William Fry has been involved in a landmark tax case that considered if the 2016 sale of shares in an Irish PPP company by a Spanish company was within the charge to Irish capital gains tax.
William Fry represented Cintra both in the tax appeal before the TAC and in Revenue’s appeal to the High Court of the 2021 TAC determination. Cintra was successful before the TAC but the 2021 TAC determination was appealed by Revenue to the High Court. The High Court decision in favour of Cintra was delivered on 14 February 2023.
The court held that a non-resident entity is only within the charge to Irish capital gains on the sale of unquoted shares if the shares derive their value or the greater part of their value directly or indirectly from land in the State (i.e. Ireland). The net issues in the case were the meaning of the phrases “land in the State” and “indirectly” in section 29 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. This is the first High Court tax case of its kind and should provide clarity to non-resident entities on the Irish capital gains tax implications of selling shares in unquoted companies that have Irish operations.