Sunday 20 April 2014

German multinational uses Ireland to avoid €100m annual tax bill

GERMAN software giant SAP uses Ireland to avoid paying taxes of up to €100m a year, according to a special report by global news agency Reuters.

The news wire, which has been one of the most authoritative sources of information on the global financial crisis, claimed that while Ireland accounted for less than 1pc of SAP’s sales, it is the home base for 20pc of its profits.

The revelations heap yet further pressure on the Irish government amid a European probe into how Ireland levies taxes on several multi-national companies.

And it also means that the controversy surrounding the state’s tax regime does not simply encompass US companies but raises questions about EU corporations as well.

SAP, which is headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, provides software for businesses to process and analyse transactions and is the fourth largest firm in Germany.

The company told Reuters that profits reported in Ireland reflected genuine economic activity and that the structure was driven by operational rather than tax motives.

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