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Executive Summary
Ireland is situated in the north-west of Europe and is its third largest island, surrounded by hundreds of smaller islands. The Republic of Ireland (this name is used in order to differentiate the country from the geographic island) covers 5/6 of the whole island’s territory, while the Northern Island makes part of the UK. The population of the Republic of Ireland exceeds 4 million people. It has been one of the poorest countries of Europe in the 1950ies with a high rate of emigration, but the reforms in late 1980ies have significantly changed the situation, having introduced reduced taxation and new regulations, resulting in a rapid economic development and general improvement of the life level.

From 1801 till 1922 Ireland has made part of the UK, but there has always been a great will of independence. The fight was long and hard, but on December 6th 1922 free Irish state has been finally established, however, Northern part of Ireland has opted out to join the UK after two days. Today Ireland is a parliamentary republic; the president is the head of the state and is elected for seven years. The prime minister is appointed by the president and nominated by the parliament. Ireland has adopted a bicameral model of parliament, elected for a term of five years.

Ireland is a member state of the UN, OECD and EU, but not a member state of NATO having chosen a policy of neutrality, even though Ireland participates in peacekeeping missions. From a purely agricultural country, the economy of Ireland has transformed to knowledge economy, with strong industry, investment opportunities, construction and international trade.

Dublin is the capital of Ireland, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford are other important cities. Since 2007 Irish was officially recognized as the national language, but in passports and EU meetings, both Irish and English are mentioned and used. The currency used in Ireland is Euro.

Geography
The whole island of Ireland covers 84,421 sq. km, of which more than 70,280 sq. km belong to the Republic of Ireland. To the northeast the island is bounded by North Channel, to the east – the Irish Sea, and to the west – the Atlantic Ocean. The landscape of flat land is varied withy hills and cliffs, concentrated mostly on the west coast. The temperate climate is altered by the North Atlantic Current, that makes summer temperatures rarely exceed 30 degrees C, and -6 decrees C in winter. Rainy weather is very characteristic.

Long agricultural tradition that introduces modern working methods (such as pesticides) has a negative impact on country’s biodiversity. Ireland is concentrated on preserving forestry and limiting urban development. Pollution is mainly caused by agricultural activities. Wide green fields are characteristic to the country’s landscape.

Map, Flag and Coat of Arm


Types of Company

Private Company Limited by Shares

The number of members is limited to 50 and the right to transfer the shares is restricted. No public subscription to shares is allowed. There is an obligatory requirement to have two directors and a secretary, and at least one director needs to be a local resident. Accounts of the company must be filed each year.

Private Company Limited by Guarantee
Usually these companies are used for charity or non-profit organizations. They are similar to another type of a private company apart from the share structure.

Non-Resident Company
These companies have might have favourable taxation in particular cases.

Public Company Limited by Shares
There is a minimum of seven shareholders and a minimum capital should be 38,092 EUR, at which at least ¼ must be paid up. Is not a subject to restrictions that are applied to a private company.

Branch of Overseas Company
A branch of a foreign company must be registered  with the Company Registrar. There should be at least one authorized representative in Ireland; annual accounts must be filed.

General Partnership
Partners are liable for the debts of the partnership they make part of. There is no need for partnership accounts to be filed or audited.

Limited Partnership
One or more partners should have unlimited liability while others are limited partners, who are liable up to the amount of their contributions.  General partners can be limited companies. This form of organization is not widely used in Ireland nowadays.

Investment Limited Partnership
This form of an organization is widely used for collective investment entities with tax transparency, that lets investors obtain double tax relief. There must be at least one general partner, one of which must be an Irish company with the head office in the country. The minimum share capital is 127,000 Eur and at least two directors and one Custodian must be Irish. Irish Central Bank approves general partners.  Monthly accounts are to be submitted to the Central Bank.

Taxation

Personal
A person is a resident of Ireland if he spends more than six months in the country. A domicile  is the place where an individual primary home is situated, to which country a person believes to belong to due to relative relations, education of children and other reasons. A person resident and domiciled in Ireland should pay taxes n world-wide income. Non-residents pay taxes only on income generated abroad.
Private income tax is progressive, that means the higher the income is, the more a person is liable to pay in taxes. Up to 36,400 Eur an individual is liable to pay 20% in tax, and over that income the tax rate changes to 41%. Capital gains tax rate is set to 22%. Employees pay taxes on a monthly basis.
VAT is 21% in Ireland.

Corporate
Corporation tax is applied on trading income and capital gains. Resident companies pay tax on their world-wide income, non-resident companies are liable for tax only on income generated in Ireland. The standard rate of corporation tax is 12.5%, which is one of the lowest in the EU. As one of the business incentive programmes, companies incorporated in Ireland in 2009 are exempt from corporate taxes for three consecutive years, in case their tax liability does not exceed EUR 40,000.

Stamp duties are levied at a varying rates from 1% to 9%, withholding taxes are also applied. The standard VAT rate is 21.5%. Share capital tax at a rate of 1% is payable on the increase of share capital of a company. Capital acquisition tax is payable on inheritance and gifts.

 
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