Ireland – An Ideal Location For Intellectual Property Trading Companies – Corporation Tax – Part 1

Apart from a highly skilled, English speaking workforce; membership of the E.U.; an excellent standard of living for employees seconded to Ireland; a large network of international routes and a successful track record of investment, research and development from United States corporations there are many advantages to setting up Intellectual Property Trading companies in Ireland. 

The main focus of this article is the tax advantages which can be summarized under the following headings and viewed in Parts 1 through 4 on TaxConnections Worldwide Tax Blogs:

1.  Corporation Tax – Part 1
2.  Capital Allowances – Part 2
3.  Research & Development Relief – Part 3
4.  Withholding Tax – Part 4
5.  Stamp Duty and Summary – Part 4


Ireland has one of the lowest corporation tax rates on trading income in the world.  The standard rate is 12½% on trading profits.

A 25% rate is charged on non-trading and foreign source income.  It is the rate applied to “passive income.”

To be eligible for the 12½% Corporation Tax rate the following criteria must apply:

1.  The company must be a trading company.
2.  The trade must be carried on in Ireland.
3.  The trading activity must be controlled in Ireland.
4.  The profit making apparatus must be located in Ireland.

Does your company qualify for the 12½% rate?

If your company is an Intellectual Property Trading Company established in Ireland with a workforce of individuals specialised in:

•  Managing the intellectual property portfolio
•  Developing and exploiting Intellectual property
•  Promoting and licensing intellectual property rights for use by third parties

Your company should be eligible for the 12½% rate of Corporation Tax.  If, however, there is any doubt, it is possible to obtain an advanced decision from the Irish Revenue Commissioners.  If the company does not qualify as a trading company, the 25% corporation tax rate will apply.

Other factors to be considered in the context of eligibility for the 12½% tax rate for IP companies include:

•  Strategic and operational exploitation and management of the Intellectual Property in Ireland.
•  The Irish company should incur marketing, legal and R & D expenditure in relation to the IP.
•  The Irish company should be responsible for the development and protection of the IP.

A point to keep in mind:

An Irish resident investment company which is in receipt of certain trading dividends can make an election for those dividends to be taxable at the 12½% rate.

Since founding Accounts Advice Centre in Dublin in 1996, Claire McNamara has established a reputation for successfully advising businesses, corporate and personal tax clients. Her knowledge spans various sectors and her experience includes corporate transactions, inheritance tax planning, International Tax Treaties, personal tax as well as advising on issues affecting non domiciled individuals and offshore clients. She constantly delivers a value added service and efficient tax management solutions to high net worth private clients, property owners, executives, entrepreneurs, entertainers and members of various professions.

As a Chartered Tax Adviser, Claire has considerable experience in professional practice and will personally help you to deal with all your tax affairs competently, professionally and successfully. She has also lectured extensively in taxation on courses for the main professional accountancy qualifications including A.C.C.A., A.C.A. and C.P.A. and is actively involved in preparing students for the Irish Tax Institute’s CTA qualification.

Claire has effectively handled a number of Revenue Audits and Appeals on behalf of her diverse client base and has successfully negotiated solutions resulting in substantial differences to the eventual tax liability, surcharge and penalties.


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