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15% Corporation Tax Now Hits Nearly 1600 Irish Companies

Ireland, known for its business-friendly tax environment, is on the cusp of a significant transformation. The introduction of a 15% corporation tax rate for large multinational companies marks the most substantial shift in Ireland’s corporate tax policy in over thirty years. This change is a result of the global agreement facilitated by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), which Ireland endorsed in 2021.

This blog post explores the impact on businesses, the transition period, and the government’s stance, highlighting Ireland’s balance between maintaining a business-friendly environment and adhering to international tax reforms.

15% Corporation Tax Rate Ireland

The Impact of the Pillar Two Agreement

The Pillar Two agreement, part of the OECD’s broader initiative, specifically targets multinationals with substantial revenue. About 1,600 companies in Ireland, each with turnovers exceeding €750 million in two of the past four years, will now be subject to this higher rate. This new policy aims to close the gap between the existing effective tax rates of these corporations and the newly established 15% minimum.

Despite this shift, the majority of businesses in Ireland, over 99%, will maintain their tax obligations under the existing 12.5% rate. This rate has been a cornerstone of Ireland’s corporate tax policy for two decades, attracting numerous businesses to its shores.

Transition Period and Future Payments

Recogniіing the magnitude of these changes, the Irish government has provided a transition period. Affected companies will not be required to pay the additional tax until 2026, allowing time to adapt to the new system.

Government’s Word on the 15% Corporation Tax Rate

The OECD’s reform is a response to the evolving nature of global business, especially in the digital realm. The agreement, supported by 140 jurisdictions, aims to modernize tax rules for cross-border activities. Ireland, a hub for many tech giants, is expected to eventually benefit financially from these reforms.

The Irish Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, has expressed support for these changes. Mr. McGrath emphasises that Ireland’s decision to adopt the global tax agreement aligns with its commitment to international tax reform. The Minister acknowledges the challenges but anticipates that the benefits will outweigh them, bringing stability and predictability to Ireland’s tax landscape.

With the international tax policy settling, McGrath notes an increased opportunity to concentrate on domestic tax initiatives. The 2024 budget reflects this focus, with enhancements to several tax credits and incentives aimed at fostering investment and entrepreneurship.

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