Ireland said on Tuesday it planned to shut down a much-criticized tax arrangement used by Apple to shelter over $40 billion from taxation—but will leave open an even bigger loophole that means the computer giant is unlikely to pay any more tax.
A U.S. Senate committee investigation revealed in May that Apple had cut billions from its tax bill by declaring companies registered in the Irish city of Cork as not tax resident in any country. Senator Carl Levin said the company had achieved the "holy grail of tax avoidance" with the structures.
Irish leaders protested angrily against the committee's characterization of Ireland as a facilitator of tax avoidance.
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Parliamentary hearings were subsequently held to review Ireland's tax rules amid concerns that damage to its reputation could jeopardize the foreign investment on which its economy relies heavily.
Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Tuesday that he planned to make it illegal for a company registered in Ireland to have no tax domicile anywhere.