'Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich' saves Google €3.6bn in tax payments

The tech-giant is moving money from Ireland to the Netherlands and Bermuda to minimise its tax bill...

'Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich' saves Google €3.6bn in tax payments

Mark Lennihan / AP

Google saved more than €3.6bn in global taxes in 2015 through controversial tax avoidance mechanisms including the 'Double Irish' and 'Dutch Sandwich' - according to company filings in the Netherlands.

Up to €12bn of the company’s taxable profits last year originated from Google Ireland, which collects much of Google’s international advertising revenues.

This money was funneled through a Dutch company and then back through a separate Irish entity, Google Ireland Holdings Unlimited. This company is actually based in Bermuda which does not levy tax on corporate income, according to Bloomberg.

By moving most of its international profits to Bermuda, Google’s parent company, Alphabet was able to record an effective tax rate outside the US of 6.4%.

The total amount of sheltered profits held by the company outside the US was over $58bn at the end of last year.

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

The double Irish mechanism is no longer an option for companies that have not availed of it before and will be phased out fully by 2020.