Companies of all sizes — not just behemoths like Google and Facebook — are under increased scrutiny from tax authorities. We are in a time when corporate tax laws around the globe are evolving at a quick pace, and this understandably leaves many corporations uneasy and looking for clarity. Let’s look at two scenarios involving how a multinational might be taxed by two sets of tax authorities on the same income. Equipped with this knowledge, you may be able to avoid these kinds of pitfalls, or at least be prepared for the possibility that they may arise.
The Republic of Ireland is known throughout the world for attracting foreign investment through its low corporation tax rate, which now stands at 12.5%. Northern Ireland, by contrast, follows the UK-mandated 20% rate. Not surprisingly, Northern Ireland has struggled in recent years to woo foreign direct investors away from its closest neighbor.Provided that certain political hurdles can be overcome, competition between the two border countries for foreign investment may become more balanced over the next few years after the introduction of new tax legislation.
Big developments are afoot in the world of international tax. Ireland has announced that it will end the “Double Irish,” the tax loophole that’s allowed multinationals to organize their affairs in such a way that they pay very low effective tax rates — sometimes as low as 2 percent.
The United Kingdom, with its affluent domestic market, highly educated workforce, and a shared language, is among the most popular destinations for American businesses expanding overseas. But right next door, Ireland offers those same advantages along with an aggressively pro-business government and a favorable tax structure.