Sponsored Links

Facebook is winding down some of its Irish tax havens

It's acknowledging the reality that it will pay more taxes.
The changed logo outside Facebook's European headquarters in Dublin. (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)
Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|December 27, 2020 1:31 PM

Facebook is closing some of the companies that were key to its Irish tax havens. The Sunday Times and The Guardian report that Facebook is winding down three Ireland holding companies and moving their intellectual property to the US, increasing the company’s exposure to taxes in the US, UK and elsewhere.

A spokesperson said the decisions reflected “recent and upcoming tax law changes” governments were implementing worldwide.

The social media giant, like other tech companies, has caught flak for using arrangements in Ireland to avoid paying taxes in other countries. The IRS sued Facebook in 2016 to learn more about its practices, and followed up with a court battle arguing that it owed over $9 billion and had masked its true value. Similarly, G20 countries have been pressing for tax law overhauls aimed at major tech firms. Facebook is acknowledging that it will pay more taxes regardless of its earlier efforts at creative accounting.

Turn on browser notifications to receive breaking news alerts from Engadget
You can disable notifications at any time in your settings menu.
Not now

This won’t necessarily lead to windfalls for the US, UK and other countries. However, it could be more in line with what you expect. In the UK, for instance, Facebook paid just £100,000 more in taxes in 2019 despite profits jumping over 25 percent. Those payments are likely to climb dramatically in the near future.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.
Facebook is winding down some of its Irish tax havens