Ireland drops low-tax policy and agrees to sign OECD tax deal

Ireland’s cabinet agreed to drop its low 12.5% tax rate, in favour of the OECD’s new global tax agreement, ahead of today’s OECD meeting to seal the deal further. (We’ll report on the outcome in our October newsletter and in next week’s digest). 

Ireland was one of the few countries who resisted joining the OECD agreement in July. For years, the country’s low tax rate attracted giant internet companies including Google and Facebook, which established their European headquarters in Dublin. 

Under the new OECD agreement, very large companies which generate more than €20 billion in revenues (the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft) will have to pay taxes on whatever profit they make above a 10% threshold (called Pillar I). More importantly for Ireland, the second part of the deal (Pillar II) sets the tax rates for companies earning €750 million or more in revenues at 15%, which is higher than Ireland’s 12.5% rate.