It looks like Seagate’s got spooked about being incorporated in dodgy Caribbean tax haven the Cayman Islands, and has now reincorporated in Ireland instead.
The company issued its official statement quietly on the 3rd July, a Saturday and the day before North America celebrates its independence from the goons who taught them all about oppression in the first place.
Was it hoping the fireworks would drown out its madcap dash to find somewhere less dodgy it can get tax breaks? Its headquarters are of course over in California, but being incorporated in Ireland is now in full swing.
The Cayman Islands have had a lot of bad press when it comes to tax dodging. Ireland by comparison is not shady at all and everything’s strictly on the books – the Celtic Tiger economic boom was fuelled by encouraging a hub of IT in the region and offering breaks to companies such as Dell, Intel and Google.
Ireland still offers competitive breaks. The corporate tax headline rate runs at 12.5 percent, compared to up to 40-ish percent elsewhere. And there’s section 291 (a) of Ireland’s tax legislation, which gives tax relief on capital expenditure for the development of intellectual property, on top of the corporate tax rate.
It’s likely that Seagate has preemptively reincorporated to avoid increased scrutiny from regulators in both the US and the EU over places perceived as shady tax havens. Forbes reports that both Accenture and Ingersoll-Rand have both recently reincorporated in Ireland as well.
Georgia is trying to lure IT companies to the troubled region with tax breaks for IT companies but for some reason Seagate hasn’t taken the bait.