By Daniel Hunter

Apple are set to see a lucrative tax loophole in Ireland closed.

At present the loophole, which allows Apple and other firms to funnel profits into Irish subsidiaries or "ghost companies" that had no declared tax residency anywhere in the world, allows them to shelter $40 billion (£25 billion).

On Tuesday, the Irish government said it planned to make it illegal for a company to have no tax domicile.

But firms would be able to nominate any country as their tax residence.

That includes countries such as Bermuda which offer zero tax rates.

Ireland's Finance Minister Michael Noonan said his country was committed to reform.

"Let me be crystal clear. Ireland wants to be part of the solution to this global tax challenge, not part of the problem," he said.

Because of that, tax experts say that the change announced on Tuesday will not make much difference to the amount of tax paid by Apple.

Google and Microsoft have Irish subsidiaries that legally channel money to Bermuda where they pay zero tax.

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