Feb. 7 - Yahoo is shifting its main European tax base to Ireland from Switzerland. It may be the start of a trend, says Tom Bergin, as pressure mounts for Switzerland to abolish some corporate tax incentives.
We broke the story today that day Yahoo! the Internet search company is changing its main European tax base from Switzerland. To ardent. I'm debt the company says that this is part of a parole at streamlining of the company's operations. Are also expanding some employment. In you know Ireland. However tax experts that we've spoken to. Believe that it was at least partly influenced at least a planned tax changes in Switzerland Switzerland has been under a lot of pressure in recent years from the European Union. To stop giving certain tax incentives to attract companies. To the outlines -- Aren't in the course is famous for offering though tax. Those tax incentives to companies to come and base themselves there. Because our -- already in the EU it has certain advantages that that it Switzerland doesn't. So the hope on the part of Irish businesses. And and the Irish government is that they can start to attract more companies that are currently going to Switzerland. We spoke to the head of the agency -- and who's responsible for it for for -- companies to arm and he said he's already talking too few people. And he's hopeful that if you might start to move he reckons that if he gets two or three could be the beginning of a trend. A lot of companies have come under pressure and in recent years for having highly complex and and at times even contrived. Or have plans that allow them to shift profits out of the countries where where the money's aren't into tax havens. Often that's via our event. And Google of course is one of them the most the best known cases -- -- The structure today that Yahoo! is adopting is quite close to -- used by Google. In future Americans customers all around Europe won't be to re dealing. With local companies who give them money to Switzerland you know old beat they're dealing directly with an Irish company. Of these big sending him money to -- so that is a structure which Google has used very effectively to get it tax rate of 3%. Yeah who is is currently -- a 30%. So certainly from the point of view of of Yahoo! investors they hoped that they. Be able to get leave that gold dust they'll tax coal dust that Cuba has been able to achieve -- delta what the story today shows. Is that that the existing extent of tax competition within Europe. And how if one country starts to look even slightly less attractive from a tax perspective that it can rapidly news. Business to other -- tax jurisdictions being the business community in Switzerland has been very concerned. This any changes as a result of EU pressure could actually to a lot of businesses leaving. As Switzerland. The business the obvious that we spoken to -- Switzerland say it's Yahoo! example. It's potentially an example of what might come in the future they're very concerned this could become -- serious trend.