EU corporate tax rates once again vary considerably from country to country with countries such as France having not only high corporate taxes but high social charges and very inflexible labour rules and regulations, which despite recent improvements make France a relatively unattractive location to either transfer an existing business or especially set up a new business. At the other extreme, would be the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, which both have a much more flexible labour market and either competitive corporate tax rates (the standard 2014 UK corporate tax rate is 21% and will fall to 20% in 2015) or very low rates (the Republic of Ireland has a standard corporate tax rate of only 12.5%) combined with generally low levels of corruption, a functioning business friendly judicial system and generally low levels of bureaucracy. However, again variables must be taken into account such as the fact that passive holding and/or investment companies are subject to a 25% corporate tax rate in Ireland and that the Irish Revenue Commissioners will only grant Irish VAT numbers where there is genuine local business and management and control. In the case of Malta, which has the highest standard corporate tax rate in the EU of 35% it is nevertheless considered to be highly desirable location for business as notwithstanding the fact that 35% corporate tax must indeed be paid the reality is that provided a local company is owned by another non-resident shareholder once dividends are distributed there will be a tax credit bringing down the banner rate of corporate tax down to the EU’s lowest effective corporate tax rate of around 5.5%.
Standard EU Corporate Tax Rates - 2014
|Country||Corporate Tax Rate(s)||Beneficial Tax Regime for Individuals?||Overall Rating 1-10|
|United Kingdom||21% (2014) and 20% (2015)||Yes||9/10|