Ireland


'Ireland' Articles

Apple Facing European Commission's Tax Ruling Without a Lobbying Presence in Brussels

Following the European Commission's ruling that Apple must pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes because of its "undue tax benefits" in Ireland, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Apple is facing the EC "without the army of lobbyists and public relations campaigners typical in such fights." The company's lack of a lobbying presence in Europe isn't new, however, as it spent less than €900,000 lobbying European institutions in 2015. According to public filings, in total Apple "doesn't employ any full-time lobbyists" in Brussels, and only five people work part-time. In contrast, Google spent "at least" €4.25 million in 2015, and employs more than ten people in lobbying positions in the European capital. Apple's retail location in Brussels Sources familiar with the matter stated that Apple's "lack of a presence in the EU capital" led to it being unsuccessful in gathering information over the past few years about the impending tax evasion ruling from the European Commission. Still, a source close to the commission's competition office theorized that a heavier lobbying presence might not have been all that helpful for Apple in the end, since the lobbying tactics of a company like Google have not gotten it out of "many antitrust investigations" over the past few years. Google’s experience with the commission’s many antitrust investigations over the years may suggest a bigger Apple lobbying presence in Brussels wouldn’t have had a meaningful impact on the regulator’s decision. People familiar with the directorate say there is

Ireland Agrees to Appeal European Commission's Apple Tax Ruling

Ireland's coalition government has agreed to appeal the European Commission's ruling that it must collect 13 billion euros in back taxes from Apple, according to Reuters. A motion will come before the country's Parliament on Wednesday seeking an endorsement of that decision, a government spokesperson said. It was always expected that both Apple and Ireland would appeal any adverse decision, as insisted by the country's finance minister Michael Noonan, but Ireland's cabinet members became divided on the matter following the ruling. After meeting on Friday, however, the cabinet has seemingly come together and agreed to join Apple's fight against the European Commission. Earlier this week, the European Commission ruled that Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland, following a three-year inquiry into the company's tax arrangements in the country. The investigation's results showed that Apple allegedly paid between 0.005% and 1% in taxes in Ireland between 2003 and 2014, compared to the the country's headline 12.5% corporate tax rate. Apple CEO Tim Cook called the findings "total political crap" and described the lower end 0.005% tax rate as a "false number." In an open letter, Cook said Apple is confident the decision "will be reversed," but the appeal process could take several years in European courts. Apple has previously said it fully complies with international tax law and is the largest taxpayer in the world. Cook also said that Apple has "provisioned several billion dollars for the U.S. for payment," and he forecasted that it could repatriate that

Tim Cook Calls Apple's Irish Tax Avoidance Accusations 'Total Political Crap'

Apple CEO Tim Cook today spoke with Paschal Sheehy, the host of Irish radio show Morning Ireland, providing more commentary on the situation with the European Commission and its decision to make Apple pay 13 billion euros in back taxes from a period between 2003 and 2014. Cook's stance falls in line with his open letter on the situation from earlier in the week, first providing backstory about Apple's history in Ireland and then remaining hopeful that the ruling will ultimately be overturned. His wording -- calling the ruling "political crap" -- also echoes an interview from late last year surrounding a similar tax evasion topic. The radio show marks the first interview Cook has made since the European Commission's ruling earlier in the week. He calls the decision "wrongheaded," and specifically refers to the 0.005 percent tax rate claim as a "false number." In its ruling, the EC stated that Apple paid only a 0.005 percent tax on its European profits, but Cook affirmed that Apple is "subject to the statutory rate in Ireland of 12.5 percent," and that the company "paid $400m in taxes in 2014." When asked directly how he feels when Apple is painted as gaining an "illegal" advantage over tax benefits, Cook mentioned his frustrations over the ruling, and compared it to the company's reaction to the FBI drama earlier in the year, saying Apple never chooses the "easy thing" over the "right thing." In this vein, responding to the question of whether Apple has anything to apologize for or if it did anything wrong, Cook said succinctly "no, we haven't done anything

Apple Expects Appeal of Irish Tax Ruling to Take 'Several Years' With No Impact on Near-Term Financial Results

Following the European Commission's ruling that Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland, and must pay $14.5 billion in back taxes to the country, the company has published a new FAQ that addresses potential concerns investors may have about the decision and the effect on its bottom line. Apple started out by confirming the decision is not final and that it plans to appeal. The company is "confident" the ruling "will be overturned" by courts in the European Union, but it notes the process is "likely to take several years." In the meantime, Apple does not expect any near-term impact on its financial results.How does this decision impact Apple’s near-term financial results? Will you take a tax charge? Does this alter your previous guidance? We do not expect any near-term impact on our financial results nor a restatement of previous results from this decision. We have previously accrued U.S. taxes related to the income in question. The tax rate guidance for Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter that we provided on July 26, 2016 does not change as a result of this decision.Apple added that it does not currently expect the decision to have an impact on its tax rate or cash balance going forward, but the company anticipates it will place an unspecified amount of cash in an escrow account. Apple expects the amount will be reported as restricted cash on its balance sheet. The European Commission's ruling followed a three-year inquiry into Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland, where it paid between 0.005% and 1% in taxes from 2003 through 2014, compared to the country's

Tim Cook Pens Open Letter on Tax Evasion Claims, Says Apple is Confident Decision 'Will be Reversed'

