For international companies doing business in Ireland, the primary points of interest in the Minister’s speech are (i) his continued emphasis on Ireland’s commitment to the 12.5% corporation tax rate and (ii) the release of a corporation tax policy paper entitled “Ireland’s International Tax Strategy”.  The International Tax Strategy charter contained in that paper sets out the principles and strategic objectives that guide Ireland's approach to international corporate tax issues.  Of particular interest is the planned measure aimed at eliminating mismatches between the tax residence rules of Ireland and treaty partner jurisdictions where companies can be “stateless” in terms of their place of tax residence.

It is understood that the measure will provide that a company incorporated in Ireland but managed and controlled in a treaty partner country will be treated as Irish tax resident unless the relevant treaty partner country treats the company as resident for the purpose of tax in that treaty partner country. The expected legislative amendment is likely to impact Irish incorporated companies managed and controlled in treaty partner countries that do not tax foreign companies on the basis of management and control (for example, the United States). It is understood that the measure will be effective from January 1, 2015.

It will not be possible to fully assess the potential impact of this planned measure until the draft implementing legislation is published in the Finance Bill (expected October 24, 2013).