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Ireland aims to close tax loophole Apple has exploited

Mel Martin

If the Irish government's plans come together, the tax loophole that Apple, Microsoft, Google and other companies have been using for years will be closed up. Reuters and other news services are reporting that the Irish Government intends to close the loophole, although another will remain.

Last May, a US Senate investigation revealed that Apple had sheltered billions in assets by declaring companies registered in the Irish City of Cork as not tax resident in any country.

Michael Noonan, the Irish Finance Minister declared Tuesday that he was going to make it against Irish law for an Irish-registered company to have no tax domicile anywhere.

Apple and the other companies could still avoid big tax bills by nominating Bermuda, for example, as its tax residence, or any other country that does not charge corporate income tax.

During the Senate hearings Senator Carl Levin said Apple had achieved "...the 'Holy Grail' of tax avoidance."

Apple's tax avoidance policies were also defended by some current and past members of the Senate, saying there was nothing illegal in the practice, but Ireland was welcome to change its laws. Now, it appears, that will happen.

[via Reuters]

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