May 26, 2013 / 10:18 AM / 6 years ago

Ireland considering reform of corporate tax system: paper

Apple Operations International, a subsidiary of Apple Inc, is seen in Hollyhill, Cork, in the south of Ireland May 21, 2013. REUTERS/Michael MacSweeney

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Irish government is examining options to close a loophole in its tax system that has allowed multinational companies to significantly reduce taxes they pay on profits, the Sunday Business Post newspaper reported.

Ireland has been criticized by British and U.S. legislators in recent weeks for the fact that multinationals like Apple and Google reduced their global tax bills by channeling profits through Irish subsidiaries.

The Sunday Business Post said Ireland’s finance ministry was examining options to phase out the “Double Irish”, a tax avoidance technique in which multinationals funnel profits through two linked Irish subsidiaries.

Google’s international headquarters in Dublin made tax-deductible payments to a Bermudan subsidiary via a Dutch affiliate in a related arrangement known as a “Double Irish Dutch sandwich.”

The Sunday Business Post did not detail what changes might be made to the Irish tax system.

A spokesman for Ireland’s finance ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Irish government ministers have said the country’s tax system is fair and transparent and that international efforts are needed to curb large scale tax avoidance by multinational companies.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford

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