Ireland’s business tax system is the “most effective” in Europe, with a real corporation tax almost identical to the official 12.5pc rate.
A report from accountants PwC and the World Bank found that the real corporation tax rate in Ireland stands at 12.4pc, while the red tape associated with paying tax in Ireland compares favourably with just about every other EU country.
The report will likely be welcomed in Government circles, given the pressure the State has been under to increase its corporation tax rate.
The study – ‘Paying Taxes 2015’ – looked at how countries manage their tax regime and the overall burden companies face when complying with tax law and the frequency of payments a company has to make every year.
According to the study, a typical Irish company spends nearly half of its total commercial profit in taxes, spends two weeks dealing with its tax affairs and makes a tax payment nearly every six weeks.
Globally this compares to the typical company paying over a third of its commercial profit in taxes, spending over seven weeks dealing with its tax affairs and making a tax payment every two weeks.
As well as that, the report also shows clearly that Ireland’s official corporation tax rate is the closest to the “real rate” out of all Eurozone countries.
There is a difference of just 0.1pc between the official 12.5pc rate and real rate of 12.4pc.
That is in stark contrast to the likes of France, which has an official rate of 33.3pc but an effective rate of 7.4pc, and Luxembourg, where the official rate is 21pc but the real rate is only 4.2pc.
“Ireland is a strong, transparent, open, rules-based system,” said PwC Ireland head of tax Fergal O’Rourke.
“That means that no matter who you are, what you do and where you do it in the country, you get the same tax answer.”
Meanwhile, European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan has said the Union’s plans for harmonising corporation tax rates is likely to be revisited next year.
The common consolidated corporate tax base has been discussed regularly by the EU since the financial crisis, but has never been followed through on because of difficulties agreeing the basic tax rate. However, after revelations about Luxembourg’s tax regime it is now likely to move back on the agenda.
“The college of commissioners will be anxious to have it on its work programme,” he said.
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