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US Companies Uncertain About Irish Tax Regime, Says AmCham

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

02 December 2002


Speaking at the body's annual Thanksgiving luncheon on Thursday, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland, Bernard Collins warned that US companies located in the RoI are becoming nervous as a result of uncertainty surrounding the country's low tax rate.

In the face of an European Union effort to harmonize taxes across member states, the Irish government has pledged that the 12.5% corporate tax rate will stay in place until at least 2005. However, addressing Tanaiste, Mary Harney - the guest of honour at the AmCham luncheon -, Mr Collins explained that:

'Many of our members feel that Ireland is in danger of losing its attractiveness as a location for investment by US companies.'

'Spiralling direct and indirect costs, uncertainty regarding the future corporation tax regime, poor infrastructure and the [declining] number of science students at second and third level are some of the concerns repeatedly voiced by our regional groups. These issues need to be addressed by the government to protect the long term investment by US companies in our country.'

Mr Collins also called for more support for US firms engaged in research and development activity.

'Initiatives such as the provision of R&D tax credits and the elimination of employer's PRSI for R&D groups should be considered. Time and again it has been proven that research is the cornerstone to a strong, vibrant economy,' he argued.


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