Internet giant Google paid a mere €8 million ($10 million) in Irish taxes, despite generating a whopping €12.5billion ($15.6 billion) in revenue last year.
Google, who has their Europe, Middle East, and Africa headquarters based in Dublin, take advantage of Ireland’s low corporate tax rate. It employs more than 2,500 people at the company’s HQ on Barrow Street, making it one of Ireland’s largest multinational employers.
The technology leader routes much of the profit from its Irish operation via Hollan to Bermuda, in a completely legal scheme.
The accounts for Google Ireland, announced on Friday, show that the company generated a gross profit of just over €9 billion ($11 billion) in 2011. It’s administrative expenses totaled the same amount..
As a result it made a pre-tax profit of €24.3million, ( $31.6 million) which left the company with a mere €8 million ( $10 million) bill for the Irish Revenue Commissioners.
Google Ireland head John Herlihy called 2011 "a period of sustained growth in our Europe, Middle East, and African operations".
"Turnover, revenues and employment all grew strongly, as we continue to reap the rewards of the growth in the digital economy. Strong growth in our core business of search advertising was fuelled by the continued shift of consumers and advertisers to the online marketplace.
"We also completed the acquisition of our three office buildings on Barrow Street, which provides us with the capacity we need for future growth."
In stark contract to Ireland's competitive tax zone, a recent analysis by Cato Institute ranked the US fourth among 90 countries for the highest corporate tax rate.
The overall rate of 35.6 percent “is almost twice the average rate for the 90 countries studied, and it is also the highest rate among the major industrial nations,” the study says.
“These results underscore the need for U.S. policymakers to tackle corporate tax reform.”