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Tax, Ireland

Overview

Ireland is widely acknowledged as being one of the pre-eminent countries in and from which to do business in Europe and beyond. As a member of the European Union (“EU”), which offers the free movement of goods, people and capital within the EU, Ireland represents an attractive onshore location, with a prudent but flexible regulatory environment and offers a competitive physical and commercial framework in which to do business. Irelands success as a location for foreign direct investment, particularly for U.S. corporations, has been driven by its competitive tax regime and extensive double tax treaty network. Ireland has a very tax efficient regime for international financial services companies and particularly, in the area of funds where it is a favoured jurisdiction for the administration and management of funds in Europe. Regulated funds are generally exempt from Irish tax at the fund level and a number of exemptions exist for re-domiciling funds to Ireland. There is also a very efficient regime for structured finance transactions including securitisations, aircraft leasing and other asset financing. All of these factors leave Ireland ideally placed to provide a low corporation tax rate profit centre for the European / EMEA operations of multinational companies.

Our Tax Group creates innovative client-focused tax solutions which enable our clients to achieve maximum tax efficiency, while benefiting fully from Ireland’s attractive tax regime. Being the Irish member of Eversheds Sutherland means we are the only Irish law firm that can offer clients an internal seamless multi-jurisdictional tax advisory service with a single point of contact. We have considerable experience handling matters for a diverse client base, including multinational and domestic corporations, financial institutions, investment funds and start-ups. We provide expert advice on a broad range of corporate transactions, ranging from company acquisitions and restructurings to complex cross border mergers and asset financings. Our Tax Group has traditional strengths in corporate finance, corporate migration, mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”), employment tax, real estate, investment funds and international tax. Clients benefit significantly from the deep technical expertise and global reach of Eversheds Sutherland combined with the in-depth local knowledge of the Irish Tax Group.

Corporate Tax

Our corporate tax team is highly experienced in structuring and executing corporate transactions. We advise leading domestic and international corporations across all forms of corporate transactions including:

  • inward investment into Ireland;
  • international tax and cross-border transactions;
  • M&A;
  • private equity;
  • joint ventures;
  • partnership structures;
  • management buy-outs and buy-ins;
  • corporate reorganisation / restructuring;
  • demergers; and
  • initial public offerings (“IPOs”) and secondary offerings.

The volume and complexity of new tax legislation impacts on all areas of corporate activity. Our Tax Group navigates through the maze of legislation to identify risks and provide client-focused solutions. Our integrated project-management approach, coupled with Eversheds Sutherland's international network of tax specialists, allows us to seamlessly generate solutions to our clients' domestic and global corporate tax challenges.

Financial Services Tax

We have extensive experience in advising financial services operations on establishing operations in Ireland. These include:

  • securitisation vehicles availing of the specific regime available for a wide variety of structured finance transactions; 
  • asset and project finance for both international and domestic aircraft and equipment;
  • mutual and hedge funds on the exempt regime for regulated funds; 
  • Irish real estate funds on the new 20% withholding tax on specified distributions; and 
  • Irish REITs. 

We have advised a number of international corporates on establishing treasury operations for conducting inter-group financing and also investment firms and banking operations on establishing operations in Ireland for global trading through an Irish regulated subsidiary, including, operations with international branches availing of the 12.5% rate of corporation tax with respect to profits derived in Ireland, with a credit for foreign branch taxes. This work typically involves us devising the optimum tax structure for the operation / transactions, advising on the set up phase and ultimately on its implementation.

We also advise domestic lenders and investors on tax structuring, re-financing and related tax documentation.

International Tax Issues

We have advised a number of high profile clients on a variety of domestic and cross-border matters involving the restructuring of global supply chains, the application of the dividend, interest and royalty articles in double taxation treaties, withholding tax clearance matters for domestic interest and dividend payments and numerous permanent establishment matters.

Employment Tax

The retention and motivation of employees is a key consideration for many domestic and international businesses. In an increasingly global economy, tax-driven remuneration structures are important. The disclosure and governance rules regarding executive compensation and incentive plans have grown ever more complicated and now require close scrutiny. Working closely with our pensions and employment law colleagues, our employment tax team has extensive experience of advising on tax efficient remuneration structures including:

  • cash bonus arrangements;
  • employee share / options based remuneration schemes;
  • long-term incentive plans;
  • salary sacrifice arrangements; and
  • other flexible benefit schemes.

