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Semi-states avoid tax by using Dutch companies

Published 04/03/2007

Three semi-state companies have been legally able to avoid paying corporation tax here by moving more than €90m through the accounts of Dutch holding companies.

According to the Irish Mail on Sunday, the ESB, An Post and Aer Rianta have been using so-called mailbox companies in Amsterdam for nearly 10 years.

It maintains the ESB transferred more than €69m in profits to an Amsterdam-based holding company in the 1990s.

An Post set up AN Post BV in May 2002 and has been used to clear almost €18m in inter-company loans.

Aer Rianta, meanwhile, has put nearly €4m through the books of their mailbox company, Aer Rianta International Netherlands BV

Opposition parties have called for an investigation by Finance Minister Brian Cowen and the Revenue Commissioners.

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