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Irish Meet Common Sense Tax Haven Status on Apple, Levin Says

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May 31 (Bloomberg) -- Senator Carl Levin and Senator John McCain said that testimony by Apple Inc. executives, including Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, corroborates that the company had a special arrangement with the Irish government to cut its tax bill.

“Most reasonable people would agree that negotiating special tax arrangements that allow companies to pay little or no income tax meets a common-sense definition of a tax haven.” Levin and McCain said in a reponse to a letter from Michael Collins, Ireland’s ambassador to the U.S., released today.

Ireland provides no special tax concessions for individual companies, Collins said, adding the companies at the center of controversy aren’t tax resident in Ireland.

Investigations found that Apple avoided paying income taxes on billions of dollars of profit during the past four years in part by moving patent rights to a web of offshore subsidiaries that pay virtually no income taxes. Cook said at a conference this week that the company doesn’t use “tax gimmicks.”

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dara Doyle at