearly.

    Why would they invest here now? May as well stay in the United States.

    We have appalling infrastructure, bad weather, mediocre cities that offer very little and a workforce that, sadly, is not as 'educated' as made out (hence why so many employees of these multinationals like Google and Facebook are not Irish).

    We have real trouble ahead here because outside of tax we don't have much to offer.


  • #2


    We are not in the g7,let them do what they want but it's not for us.
    The host (brexit( sets the agenda for the meetings and clearly they want us to give up our advantage. The fact that Apple has no Apple stores in Ireland but has a head office here shows that all we are good for is a po box number and a handy way to funnel profits. So any time it's our decision we should leave things as is.


  • #2


    We should sign on to the new G7 agenda with no ifs, ands or buts even if it does cost us. If we could afford to pay 64 billion Euros to bail out the banks, and if we could afford to refuse 13 billion Euros in the Apple appeal we can certainly afford to ship a 2 billion loss on corporation tax if it helps to produce fair and just taxation on multinational enterprises.


    We can't afford the 64bn but had no choice.

    Our low tax rate isn't the actual problem. Take Apple as an example. It's an American company, our government recognizes that the currently disputed tax isn't due to the Irish arm, but the Americans refuse to change their law to acknowledge that it is ultimately owed by Apple in California.

    I don't worry about the minimum tax rate in the scenario chasing for Ireland as there's lots of scope to reduce the amount of money that is taxable.


  • #2


    I don't think it's going to apply to Irish generated profits so those companies won't be effected.

    I could be wrong but Irish companies selling abroad would be affected.


  • #2


    Vestiapx wrote: »
    The fact that Apple has no Apple stores in Ireland but has a head office here shows that all we are good for is a po box number and a handy way to funnel profits..
    IIRC, that "no Apple store" thing was a weird consequence of the original tax wheeze Apple based on "not being tax resident" which became subject to the EU case.


  • #2
    It's bad for Ireland clearly.

    Why would they invest here now? May as well stay in the United States.

    We have appalling infrastructure, bad weather, mediocre cities that offer very little and a workforce that, sadly, is not as 'educated' as made out (hence why so many employees of these multinationals like Google and Facebook are not Irish).

    We have real trouble ahead here because outside of tax we don't have much to offer.

    We are not numpties next door, that’s a big selling point Kermit


  • #2


    It's bad for Ireland clearly.

    Why would they invest here now? May as well stay in the United States.

    We have appalling infrastructure, bad weather, mediocre cities that offer very little and a workforce that, sadly, is not as 'educated' as made out (hence why so many employees of these multinationals like Google and Facebook are not Irish).

    We have real trouble ahead here because outside of tax we don't have much to offer.

    We are the only English speaking country in the EU, surely that has to be some sort of selling point?

    Plus, if all countries agree and actually charge the same CT, why would these companies up sticks and leave if the CT is going to be exactly the same in the country they are moving to? They could avoid moving and set up costs by staying here.


  • #2


    NIMAN wrote: »
    We are the only English speaking country in the EU, surely that has to be some sort of selling point?

    Plus, if all countries agree and actually charge the same CT, why would these companies up sticks and leave if the CT is going to be exactly the same in the country they are moving to? They could avoid moving and set up costs by staying here.
    Why stay in Ireland, where workers need high wages to pay for overpriced housing, poor infrastructure and poor value for money income taxes - if you can get everything you want- including happy workers, great infrastructure and lower wage bills with better weather and better connections to Europe and the world elsewhere?


  • #2


    fash wrote: »
    Why stay in Ireland, where workers need high wages to pay for overpriced housing, poor infrastructure and poor value for money income taxes - if you can get everything you want- including happy workers, great infrastructure and lower wage bills with better weather and better connections to Europe and the world elsewhere?

    Where would you think these MNC would move to?

    Of course there are cheaper place to hire staff in the EU, but are they the countries where foreign workers would want to live?


  • #2


    Why are we being forced to apply this? Are we not able to set our own rate? What about income tax? When will this be applied by the EU?


  • #2


    NIMAN wrote: »
    We are the only English speaking country in the EU, surely that has to be some sort of selling point?

    Plus, if all countries agree and actually charge the same CT, why would these companies up sticks and leave if the CT is going to be exactly the same in the country they are moving to? They could avoid moving and set up costs by staying here.

    Actually, Malta is as well but I get your argument. I've worked with colleagues and business all across Europe. About 95% of the people I have dealt with all spoke perfect English. They are for the most part bilingual. We, largely, are not. Being 'English speaking' cannot be our unique selling point. If we are on a level laying field tax wise, we need to have something else to offer, or be at least comparable to other countries.

    https://www.businesspost.ie/infrastructure/broadband-rollout-target-slashed-as-contractor-admits-delays-308e56e1

    More missed targets, and as far Broadband, we should have been enabled across the country by the time of the financial crash, not as it looks like, 15 years or more beyond it.


  • #2


    Why are we being forced to apply this? Are we not able to set our own rate? What about income tax? When will this be applied by the EU?

    We're not. It's an international agreement that we should sign up to but nobody can make us.


  • #2


    Cal4567 wrote: »
    Actually, Malta is as well but I get your argument. I've worked with colleagues and business all across Europe. About 95% of the people I have dealt with all spoke perfect English. They are for the most part bilingual. We, largely, are not. Being 'English speaking' cannot be our unique selling point. If we are on a level laying field tax wise, we need to have something else to offer, or be at least comparable to other countries.

    https://www.businesspost.ie/infrastructure/broadband-rollout-target-slashed-as-contractor-admits-delays-308e56e1

    More missed targets, and as far Broadband, we should have been enabled across the country by the time of the financial crash, not as it looks like, 15 years or more beyond it.


