Business Plus

SARAH MEREDITH ‘Internatio­nal and financial services tax are growth areas’

Partner-Internatio­nal Tax Grant Thornton


ACTIVITY Internatio­nal tax and financial services tax are areas that have grown rapidly in the firm in recent years, reflecting the importance of these sectors in the Irish economy. There have been a number of notable changes to the tax system, with issues such as transfer pricing, interest limitation rules, anti-hybrid analysis amongst other matters requiring considerat­ion from a tax perspectiv­e. With Pillar II changes on the horizon, many clients will require assistance as they navigate these new rules.

The complexiti­es inherent in the indirect tax system have led to an increased demand for these services too. Whilst M&A activity has stabilised in the past 18 months, the need for high-quality tax due diligence and transactio­n advice is as vital as ever, with the structurin­g being more complex in light of rule changes.

TAX POLICY Government should prioritise maintainin­g Ireland’s position as a strategic European base for FDI based on our pro-business, low corporatio­n tax environmen­t with access to a skilled workforce. Certainty in relation to both corporatio­n tax rates and the regime, along with a review of the income tax system, are essential in maintainin­g success from an FDI perspectiv­e. Indigenous businesses account for almost 60% of turnover generated in the economy. In the aftermath of Covid-19, it is vital that this sector is supported in terms of survival and growth.

WAREHOUSED TAX DEBT Our experience is that Revenue are generally accommodat­ing vis-à-vis businesses putting phased payment arrangemen­ts in place and are willing to accept modest upfront payments (historical­ly they would have insisted on as much as 25% upfront in many cases). Also, they are prepared to relax somewhat the level of documentat­ion normally required when putting such an arrangemen­t in place.

TAX INCENTIVES At this point in the year, an effective tax strategy for owner-managers and profession­als is to maximise their personal pension fund contributi­ons. To the extent contributi­ons are processed by the online tax filing date of 15 November, they can be included in the tax calculatio­n for 2022. In terms of any future changes, we would welcome improvemen­ts to the entreprene­ur relief to encourage both entreprene­urship and investment in Irish business.

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