Facebook to overhaul Irish tax scheme

Facebook to book revenues in different countries as Irish tax loophole to expire

It's not clear yet how much extra tax Facebook will pay as a result of this, and there is still enough wiggle room for plans to change further down the line.

In future, revenues from all larger advertisers in these locations will be recorded, and the taxes paid, where the ads were sold instead of in Ireland. Facebook will gradually introduce the new reporting structure throughout 2018, and the company expects to have the system fully in place by the first half of 2019.

Facebook has said it will no longer route its tax through Ireland in a major shake up to its global tax structure.

Facebook stressed the changes will have no jobs impact here, where it employs more than 2,000 workers, and that Dublin remains its worldwide headquarters.

But its United Kingdom corporation tax only rose to £5.1m from £4.2m a year earlier, and once deductible expenses were applied, the company only paid £2.58m.

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"We believe that moving to a local selling structure will provide more transparency to governments and policy-makers around the world who have called for greater visibility over the revenue associated with locally supported sales in their countries", Facebook CFO Dave Wehner said in a blog post today.

That significantly boosted revenue and profits for its United Kingdom business, and has meant that so far it has paid higher taxes.

"This is a large undertaking that will require significant resources to implement around the world", added Wehner.

In the wake of the public outrage in the United Kingdom in 2014 when it was revealed that Facebook had payed just £4,327 in taxes, in 2016 the company started to book more advertising income through the UK. The change comes amid a period where there is increasing scrutiny over companies that have held offshore revenue, especially in Ireland, where the European Commission in October slammed Dublin for failing to collect unpaid taxes from Apple.

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