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Success in Taxing Times

Strategic partnerships and innovative diversification have allowed Irish-owned tax company taxback.com to continue expanding in Ireland and internationally in tough economic times.

EVERYONE is looking to save money these days and Irish company taxback.com has built a booming business around making that happen. Based in Kilkenny and led by a team of entrepreneurial executives, the taxback.com business ethos is simple – put money back into clients’ pockets. “Our business is very simple,” says founder and CEO Terry Clune.

Simple Business Ethos

We look at what people want and what businesses want and then we try to give it to them.” The company specialises in providing services for individual and business clients who travel for work including tax reclaim, money transfers and visa applications. Many businesses that operate in the EU or further abroad are not aware of how or do not have the resources to reclaim foreign VAT charged on expenses such as conferences, fuel, accommodation and market research.

Taxback.com’s corporate VAT solutions can reclaim VAT from 38 countries and for some Irish companies this can be worth millions. The company also provides international payments services for the corporate sector which enables businesses and individuals to make international money transfers faster, cheaper and easier than what most banks can offer. Saving people money has proved successful for taxback.com

Rapid Growth

The company has experienced growth of 40% over recent years with annual turnover now reaching €90m. Last October taxback.com founder and CEO Terry Clune was named the 2009 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Ireland. Clune formulated the taxback.com business concept while working in Germany as a student. He had organised for 110 Trinity College classmates to spend a summer working in Germany and once back in Ireland, set about organising tax refunds for everyone at £20 a pop. Two years later in 1996 the first taxback.com office opened on Aston Quay.

From its beginnings as a student business, taxback.com is now a global corporation with clients in over 200 countries and a team of 630 staff in 26 offices across Europe, Australia, asia, the US, South America and Africa. Taxback.com’s successful growth is largely due to innovative diversification and reinvestment of corporate capital. In 2000 a change in US tax law meant the company’s core business of US tax refunds for J1 Visa students was nearly wiped out. That shake up forced the company to diversify and from that period came the new products and services that now make up a large proportion of the business.

The Importance of Innovation

“We innovated, and we have not stopped innovating since then,” says Clune. “Our business is highly diversified and we are not reliant on any one market. That is very important in the recession period.” Now, as well as still filing more than 130,000 income tax returns from 16 tax countries annually, the company organises corporate VAT refunds from 38 countries with a document value of €130m, more than 30,000 visa applications and 20,000 international money transfers for private clients and the education sector.

In 2009 the company signed a major global deal with Concur, the largest expense management company in the world, to assist its international clients travelling overseas in cutting their business costs through international VAT reclaim. Taxback.com’s customer-focused approach is based around taking complex and timeconsuming processes and making them simple, accessible and affordable – wherever the client may be in the world.

Services are available in 22 languages and clients can receive their refund in their currency in their local bank account. Taxback.com’s future is bright. The company continues to expand and recruit both in Ireland and globally and explore new market opportunities. Clune will be representing Ireland at the 2010 World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monte Carlo in May against winners for 40 other countries.
More info at: www.taxback.com

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