Tuesday 22 October 2019

Aircraft-leasing industry paid €54m in corporation tax in 2018

Landing spot: Ireland is the location for nine of the world’s top
10 players in the industry. Stock Image
Landing spot: Ireland is the location for nine of the world’s top 10 players in the industry. Stock Image

Gordon Deegan

The multi-billion-euro aircraft-leasing industry in Ireland paid an aggregate €54m in net corporation tax last year.

Ireland is the location for nine of the world's top 10 players in the industry, including include Aercap, SMBC, Pembroke Capital, Awas Capital, GECAS and Avolon.

According to figures from Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe the number of aircraft-leasing companies here last year increased by 21pc - from 3,300 to 4,000.

However, the corporation tax burden of the industry is relatively small in relation to the size of the industry where the top executives command stellar pay.

The €50m paid out in corporation tax is a 25pc increase on the €40m in corporation tax paid out in 2017. The corporation tax payout is €7m less than the €61m paid out in 2016. Underlining the growth of the industry here in recent years, the number of aircraft-leasing firms increased from 1,700 in 2012 to 4,000 last year.

In response to a series of Dáil written questions from Labour TD Joan Burton, Minister Donohoe stated that a Central Statistics Office publication shows that the numbers employed in the industry increased from 1,010 in 2012 to 1,482 in 2016 with total pay in the industry increasing from €123m to €245m.

During the same period, the assets of the companies concerned increased from €65.8bn in 2012 to €141.6bn in 2016 while the industry's liabilities increased from €60.6bn in 2012 to €141.1bn in 2016. The assets in 2016 included €4.8bn in cash deposits.

A recent Central Bank study into the industry here showed that revenues increased by €2.4bn from €9.4bn in 2014 to €11.8bn in 2015.

There are more than 4,000 aircraft under Irish management here.

Among the strengths of the industry cited in a recent PWC study are "the stable and competitive headline rate of corporation tax together with a tax depreciation write-off period of eight years".

The report also highlighted "a comprehensive double tax treaty network with 73 countries currently in effect and more in the pipeline awaiting ratification and under negotiation".

The PWC report also shows that the number of aircraft assets increased by 36pc between 2012 and 2016 with projected growth of 22pc between 2016 and 2021.

The PWC report found that the sector contributed €660m to the economy in 2016 and supported almost 5,000 jobs.

In the Shannon Airport area alone, the growth of the aviation-leasing sector has contributed to the number of aviation-related companies increasing from 40 in 2012 to 55 companies today employing 2,500.

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