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Irish tax manager Kevin McLoughlin tells his experience of moving to San Jose.
Kevin McLoughlin
Senior Tax Manager, Irish Tax Desk, Ernst & Young, San Jose, USA.

How long have you been in your current position?
I arrived here three months ago, having worked with Ernst & Young in Dublin for 12 years.

What exactly does your job involve?
My main roles are advising US companies on Irish tax issues arising on investment into Ireland and advising Irish companies on investment into the US. I also deal with Irish tax issues that arise on reorganisations, acquisitions, disposals, etc., and am involved in proposals to targets where appropriate. Given all of the above it is hard to have a typical day - which is part of the attraction of working here. It is the first time that Ernst & Young has put an Irish tax desk on the West Coast, so there is a lot of work to be done to make the business community in the area aware of that fact.

How much of your time do you spend outside Ireland?

At this early stage it is hard to say, but I would anticipate that over 95 per cent of my time will be spent in the US.

What was your initial reaction when you were offered this position abroad?

The position was advertised internally and it looked like a great opportunity to me. I was therefore delighted to get it, and I have not been disappointed so far. I have traveled with my wife and three children so I expected it to be a big move for all of us, but so far everything has gone well.

How does your operation fit strategically within the overall group's business?

Ernst & Young operates a ‘foreign desk’ program whereby tax professionals relocate for a couple of years from the US to other countries and vice versa. It is felt that this gives Ernst & Young an edge over its competitors in winning and retaining work. It is much more convenient for US companies to have someone on the ground over here particularly with the eight hour time difference between the West Coast and Ireland. It’s useful to be able to bring someone with local tax knowledge out to a US client to deal with issues there and then, or at least, identify the issues.

What’s the best thing about being located outside Ireland?
The weather! It is a great opportunity to work and live in a different culture, and to travel to some really interesting places. On the work side it will enable me to get a huge amount of experience in a relatively short period of time.

Looking back, how close is Ireland to the cutting edge of financial services?

Working as I do in the tax area, I am not as involved in pure financial services areas as finance professionals would be. However, Ireland has a reputation over here as a great place to do business for a number of reasons - work ethic, no language barriers (well almost), educated workforce, and the low corporate tax rates are attractive. Most US companies who decide to go into Europe will consider Ireland as one of their first location options.

What’s the worst thing about being abroad?

Being away from family and friends. The craic and the banter. Being out walking on one of those beautiful, crisp, clear winter days.

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