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Football agent on the ball for low tax rate

The agents who represent footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and manager Jose Mourinho are availing of Ireland's 12.5pc corporate tax rate after the Revenue Commissioners decided their firm had "real and continuous'' links with Ireland.

Gestifute International, with an address close to the IFSC, is associated with Europe's most powerful football agent, Jorge Mendes, who represents the cream of Europe's professional footballers and managers.

According to accounts for the company, based at an office in Foley Street, Dublin, the firm is making annual profits from its Irish operation of €4.7m. The operations of the business are perfectly legal. A recent court case involving Gestifute first threw up a link with Ireland.

According to the accounts, a dividend of €8.5m was paid to shareholders in 2009, leaving just €1.3m of equity in the firm.

Documents seen by the Irish Independent show that in 2006 the Revenue said that the firm had links with "one or more economic activities carried on in the State''.

Irish Independent