Once we have found the right business solution for your company, we will work with you through every element of the implementation process from design, obtaining approvals from the Revenue Commissioners, gaining shareholder approval, through to the actual grant / exercise of awards.

We have particular expertise in advising expatriates and companies on relocation. We regularly advise on how overseas secondments can be structured to minimise tax in Ireland and overseas. We also consider the effectiveness of consultancy arrangements for tax purposes and the risks involved to both consultants and employers who participate in such arrangements. We also advise on tax efficient termination of employment arrangements. For clients with an internal tax resource, we regularly provide second opinions on specific planning ideas. 

Value Added Tax ("VAT")

Every business transaction in the EU and much of the wider world has VAT implications. VAT is no longer a very straightforward tax. The rules are complex and ever-changing. The details of a transaction or project will impact directly on its VAT treatment and – because it is charged between the parties to a transaction – this is a tax where decisions have to be taken quickly and where errors need to be resolved with the other party, not just with the Revenue Commissioners. These factors alone make VAT a significant area of business risk.

We offer specialist VAT advice on cross border supplies of goods and services and on all forms of financing, corporate and real estate transactions. We act for various consortia comprising Irish and international investors in relation to the acquisition and disposal of Irish commercial property portfolios. We help to structure deals to manage or minimise VAT liabilities, and to ensure that the commercial risks are covered off.

We also provide contentious and advisory VAT advice, having represented clients in a broad range of cases. Overall, our role is to make sure that VAT and indirect taxes do not get in the way of our clients doing business.

Real Estate Tax

In today's real estate market, the increasing emphasis on innovative structuring and funding vehicles makes tax issues a key component of all types of real estate transactions. Our real estate tax team will identify the tax issues and find practical solutions. We advise on a broad range of direct and indirect taxation issues including:

  • establishing funds;
  • joint ventures;
  • real estate securitisation structures;
  • limited partnerships;
  • unit trusts; and 
  • special purpose vehicles.

We work as a team with our real estate, funds and finance colleagues to deliver a joined-up approach from the initial structuring advice to the final sign-off on agreements.

Tax Controversy and Tax Litigation

We have extensive experience in conducting tax litigation including negotiations with the Revenue Commissioners, appeals before the Appeal Commissioners and tax efficient dispute resolution. This includes:

  • risk assessment and implementation of strategic measures;
  • mutual assistance procedure;
  • correlative adjustments; and
  • transfer pricing adjustment.

Working closely with our well regarded litigation team, we have been heavily involved in some recent high profile tax litigation matters. We provide focused guidance to our clients early in the tax controversy process to protect their litigating position while taking advantage of the procedural alternatives available.

What others say about us

"They are very pragmatic and they have a good relationship with the relevant authorities so they can give you the quick answers you need”. – Chambers Europe

The firm was responsive, well prepared and got the right answers. The lawyers didn’t use tax-specific jargon and were easy to talk to”. – Chambers Europe

Alan Connell is widely acclaimed as “an excellent corporate tax adviser” who “covers a range of issues, including inward investment projects and corporate restructurings”. - Chambers Global

Alan Connell is highly regarded for “advising international corporations on conducting business in Ireland. He has particular expertise in inward investment projects, cross-border tax planning and public and private M&A.” – Chambers Europe

Alan Connell provides solid advice on all corporate tax matters, including inward investment projects and restructurings. Clients praise Alan as being “extremely knowledgeable of how his work will impact our company. He is also friendly and cordial and always available”. - Chambers Global

Clients single Alan Connell out as being “very knowledgeable on tax” and who “poses different ideas to work with and understands multinational needs of US operations and various structures.” - World Tax

In addition to his broad corporate tax practice, Alan Connell advises on Irish stamp duty matters, especially in the context of worldwide reorganisations. His reputation continues to grow in the market and he is fast emerging as one of the foremost practitioners in the market.” - Chambers Global