United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Ireland and the UK have a very close economic relationship.

Ireland and the UK have a very close economic relationship.

Ireland and the UK have a very close economic relationship. For decades, the UK has served as a beacon for foreign investment and business opportunity for Irish companies. The twin pillars – a strong economy and political stability – are powerful attractions to foreign entrepreneurs and established businesses alike, resulting in a steady increase in direct foreign investment through mergers and acquisitions.

UK and Irish companies both trade and invest heavily in each others' economies and have a very close and interdependent relationship. The UK remains Ireland's largest export destination and there is a significant base of UK and Ireland FDI in the respective jurisdictions. The proximity of both countries and our close economic, cultural and historic ties should ensure that the relationship between both countries will continue to grow and develop.

The overall tax burden in the UK is one of the lowest of all the major European economies with falling corporation tax rates, low social welfare contributions, generous tax allowances and no local taxes on profits or surpluses.

The UK has concluded over 100 tax treaties for the avoidance of double taxation and has the largest network of treaties globally. An important feature of many treaties is a reduced rate for withholding tax on the payment of dividends, interest and royalties. The majority of UK based companies also benefit from an exemption from corporation tax on any foreign dividends that they receive.

As noted above, the UK and Ireland have a unique and well established mutually beneficial economic relationship. There is considerable scope to use Ireland as a platform for investing into the UK. The attractions of using Ireland include:

  • Competitive cost base – significant competitiveness improvement
  • Gateway to Europe 
  • Member of the Eurozone 
  • English speaking 
  • Young, dynamic and well educated workforce 
  • Single Financial Services Regulatory Authority 
  • Common law legal system 
  • Attractive tax regime 
  • 12.5% corporation tax rate on trading profits 
  • Tax neutral investment management regime 
  • Extensive tax treaty network (70 tax treaties signed) 
  • 37.5% relief for R&D activities – extends to developments in finance 
  • Attractive intellectual property regime 
  • No controlled foreign company legislation 
  • No thin capitalisation rules 
  • Exemption from corporation tax for certain start-up companies 
  • Income tax incentives for employees relocating to Ireland 
  • Exemption from tax on certain dividends. Credit for foreign withholding tax and underlying tax available on other dividends 
  • Interest withholding tax exemptions 

Our services

KPMG Ireland has an experienced and dedicated team focused on investment into and out of the UK. We work closely with our colleagues in KPMG UK to provide our clients with complete tax advice on the issues that arise. Our tax services include advising on:

  • Investing in Ireland and the UK
  • Financing VAT and global indirect taxes 
  • Transfer pricing 
  • Personal and corporate tax compliance services 
  • Payroll taxes

Further information

If you require further information on doing business in or with the UK, please contact Tom Alexander or any member of our tax team.

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