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US firms' tax havens

US-based global firms are pushing their profits into the tax havens of Ireland, Bermuda and Switzerland but are not employing big numbers in these countries, a report has identified.

The Congressional Research Service found that the firms reported 43pc of their overseas profits in the tax havens in 2008, but hired only 4pc of their foreign workforce in these countries.

CRS, a non-partisan research arm of Congress used by lawmakers, analysed data compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a unit of the Commerce Department.

"By all indicators examined in this report, profit shifting has generally trended upward over time," the report said.