In a report compiled by Dublin-based data provider BusinessPro for Ireland's Sunday Business Post newspaper a tiny Microsoft subsidiary came out on top in a league table of Ireland's biggest profit makers.
In fact 5 out of the top 10 are U.S. multinationals which has fuelled the debate over Ireland's low rates of corporation tax. Google is expanding it's base in Ireland (Google Expanding It's European Base, Dublin) where it has it's European base and where corporation tax rates are 12.5%. Dell has previously stated that should these tax rates change it will leave Ireland, however, even at 17.5%, Ireland's tax rates would still be among the lowest in the Western world.
Microsoft's subsidiary, Round Island One, administers the licensing agreements for Microsoft for the European, Middle Eastern and African regions and posted profits of €3.23bn in fiscal 2004 pretax profit. The largest domestic company listed was Allied Irish Banks Plc, which netted €1.41bn profit in calendar 2004 and ranked number 3 in the report.