An Irish subsidiary of Microsoft made a profit of $315bn (£222bn) last year but paid no corporation tax, as it is “resident” for tax purposes in Bermuda, which does not levy corporation tax and equal to nearly three-quarters of Ireland’s entire gross domestic product – despite having zero employees.
The subsidiary, which collects licence fees for use of copyrighted Microsoft software around the world, recorded an annual profit of $314.7bn in the year to the end of June 2020, according to accounts filed at the Irish Companies Registration Office. Its profits jumped from just under $10bn the previous year and compare with Ireland’s 2020 GDP of €357bn ($437bn). The company paid a $24.5bn dividend to Microsoft Corporation during the financial year, followed by a further special dividend of $30.5bn.
Paul Monaghan, chief executive of the tax transparency campaign group the Fair Tax Foundation, said, “We have here a holding company that has posted $314.7bn in profits, which is a number not far short of Ireland’s entire national gross domestic product. Despite shareholder dividends of $55bn being paid out, not one cent in tax has been paid."