Tax Treaties

Ireland has signed comprehensive double taxation agreements with 71 countries, of which 68 are in effect. The agreements cover direct taxes, which in the case of Ireland are income tax, corporation tax and capital gains tax.

pdfCommentary on typical provisions of Irish tax treaties (PDF, 71KB)

The following is a summary of the work underway to negotiate new agreements and to update old agreements:

  • New agreements were signed with Ukraine on 19 April 2013, Thailand on 4 November 2013 and Botswana on 10 June 2014. The legal procedures to bring these agreements into force are now being followed.
  • New agreements with Uzbekistan signed on 11 July 2012, Egypt signed 9 April 2012 and Qatar signed 21 June 2012. These agreements came into force on 17 April 2013, 24 April 2013 and 13 December 2013 respectively and are effective from 1 January 2014.
  • Ireland has completed the ratification procedures to bring the protocol to the existing agreement with Malaysia into force. When ratification procedures are also completed by Malaysia, the protocol will enter into force.
  • A protocol to the existing agreement with Switzerland came into force on 14 November 2013 and is effective from 1 January 2014.
  • Protocols to the existing agreements with Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg were signed on 14 April, 22 July and 27 May 2014 respectively. The legal procedures to bring these protocols into force are now being followed.
  • Negotiations on new agreements with Ethiopia and Turkmenistan, agreements to replace the existing agreements with Pakistan and Zambia and a protocol to the existing agreement with Germany have concluded and are expected to be signed shortly.
  • Negotiations for new agreements with Azerbaijan and Jordan are at various stages.
  • Negotiations are ongoing for the revision of the existing agreement with the Netherlands and for a protocol to the existing agreement with Mexico.
  • Plans to initiate negotiations for new agreements with other countries during the course of 2014 are ongoing.

Where a double taxation agreement does not exist with a particular country there are provisions in the Irish Taxes Consolidation Acts (TCA) 1997 which allow unilateral relief against double taxation in respect of certain types of income. The principal provisions granting unilateral relief are as follows:

  • dividends from foreign subsidiaries:
    • credit for withholding tax on dividend payments and for foreign tax paid on the underlying profits out of which the dividends were paid (paragraph 9A and B of Schedule 24 TCA 1997)
    • pooling and carry-forward of excess foreign tax credits (paragraph 9E of Schedule 24 TCA 1997)
    • credit for foreign tax on dividends paid by a foreign company that is a member of a group that paid tax on a consolidated basis (paragraph 9G of Schedule 24 TCA 1997)
  • foreign branch profits:
    • credit for foreign tax paid by an Irish company on profits of a foreign branch (paragraph 9DA of Schedule 24 TCA 1997)
    • pooling of excess foreign branch tax credits (paragraph 9FA of Schedule 24 TCA 1997)
  • foreign interest treated as trading income of the company that receives it:
    • credit for foreign tax (paragraph 9D of Schedule 24 TCA 1997)
    • pooling of excess foreign tax credits in respect of interest received from associated companies in countries with which Ireland has a double taxation agreement (paragraph 9F of Schedule 24 TCA 1997)
  • capital gains on foreign assets:
    • credit for foreign tax paid on capital gains in countries with which Ireland has a double taxation agreement but where the tax treaty with that country does not cover capital gains tax – Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Pakistan and Zambia (paragraph 9FB of Schedule 24 TCA 1997)
    • exemption from tax of capital gains from disposal of shares in foreign trading subsidiary companies resident in an EU or Irish tax agreement country (section 626B TCA 1997)

There are also reliefs granted under the EU "Parent-Subsidiaries Directive" (90/435/EEC) (section 831 TCA 1997), the EU "Interest and Royalties Directive" (2003/49/EC)(section 267G-L TCA 1997), the "EU Mergers Directive" (90/434/EEC) (sections 630-638 TCA 1997) and the EU Arbitration Convention (European Communities Mutual Assistance in the Field of Direct Taxation Regulations 1978) (S.I. 334 of 1978).

The list of Irish double taxation agreements is as follows: (Click on a specific country link to view or download the text of the agreement).

Disclaimer: In the event of any discrepancy between the text obtained from this website and the text in the relevant Statutory Instrument (SI), the text in the SI is the authorative one. Ireland's tax treaties and their SI numbers

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