The Irish Sunday Business Post today carries two articles about PayPal. In the first it states that PayPal have relocated “a significant portion of its business to Singapore for accounting and taxation purposes“. This follows on from PayPal establishing a Bank in Luxembourg to which all European PayPal accounts were transferred to on 2nd July this year.
The move to Singapore is part of an ongoing “tax realignment” and results in all of PayPal International’s business now being outside Europe with the exception of their intellectual property functions. Royalties from intellectual property are not taxed in Ireland, under a tax break designed to attract multinationals to Ireland. “Geographic Tax Savings” was referred to in the Investors conference call on 18th July and it’s no surprise a company the size of PayPal and eBay use different tax regimes to their advantage.
So has this resulted in job losses in Ireland? Not in the slightest – Day to day business carries on as normal, it’s just a holding company in Singapore. The second article refers to PayPal declining government grant assistance to open new offices in Sligo, Ireland. Instead they’ve decided to locate them in Dublin as it offers easier access to a larger pool of potential employees. With 1200 currently on the payroll and up to another 200 vacancies in the new PayPal location the move to Singapore makes little difference to PayPal and eBay being a significant Irish employer.