Friday, May 17, 2024

Annual Volume of Market Purchases by FTBs Tops Out at 17,500

Figures released with the CSO’s March update of the Residential Property Price Index point to the volume of market purchases by FTBs topping out at 17,500 on an annual basis.

In the 12 months to January 2024, stamp duty filings were made for 17,496 purchases by first-time buyers.  For March, the equivalent annual figure dipped to 17,275, a reduction of just over 200.

This reduction is due to a fall in the number of existing dwellings purchased by FTBs.  The number of new dwellings has remained in and around 5,400 on an annual basis for the last year or so.

A local peak for FTB purchases of existing dwellings was reached in October of last year with 12,242 stamp duty filings made in the year to that month.  The latest figures for March show this 12-month sum declining to 11,891, a fall of around 350.

Since Census Night 2022 (April 3rd) just over 34,000 stamp duty filings have been made for market purchases by FTBs, giving a run-rate of around 330 per week.  Non-market transactions, self builds and bequests will give further first-time owners.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Ireland’s largest taxpayer motors along

OK, we can’t be 100 per cent sure that Microsoft Ireland Research is Ireland’s largest taxpayer but it certainly is a likely candidate for being so.  The 2023 accounts are now available and like last year continue to paint a strong picture.  Let’s start with the income statement:

From 2019 to 2023, turnover pretty much doubled (after previously doubling from 2017 to 2019).  Operating costs haven’t increased as rapidly with operating profits increasing by around two and a half times since 2019, to reach $23.3 billion.

In recent years, the tax charged in the income statement has been around 12 per cent of operating profit plus net interest income. This continued to be case in 2023.

At $2.9 billion, Microsoft Ireland Research (MIR) is likely responsible for around ten per cent of Ireland’s Corporation Tax revenues and something a little north of two per cent of general government revenue.  MIR has also seen its non-financial footprint increase here in recent years.

In 2023, Microsoft Ireland Research had an average of 1,242 employees and incurred an aggregate of $157.7 million of expenses on wages and salaries.  This gives an implied average of $127,000 per person employed.  In total aggregate staff costs were $234.7 million once PRSI, pension costs and share-based remuneration are factored in.

We are primarily interested in Microsoft Ireland Research because of the size of its tax charge. It does not have the highest amount of Microsoft’s employees in Ireland.  That impact belongs to Microsoft Operations Ireland Limited which had an average of 2,779 persons employed in 2023 (2022: 2,386). 

In 2023, MIOL incurred wages and salaries costs of $340 million at an average of $122,400 per person employed.  On top of that MIOL had a tax charge of $652 million, up from $476 million in 2022.

Combined MIR and MIOL, had a tax charge of $3.5 billion in the twelve months to the year ended June 30th 2023.  Add in $700 million of total staff costs and we’re at $4.2 billion.