Ireland: Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes
The term 'offshore' is not used in Irish legislation or in describing company forms. Use of the various special regimes available in the Shannon Free Zone, the Dublin International Financial Services Centre, or through the 'Manufacturing Rate' of tax, or via a non-resident company are the main ways of achieving offshore tax treatment, although all these regimes have effectively been superseded by the introduction of a nation-wide corporation tax rate of 12.5% as from 2003. There were, however, some grandfathering provisions for pre-existing regimes.
In January, 2004, then Irish Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy signed an Act to incorporate the provisions of the European Savings Tax Directive into Irish law. Although the Directive itself did not become fully effective until July 1st 2005, the European Communities (Taxation of Savings Income in the Form of Interest Payments) Regulations 2003 required domestic banks to establish the identity and residence of beneficial owners of all new bank accounts opened in Ireland from January 1st 2004. Irish banks now obliged to pass on details of savings income for taxation purposes to the Revenue Commission who are tasked with passing this information on to the tax authorities of the EU member state where the customer resides.