Taxation Planning

Cooney Carey is one of Ireland's leading tax planning providers.  Our considerable taxation experience has given us extensive knowledge and understanding of tax law and practice.  Our specialists use this in-depth expertise in effective taxation planning for our clients, which include large companies, SMEs, family businesses, entrepreneurs and private individuals.  We also work with trusts and partnerships.

Our taxation planning team is led by John Comerford and Gerry Higgins. We offer taxation planning sevices in a wide range of areas, including business taxation; compliance; customs; foreign direct investment; human resources tax services; international tax structures, personal tax; research and development tax relief; transactions; transfer pricing and VAT.

Business Structure (Taxation Focus)

Marginal tax rates can be as much as 55% for individuals, compared with 12.5% for trading companies (or 0% for certain start-ups). It is definitely worthwhile identifying the right legal and tax structure for your business.

We work with our clients to understand their commercial, personal, financial and regulatory constraints and objectives. We recommend a business and legal structure to them that is both appropriate and tax-efficient.

John Comerford & Gerry Higgins

Corporate Reorganisation and Restructuring

We advise our clients on tax-related changes that are needed during restructuring, whether an individual company or a more complex group of companies is involved. These can include:

  • amending the capital structure
  • using a holding company
  • transferring shares, assets or complete businesses to one or more other companies
  • issuing shares as required Our goal is to help the client avoid paying tax unnecessarily while streamlining their corporate structure.

John Comerford & Gerry Higgins

Residence and Domicile

We help clients whose tax position involves at least two jurisdictions (one of which is generally Ireland). These include nationals of one country who work and are taxed in another, or companies based in one country opening a subsidiary in another and trading there. We advise them on their Irish tax obligations and help them to work out their foreign tax obligations, while minimising their overall tax burden. The areas we advise on include:

  • residence and ordinary residence
  • domicile
  • taxation of Irish income and gains
  • taxation of foreign income and gains
  • appropriate structures in which to hold Irish and foreign assets
  • reliefs for foreign earnings deductions (FED)
  • the Special Assignee Relief Program (SARP)

John Comerford & Gerry Higgins

Termination Payments

If you lose your job or you stop being a director, particularly because of ill health, you may be entitled to significant tax-free payments from your company. We work with our clients to review the potential for such payments, to calculate the best outcome and to get tax approval if needed.

Gerry Higgins

Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS)

The EIIS, which replaced the Business Expansion Scheme (BES) in 2011, allows most trading companies to raise funds and allows individuals to get tax relief of up to 41% on their investment in the company. Companies may raise up to €10 million under the scheme, while individuals may invest up to €150,000.

We work with client companies to establish the appropriate level of funding and the best structure to facilitate raising funds from individual investors. We also help to manage the relationship with investors during the investment term and identify a clear exit structure at the end of that term.

Gerry Higgins

Capital Acquisitions Tax(CAT)

The CAT rate has risen in recent years from 20% to 33%, while tax-free thresholds and reliefs have reduced significantly. These changes mean this is becoming a more important and widely applicable tax.

We advise our clients on drafting wills, the use of trusts, asset protection, gifts, wealth transfers to the next generation, and tax reliefs including business relief, dwelling house relief and agricultural relief.

Gerry Higgins

Capital Allowances

Capital allowances may be available for machinery and plant, industrial buildings or mechanical and electrical building installations. We review our clients’ spending in these areas to make sure they are availing of the maximum capital allowance benefits.

Gerry Higgins

Transfer Pricing

Following the introduction of transfer pricing legislation in Ireland, some large companies are now subject to transfer pricing. Transfer pricing rules provide that certain transactions between associated persons (such as a parent company and a subsidiary) should be conducted on an arm’s length basis and be priced as similar transactions would be between people or companies with no association.

We review our clients’ transfer pricing obligations, help to price connected party transactions for goods and services, and put in place the necessary documentation. We also advise on the international aspects of transfer pricing.

Gerry Higgins


Relevant Contracts Tax(RCT)

RCT is a far-reaching and complex tax. Non­compliance generally leads to large tax exposures and penalties. Since the start of 2012, RCT administration is done entirely online.
We review our clients’ activities, identify their RCT obligations, and advise on the application and administration of this tax.

Gerry Higgins

Leaving, Selling or Retiring from a Business

There are key value event in the life cycle of any business.  If one of our clients is retiring, selling of leaving their business, we review their circumstances and work to minimise the tax arising on the sale of any shares or assets, or on liquidation. We will also assess whether or not retirement relief, business relief, termination payments and capital gains tax (CGT) exemptions apply.

Gerry Higgins

Vat Consultancy

We advise our clients on value-added tax (VAT) issues that arise when buying or selling property, or creating or surrendering leases. We also advise on VAT issues relating to the business supply of goods and services, including cross-border trade and the recovery of VAT incurred in foreign jurisdictions.

John Comerford

Research and Development, and Intellectual Property

We review our clients’ research and development activities to ensure they are maximising the relevant tax credits. We work with them to prepare the appropriate docu mentation and manage the claim process with Revenue.

We also identify the appropriate structure to manage the development, holding and exploitation of intellectual property in a tax-efficient way.

John Comerford

Mergers and Acquisitions

We complete vendor, purchaser and lender due diligence tax reports for mergers and acquisitions. Before any merger or acquisition, we review the structure and tax profile of the enterprise. This enables us to recommend an efficient tax structure and to manage tax issues appropriate to the buyer or seller.

When it comes to completing the tax process for a particular transaction, we plan the due diligence review process in a structured way. By doing so, we can get or provide the relevant information for the buyer or seller and interact with legal and corporate finance teams as needed.

John Comerford

International Tax (inbound and outbound)

We work with our clients to identify the best structure for paying international tax, bearing in mind both Irish and foreign taxes and double-tax treaty reliefs that apply.

For Irish taxes, we review the availability of:

  • the 0% corporation tax rate for certain start-up companies
  • the 12.5% corporation tax rate for trading companies
  • research and development credits
  • intellectual property reliefs
  • capital allowances
  • deductions for interest and funding costs
  • transfer pricing, where relevant

John Comerford

Prsi and Social Insurance

We advise our clients on their pay-related social insurance (PRSI) and universal social charge (USC) obligations, including those for employees and directors.

John Comerford

Share Schemes, Share Options and Employee Share Ownership Plans

If a company grants shares to directors or employees, it must carefully consider any potential exposure to income tax. We help clients by considering the legal basis on which shares are provided, the timing and allocation of the shareholding, and the nature and extent of rights attaching to shares. By doing so, we can achieve a more efficient tax result.

We work with our clients to consider the extent of share participation they envisage, decide their staff motivation and retention objectives, and assess how share grants could encourage employees to achieve corporate objectives.

We can also draft the tax aspects of share option scheme documentation and work effectively with legal advisers and clients to implement the share structure.

John Comerford

Funding and Interest

Companies, individuals and partnerships who borrow money to fund their business will incur a funding or interest cost on those borrowings. Interest deduction is an important part of an efficient tax structure for trading or investment entities. In recent years, the relevant legislation has been changed to restrict the availability of related tax relief.

We advise our clients on the tax law and rules that apply when they are putting in place loan agreements, investments and corporate structures.

John Comerford

Property Tax Structuring

We identify efficient holding structures for property, including residential and commercial property, investment and development projects, and properties and portfolios in Ireland and abroad.

John Comerford