Social media giant Facebook said today it would start booking advertising revenue locally instead of re-routing it via its international headquarters in Dublin.

However, the move is unlikely to result in the company paying much more tax. 

Corporate taxation has become a major topic in the wake of revelations of tax avoidance schemes by multinationals.

This has led to calls for companies to pay more tax while Europe has begun exploring options for taxing digital giants. 

Facebook's chief financial officer Dave Wehner said the company had decided to move to a local selling structure in countries where it has an office to support sales to local advertisers. 

"In simple terms, this means that advertising revenue supported by our local teams will no longer be recorded by our international headquarters in Dublin, but will instead be recorded by our local company in that country," Wehner said in a blog post. 

"We believe that moving to a local selling structure will provide more transparency to governments and policy makers around the world who have called for greater visibility over the revenue associated with locally-supported sales in their countries," he added.

Head of Facebook Ireland Gareth Lambe said: "Ireland will continue to be an important part of Facebook’s story as the home of our international headquarters supporting our global communities and advertisers.

"We are continuing to grow in Ireland and recently announced that hundreds more jobs will be created at Facebook Dublin in 2018 and the expansion of the data centre in Meath, further demonstrating our long-term investment and commitment here."

The European Commission is working on legislative proposals, expected in March, to increase taxes on multinational digital companies.


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The companies are accused of paying too little in the EU by booking profits in low tax countries where they have their EU headquarters, like Ireland and Luxembourg. 

Among the options the EU executive is considering to quickly raise taxes on tech giants is a levy on revenues from advertising activities, according to an EU document published in September. 

Mr Wehner said Facebook would implement the change during 2018 and aim to complete it by the first half of 2019.