Shire moves to Ireland to 'optimise' tax

Shire Pharmaceutical said yesterday that it intended to move its tax base from the UK to the Republic of Ireland, arguing that Dublin offered the group an "optimum" tax location.

However, beyond the rather vague explanation that being domiciled in Ireland for tax purposes offered greater "opportunities," Shire declined to comment further on why the group was making the move. A spokesperson for the company did say that, "there are a whole range of issues", but did not cite any.

As well as being tax domiciled in Ireland, the company will become incorporated in Jersey, saying that with just 7 per cent of total sales coming from the UK, Britain was becoming less relevant, with "very little profit being generated" in the country. It is unclear how much of the company's revenues come from the Republic of Ireland.

Analysts at Citigroup, however, backed the move, saying that Shire Limited, the group's new holding company, was likely to face a reduced tax burden as a result. "By taking advantage of Jersey's tax jurisdiction, Shire will avoid any proposed amendments to UK tax law which may see the tax rate increasing to [as much as] 30 per cent." The corporate tax rate in Ireland is 12.5 per cent.

The company said that it had no plans to cut UK jobs or move its main operations from its base in Basingstoke. Commentating on Shire's move, CBI director-general Richard Lambert said. "We are particularly worried that an uncompetitive corporate tax system is spoiling the UK's attractiveness as a place to do business, and that other internationally mobile firms will follow Shire's path."

The Treasury has been lampooned in recent months on a number of tax issues, especially the abolition of taper relief on capital gains tax and its treatment of non-domiciled taxpayers.

Meanwhile, a report published by Ernst & Young last month warned that "the UK corporate tax rate is being usurped by other locations despite the forthcoming cut in the main corporate tax rate". A Treasury spokes-man said the Government had cut corporation tax to 28 per cent from 30 per cent and that the UK offered the lowest rate of headline corporation tax of anywhere in the G7.

Shire joins other firms such as the insurer Hiscox and the computer games group Electronic Arts which have also moved away from the UK for tax reasons.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before