Michael Collins, Ireland’s ambassador to the United States, sent a letter to to Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) formally denying that his country gave any tax breaks to Ireland and decrying the allegations that Ireland is a “tax haven” to multinational corporations. Reports this week that Apple avoided paying massive sums in American taxes through a series of Irish holding corporations have caused a huge headache for the corporation.
In the letter (PDF), Collins said the country does not negotiate tax rates for specific companies, and that the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which both senators belong to, mischaracterized Irish tax rates. In a statement, Levin and McCain said that “Records obtained by the subcommittee clearly reflect that, for years, Apple paid Irish tax authorities a nominal rate, far below Ireland’s statutory rate of 12.5 percent, on trading income” as reported by Hillicon Valley. Ireland is home to a robust tech sector which enjoys more favorable tax rates than are available in much of the rest of Europe.