Financial Services Ireland

Thought Leadership

The history and context of the Irish corporate tax system

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This report, entitled “The history and international context of the Irish corporate tax system” is one of eight reports comprising an economic impact assessment of Ireland’s corporation tax policy, published as part of budget 2015. The purpose of this paper is to place the Irish corporate tax system in its historical, commercial and economic context.

The report is divided into two sections. The first is a narrative of how the Irish tax system came to have its present form. In this part we have referred to UK, US and other country developments to show the evolution of the Irish tax system in its international context. This then sets the scene for a larger consideration of the Irish corporation tax system looking at some key elements in the debate on corporate tax that are rarely considered but are important in all taxation and budgetary decisions.

The 12.5% corporate tax rate is at the centre of the ‘Irish brand’ for inward investment. It is perceived to be the result of a careful strategy to compete for inward investment that other countries struggle to match. However, the purpose of this paper is to provide additional insights behind the origins of the policy, showing that the tale is much less clear and less obvious – where the heroes and villains are not always who they are thought to be.

Please click the download link below for the full report.

Aidan Walsh

FSO Ireland Tax Lead
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