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Multi-billion aircraft leasing sector pays just €40m in tax


Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe

The aircraft leasing industry here paid Irish corporation tax of only €40m last year.

That is according to provisional figures provided by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. In his written Dáil reply to Fianna Fáil's Finance spokesman, Michael McGrath, he said that the latest figures available show that there are 2,600 such companies in Ireland.

The corporation tax take for last year represents an average pay-out of €15,384. The €40m paid out in corporation tax is €12m down on 2016. Corporation tax receipts from the sector in 2015 totalled €34m and €23m in 2014.

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

Ireland is home to nine of the ten largest aircraft leasing firms in the world and some of the big players based here include Aercap, SMBC, Pembroke Capital, Awas Capital, GECAS and Avolon.

There are more than 4,000 aircraft under Irish management here and together Irish-based lessors account for more than $125bn in aircraft assets.

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 PwC 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". 

It showed that the number of aircraft assets rose by 36pc between 2012 and 2016 with projected growth of 22pc between 2016 and 2021. It found that the sector contributed €660m to the economy in 2016 and supported almost 5,000 jobs.

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