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Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

Opening Bell: Google's shrinking tax bill, Fiscal tensions, hiding in Ikea

by December 22, 2016 General

Alphabet’s Google managed to shave $3.6bn off of its global tax bill by transferring €14.9bn to a shell company in Bermuda, according to new regulatory filings in the Netherlands.

Bloomberg reports that close to €12bn from its Irish operation was funneled through the Dutch company – while the remainder of the money came from Singapore.

These funds were then moved to the holding company in Bermuda.

A spokesperson from the company said: “Google complies with the tax laws in every country where we operate.”


An email obtained under the freedom of information act reveals that one of the most senior civil servants in the Department of Public Expenditure said that the Fiscal Council’s work lacks “basic coherence.”

In an email released to The Irish Times, assistant secretary William Beausang said that the body had ignored offers to work directly with staff from the Department.

He told its chief economist, Thomas Conefrey and its chairman Prof John McHale that he was disappointed that there had not been more communication between the Council and the Department before it issued its pre-budget statement, warning that the Government could be spending too much.

In the reply, the Fiscal Council raised the issue of the Department’s spending estimates being revised upwards and emphasised the importance of multi-year financial planning. The civil servant again stressed the need for greater engagement between the two parties.


Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has been moved back onto the US list of “notorious markets” due to counterfeit good being sold on the site.

It had been removed from the list four years ago – but US authorities have ruled that its Taobao platform is being used to sell a high level of fake branded products.

The firm rejected these findings – and suggested that the “current political climate” in the US could have played a role in the decision.


And finally, Ikea is warning people to stop sneaking into its stores for illegal sleepovers – saying the craze is “overrated” and will get you in trouble with the law.

The trend is thought to have have been started by two teenagers in Belgium – who put a film of their adventures online in the summer.

The furniture chain says ten incidents have been recorded in the past year.