Shire moves to Ireland for tax

BRITAIN’S third-largest pharmaceutical company, Shire, has moved to become a tax resident in Ireland, to take advantage of the low corporate tax rate here.

The move by the FTSE 100 company has caused waves in London and underlines the difficulties the British Treasury is having with business-based corporates on tax issues.

The change will require the creation of a New Jersey incorporated company, which will be tax-resident in Ireland.

The company expects to pay less tax on its $2.2bn (€2.7bn) of largely international sales, following its move to Ireland, where the corporation tax rate is 12.5% compared with 28% in Britain.

A company statement issued yesterday said: "Shire has concluded that its business and its shareholders would be better served by having an international holding company with a group structure that is designed to help protect the group’s taxation position, and better facilitate the group’s financial management.

"The directors believe that the most appropriate structure is for the new group parent company to be tax-resident in the Republic of Ireland."