Ireland will use tax to target emerging markets
Published 01/02/2011 | 05:00
Ireland is hoping to bolster overseas investment after concluding tax agreements with a range of emerging market countries like Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Thailand.
Tax agreements with overseas jurisdictions are normally one of the key ways to increase investments flows between two economies.
Ireland has recently concluded tax agreements with Armenia, Kuwait, Montenegro, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Thailand and wants to expand this. Agreements with Argentina, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Tunisia and Ukraine are at "various stages'' of negotiation.
The Revenue Commissioners and the Irish authorities have told the OECD that they are keen to "expand (Ireland's) treaty base beyond current relevant partners in order to create opportunities for investment''. The OECD has released a study on tax agreements between countries.
Ireland is already a signatory on 59 double-tax agreements and 15 information-sharing agreements with countries.
Double-tax agreements allow individuals and firms not to be taxed on the same asset twice, in two jurisdictions. The exchange of information is also important because governments are not supportive of investments in countries with which they have no tax links or method for sharing information.
Both the IFSC and the IDA are trying to attract a wider group of companies to settle here and reduce the reliance on US, European and UK foreign direct investment.
Already foreign companies here can avail of a 12.5pc tax rate on corporate profits, although in reality this rate is rarely paid.
However, the position of foreign companies has become less generous here since the start of the year.
A number of companies were only paying a 10pc rate, but all these firms have gone on to the higher rate since the start of the year.
The old 10pc rate applied to manufacturing companies operating in Ireland.