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Ireland the lesser tax evil

A Bermuda-based multinational company has followed others from the Island in applying to Ireland's Commercial Court to relocate to the Republic for tax purposes, this following the administration's recent move, unveiled in President Obama's State of the Union speech, to tighten up the way the U.S. taxes American corporations operating overseas.

The Willis Group, a major player in the insurance industry, one that employs about 22,000 people globally, is going about the transfer by setting up a new holding company in Dublin that would serve as the parent company for the firm. The move requires Irish court approval.

Meanwhile, Seagate Technology, which recently announced a jobs expansion at its Derry facility, has indicted its desire to move its legal headquarters from the Cayman Islands to Ireland.

If Ireland was out of favor to a degree with U.S. authorities, the Caymans are viewed as being the leading location for U.S. corporations running shy of U.S. corporate tax levels.

Seagate now prefers Ireland to the Caymans because, according to the company, the Republic "offers a stable long-term legal and regulatory environment with the financial and legal infrastructure to meet our needs."

The company also pointed to Ireland's position in the European Union and the fact that Ireland enjoyed a highly favorable perception among regulatory authorities, investors, creditors and Seagate's worldwide customers.

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