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Revenue

IRELAND'S corporate tax regime has come under renewed pressure from British MPs.

They have described Google's tax arrangements as "contrived" and called on the UK tax authority to vigorously investigate whether the company was acting within the law.

From 2006 to 2011, Google generated $18bn (€13.5bn) in revenues from Britain, according to statutory filings, and paid $16m (€12m) in taxes.

Its low tax bill is a result of channelling revenues through Ireland, from where most revenue is sent to Bermuda, without any income taxes being paid anywhere in the chain.

The British parliamentary investigation was prompted by reports that the company employed staff in sales roles in London, even though it had told the authorities in November its British staff were not selling to UK clients.

Google said it complies with all British tax rules and that it was up to politicians to change the law if they were unhappy with the outcome. Last month, US Senator Carl Levin was critical of computer giant Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland.

Mr Levin said Apple had "quietly negotiated" an income tax rate of less than 2pc with the Irish Government, way below the statutory rate of 12.5pc. The allegations were strongly denied by the Irish Government, including by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Google boss Eric Schmidt said last month he was "perplexed" by the controversy. He insisted the company paid everything it was legally required to pay.


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