Monday 18 December 2017

Hugely profitable ICG may pay less tax than its boss

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

IRISH Continental Group (ICG), the highly profitable listed ferry company, may have paid less tax last year than its chief executive Eamonn Rothwell.

Despite earning bumper profits of €28.2m in 2011, the €400m-valued company paid tax of €500,000. This represents an effective rate of 1.8 per cent.

Chief executive Eamonn Rothwell was paid €1.05m in 2011. Someone on a PAYE income of €1.05m would have faced a tax bill of €534,000 between income tax, PRSI and the universal social charge.

Over the last four years, ICG has generated sales of almost €1.14bn with pre-tax profits of €136.5m. Over that four-year period, the stock market-listed company has paid tax of €3.8m with a €300,000 credit in 2009.

ICG's tax bill is so low because it avails of a special "tonnage tax", whereby it pays Revenue Commissioners a sum based on the tonnage of its ships rather than at the normal corporate tax rate. ICG is taxed under EU tonnage rules introduced in order to encourage ownership and investment in shipping within the community.

The Euro tax regime was introduced to buoy local operators against highly competitive non-EU ship operators.

"This initiative is available to all EU ship owners whose affairs are managed within the EU. There is nothing unique to ICG in these arrangements," a spokesman said.

Auditors Deloitte & Touche earned €300,000 from ICG last year including €100,000 for "tax advisory services".

Sunday Indo Business

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