    Broadband obviously isn't an issue at present for MNCs, so thats a red herring.
    If they had to deal with crap broadband, then a low CT wouldn't entice them all to come here.

    So you think its possible they will all up sticks to Malta?

    You say if its a level playing field wrt CT, then we need to have something else to offer. That rule applies to every other country too, they have to offer something special that would make it beneficial for these MNCs to uproot all their offices, staff, etc to move to another country and go through set up again.


  • #2


    NIMAN wrote: »
    Where would you think these MNC would move to?

    Of course there are cheaper place to hire staff in the EU, but are they the countries where foreign workers would want to live?

    Like here, the expectation is that many of the foreign workers are only here for a few years. OK, some will put down roots and stay here. Poland, Croatia, Slovakia spring immediately to mind. They've come on leaps and bound these last 15 years. Germany, the Netherlands?


  • #2


    NIMAN wrote: »
    Broadband obviously isn't an issue at present for MNCs, so thats a red herring.
    If they had to deal with crap broadband, then a low CT wouldn't entice them all to come here.

    So you think its possible they will all up sticks to Malta?

    You say if its a level playing field wrt CT, then we need to have something else to offer. That rule applies to every other country too, they have to offer something special that would make it beneficial for these MNCs to uproot all their offices, staff, etc to move to another country and go through set up again.

    Don't forget we are moving to a period when more people will want/need to WFH. Dublin is just too expensive now to live in unless you already have property there.

    After visiting most of Europe, we have very poor infrastructure. Transport links being the obvious one. Affordable childcare. The health service. We do not compare well with other countries. The 2040 development plan reflects that.


  • #2


    Most of these huge tech multinationals have huge bases in San Francisco, with property prices and wages off the charts, massive social issues and poor infrastructure. Dublin is tame in comparison.

    If they were just here for the tax breaks, they wouldn't be employing tens of thousands of people. They could have a small office with a few hundred, at most. They don't. The self-deprecation about Ireland actually being a sh1te place where they locate grudgingly, is demonstrably false.

    Mickey Noonan to his credit, spotted this coming a mile off so this isn't a shock to our economy. Most of the loopholes were closed off last year.

    We can't continue to play the "I'm alright Jack" card in terms of corporate tax, while multinationals pay effectively zero tax across the planet. Sooner or later countries which provide effective tax havens, will be subject to penalties from the big trading blocks, and we need to be on the right side of that fence.

    2.2bn isn't a huge loss in context of our total budget. There are places we can make it up.


  • #2
    Cal4567 wrote: »
    Don't forget we are moving to a period when more people will want/need to WFH. Dublin is just too expensive now to live in unless you already have property there.

    After visiting most of Europe, we have very poor infrastructure. Transport links being the obvious one. Affordable childcare. The health service. We do not compare well with other countries. The 2040 development plan reflects that.

    Eh I work for one of those Mnc,s and live in rural west. Have 1000mbit fibre to home, the office which I now intend to rarely frequent has that but for whole building. Working from home no one seems to be doing too bad broadband wise, if anything it’s colleagues in uk and India that regularly drop out in middle zoom calls. We literally don’t care anymore where someone is located (tho juniors would benefit from offices reopening) as long as they are in Ireland.

    We have several offices throughout Europe and now hiring to anyone remote working in Ireland (which includes anyone from Eu moves to Ireland) believe it or not Ireland and Irish punch well above our population size when it comes to engineers, and yes good English is a must as communication is the most important skill.

    Jobs are clearly leaving uk and coming here, literally dozens unfilled positions remain open at above industry average salaries.


  • #2


    It's bad for Ireland clearly.

    Why would they invest here now? May as well stay in the United States.

    We have appalling infrastructure, bad weather, mediocre cities that offer very little and a workforce that, sadly, is not as 'educated' as made out (hence why so many employees of these multinationals like Google and Facebook are not Irish).

    We have real trouble ahead here because outside of tax we don't have much to offer.

    No offence meant but you have been peddling this nonsense for years in various threads. It's rubbish, it's waffle opinion based on nothing more than your distaste for the country you live in.

    We do have an educated workforce.
    We do have an English speaking workforce
    We have consistently made it into top places to live in the world based on various metrics.
    We consistently measure as a productive place based on workforce.
    Ireland is actually a good place to do business and we have skills sets that support international business making connections.


    You have no basis in making your claims and you have to be called out on it . It's not on.


  • #2


    It's going to affect Ireland negatively, by how much will only become apparent over the next decade or so.

    Company I am involved with are here only for tax reasons, nothing else. Publicly they profess otherwise, here for the educated employees, English speaking, ease of business etc. With a deep belief in social issues, charity etc. This is just part of the game that all mnc's play.

    I don't think these changes will be the death knell of Ireland but we do have some significant challenges ahead.


  • #2


    Peterteanh wrote: »
    It's going to affect Ireland negatively, by how much will only become apparent over the next decade or so.

    Company I am involved with are here only for tax reasons, nothing else. Publicly they profess otherwise, here for the educated employees, English speaking, ease of business etc. With a deep belief in social issues, charity etc. This is just part of the game that all mnc's play.

    I don't think these changes will be the death knell of Ireland but we do have some significant challenges ahead.

    How many staff do they employ ?

    And how are you so confident in that statement. Specifics please.


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