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Island is looking at tax schemes used by multinationals

Bermuda’s role in tax avoidance schemes, such as those employed by multinationals like Google, is being examined, Premier Craig Cannonier said in a response to parliamentary questions.

“Does the Premier and his Government have any intention of extricating Bermuda from the tax avoidance networks comprised of countries such as Ireland, the British Virgin Islands and Luxembourg, which allow Bermuda-based global registered companies to considerably reduce their tax obligations in the countries in which their substantial business takes place?” asked Progressive Labour Party MP Rolfe Commissiong.

“Yes, we’ll continue to look at it. Yes,” Mr Cannonier said.

“In light of the fact that the aforementioned global companies are not part of the general insurance reinsurance risk management sectors why does Bermuda continue to facilitate these networks and/or allow Bermuda to be used by these companies?” Mr Commissiong then asked.

“It’s something that the Finance Ministry is continuing to take a look at,” the Premier responded.

Google avoids paying about $2 billion in taxes every year by shifting profits to a Bermuda subsidiary via Ireland and the Netherlands.

Earlier this week Mr Cannonier said that the UK should look at Ireland first if it wished to address Google’s tax avoidance strategy as Bermuda is “further down the chain.”

The European Union has estimated it is losing collectively about $1.3 trillion a year from tax avoidance schemes of multinationals such as Google, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks.

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Published June 24, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 24, 2013 at 12:07 am)

Island is looking at tax schemes used by multinationals

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