MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Irish finance minister Michael Noonan denied "emphatically" a recent report putting Boston Scientific’s (NYSE:BSX) and Abbott’s (NYSE:ABT) effective corporate tax rates in the country at 4% and 0%, respectively.
The report had claimed that Boston Scientific paid $60 million in taxes on revenues of $1.4 billion in 2011, and that an Abbott subsidiary paid no taxes at all on profits of $1.8 billion, the Irish Examiner reported. The authors further suggested a sort of minimum corporate tax, which Noonan also rejected.
"The tax rates quoted are, emphatically, not the rate of tax paid by such companies, or by any company, on their Irish activities," Noonan told reporters. "Neither I, nor my department, would be in a position to introduce a minimum ‘effective rate’ in Ireland in the way suggested."
Noonan attributed the report’s findings to various methods of calculating a company’s effective tax rate. He cited a different study, released this year by the World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which put Ireland’s effective corporate tax rates closer to the 12.5% mark written into law.
"Some other countries have a high headline rate of corporation tax which is then supplemented by a high number of tax reliefs which reduce the overall rate of tax paid," Noon told the Irish Examiner. "By contrast, the approach in Ireland is transparent: we have a competitive headline rate of corporation tax which is applied to a broad base."
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