| 8°C Dublin

'We're not helping Apple to dodge tax'

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore has insisted that our tax system is "transparent and clear" after a US Senate committee accused Ireland of aiding Apple to slice its tax bill.

Investigators said that Apple used loopholes for international profits which allowed it to save the tax on $44bn.

The committee said the Irish Government negotiated a special tax arrangement with Apple, resulting in it paying corporation tax of less than 2pc.



Although the committee insisted that Apple had not done anything illegal, it accused the company of seeking the "Holy Grail of tax avoidance".

This is the third time in one week that Ireland has come under the spotlight, accused of being a tax haven for international companies.

Google's use of its European headquarters in Dublin to minimise its tax bill in Britain came under scrutiny last week.

All of its UK sales are booked through Ireland and only paid about £10m in corporation tax over the period 2006-11. Marks & Spencer also came in for criticism for booking sales through Ireland to avoid taxes.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore said that Ireland had 69 tax agreements with countries and said that the country had a strong "anti-tax avoidance regime".

He said the government would examine the US Senate committee report.

"But let's be clear about this. Ireland has a very strong, very transparent tax regime," he said.

"We want to see tax evasion and loopholes closed so that everybody pays their due tax including all companies."