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Facebook paid just €30m tax in Ireland despite earning €12bn


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Facebook paid just €30m in tax in Ireland on revenue of €12.6bn last year.

The company has filed accounts here showing that its profit before tax in Ireland has risen from €109.6m to €174.3m, a 59pc increase.

The tech giant recorded a huge increase in revenue through its Irish base, rising from €7.9bn to €12.6bn in 2016.

As a result, it paid tax here of €30.4m, a rise from €14.1m paid in 2015.

Like other multinational firms, Facebook organises its revenue reporting in a way to minimise its international tax bills.

Alongside Apple, Google and others, the company is regularly criticised for minimising its tax payments.

The European Commission may soon propose new rules around tax consolidation across the EU following support for such a measure from French President Emmanuel Macron.

Facebook has seen significant increases in the number of people using its services and now has 2.1 billion global users, with most checking the service daily.

Instagram, which it also owns, has 800 million global users while its WhatsApp messaging app has 1.2 billion global users.

In Ireland, recent research from Ipsos MRBI indicates that Facebook has 2.4 million users, while Instagram has one million and WhatsApp has 2.1 million users here.

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Marketing research estimates that Facebook captures around a fifth of global digital advertising revenue.

Between them, Google and Facebook have over half the world's digital advertising revenue, which is the fastest-growing sector in the advertising industry.

Head of Facebook Ireland Gareth Lambe said: "As the home of our international headquarters, Ireland is an important part of Facebook's story and our growth in 2016 demonstrated that.

"There are over 2,000 people currently working at our Dublin offices and we recently announced that hundreds more jobs will be created in 2018, making it the largest Facebook site outside California.

"We're also expanding the Clonee Data Centre, further demonstrating our long-term commitment to investment in Ireland.

"We have also expanded our operations with an Oculus research office in Cork and a second office building in Dublin to accommodate growth across many teams that are based here.

"In addition to the vibrant ecosystem of people working in tech companies, there is a healthy pipeline of graduates coming from third-level and we also attract people from other European countries and further afield to live and work in Ireland."

Mr Lambe said Dublin remains highly regarded as a place to do business.

He said for Ireland to be seen as the number one destination for foreign direct investment, there is a need for further investment in areas such as the Data Protection Commission, digital infrastructure and education.

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