I'm a software developer freelancer with Croatian citizenship, and I need to start a company in order to pay income tax.
It's my understanding that my home country will incur 20-40% tax based on my income, whereas Ireland will only incur up to 12.5% (please correct me if I'm wrong) (source)
But, can I, as a Croatian, start a company in Ireland, pay my taxes to Republic of Ireland, while not living there? Keep in mind I have no problems flying there to take care of the company registration and and open a bank account. Would it be 100% legal? I actually don't spend a lot of tie in my home country either - I travel around a lot (in 2016 I've only lived in my home country for about 2 months).
Here are two important excerpts from citizensinformation.ie, a website dedicated to providing information about Ireland:
Foreign nationals Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland do not need permission to set up a business in Ireland. Generally, non-EEA nationals must get permission from the Minister for Justice and Equality in order to set up a business in Ireland. They may be eligible to apply for the Immigrant Investor Programme or the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme. If they wish to start a retail, catering, personal services or similar business they should apply for the business permission scheme.
Sole trader It is relatively simple to set up as a sole trader but if your business fails, your personal assets could be used to pay your creditors. Your main legal obligation is that you must register as a self-employed person with Revenue (see ‘Tax and PRSI’ below). If you wish to use a business name you must register your business name with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).
Croatia is in the EEA/EU, but is a provisional member. For example, a few months ago I wanted to get employed in Netherlands, but it wasn't possible without a work permit.
Also, I've no idea about accounting, taxes, opening a company, and all, so forgive me and correct me if I've messed something up (I'm in the process of seeking an accountant to help me out).
TL;DR I am looking for the best way to pay my income taxes in the EU.
EDIT I forgot to mention that there's a requirement to have a physical address in Ireland. Is it legal to use one of the virtual offices as address? There's a bunch of sites online that provide this service (if you're unaware of this, please Google "virtual office address ireland", since I don't want to spam).