Tim Cook has posted an open letter on Apple's website in response to the European Commission's ruling that Apple must pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes dating from 2003 through 2014. Cook's letter begins by discussing Apple's long history in Ireland, which dates back to a small facility that housed 60 employees in 1980. That statistic has now expanded to 6,000 employees across Ireland in total, benefiting both the company and local economies. As it's grown, Cook says that Apple has become "the largest taxpayer in the world," and that "Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe." Directly confronting the European Commission's ruling, Cook claims that the EC has "launched an effort to rewrite Apple's history in Europe." As responsible corporate citizens, we are also proud of our contributions to local economies across Europe, and to communities everywhere. As our business has grown over the years, we have become the largest taxpayer in Ireland, the largest taxpayer in the United States, and the largest taxpayer in the world. Over the years, we received guidance from Irish tax authorities on how to comply correctly with Irish tax law — the same kind of guidance available to any company doing business there. In Ireland and in every country where we operate, Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe. The Apple CEO points out that the claim -- stating Ireland gave Apple a "special deal" on its taxes -- is completely false and "has no basis in fact or in law." Cook thinks the commission's ruling also has the potential to set a

Apple Must Repay $14.5 Billion in Back Taxes, EU Commission Rules

Apple must repay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes dating back to 2003-2014, the European Commission has ruled (via BBC). The Apple tax ruling was confirmed this morning, after the judgement was leaked to the media yesterday. In unequivocal wording, the EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Apple's tax benefits in Ireland are "illegal". "The Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple. This is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid." Vestiges said this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 percent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 percent in 2014. Therefore in 2014 Apple paid 0.005 percent tax on EU profits, which means that "For every million euros in profits, it (Apple) paid just €500 in taxes," said Vestager. "This is based on an in-depth investigation, it's based on the facts. I also think and hope that if it goes to the courts that it will be upheld by the European Court." According to the EC's press release, the existing tax rulings endorsed a way to establish the taxable profits for two Irish incorporated companies of the Apple group (Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe), which did not correspond to economic reality: "Almost all sales profits recorded by the two companies were internally attributed to a 'head office'. The Commission's assessment showed that these 'head offices' existed only on paper and could

European Commission Rules Apple Received Illegal State Aid From Ireland, Owes Billions in Back Taxes

The European Commission on Tuesday will rule that Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland, according to a 130-page judgment known by Financial Times.Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager circulated the final ruling to her counterparts in the EU’s executive branch only on Monday morning, deploying a fast-track procedure in a bid to minimize leaks. The usual notice period is two weeks.The ruling follows a three-year investigation into Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland, where it has reportedly paid around 2% or less in taxes compared to the country's headline 12.5% corporate tax rate. The commission's ruling asks Dublin to raise a new tax assessment on Apple, which could have to restate its accounts as a result of the ruling, according to the report. One area of focus is Apple's tax arrangements for its intellectual property assets, which is "a hotly disputed area likely to lead to a large claim for back taxes." The ruling means Apple could owe several billions of euros in back taxes. JPMorgan estimated the company could be forced to pay up to 19 billion euros ($21.2 billion) in back taxes, although a previous study placed the figure around $8 billion, and some analysts believe the amount could be a comparatively lower $1 billion. Europe's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager will provide an actual estimate of Apple's potential tax bill when the European Commission's findings are publicly released on Tuesday, according to the report. Apple declined to comment on the matter, reiterating that the company fully complies with international tax

U.S. Warns Apple Tax Probe in Europe Could Set 'Undesirable Precedent'

Just weeks before the European Commission is expected to make a decision in its landmark Apple tax probe, the U.S. Treasury department has criticized the Brussels-based body for "threatening international agreements on tax reform," and warned that a decision against the iPhone maker could "set an undesirable precedent." Apple's offices in Cork, Ireland According to Financial Times, the U.S. Treasury said the European Commission is becoming a "supranational tax authority," going beyond acceptable enforcement of competition and state aid law. The U.S. has previously called out Brussels for setting unfair and "disturbing" precedents and singling out U.S. companies. Brussels has accused Apple of sheltering tens of billions of dollars in Ireland, partly in exchange for creating jobs in the country, a deal that could be considered illegal state aid. Apple operates multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to pay significantly less tax outside of the U.S., where it earns up to two-thirds of its revenue. Apple's $64.1 billion in profits generated from 2004 to 2012 could be subject to a higher 12.5% tax rate, compared to the sub-2% it has paid in Ireland, in which case it could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes. Apple insists that it is the largest taxpayer in the world and pays every cent of tax it owes under current laws. A decision in the tax probe is expected in September or October, according to Ireland's finance minister Michael Noonan. Apple CEO Tim Cook said last month that the company would appeal any unfavorable ruling against the company. Note: Due to the

Nobel-Winning Economist Calls Apple's Irish Tax Arrangement 'Fraud'

Joseph Stiglitz, an economic professor at Columbia University and 2001 recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, has described Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland as "a fraud" in a recent interview with Bloomberg TV."Here we have the largest corporation in capitalization not only in America, but in the world, bigger than GM was at its peak, and claiming that most of its profits originate from about a few hundred people working in Ireland -- that’s a fraud,” Stiglitz said. “A tax law that encourages American firms to keep jobs abroad is wrong, and I think we can get a consensus in America to get that changed."Under current U.S. laws, Apple is able to shift billions of dollars in profits to Ireland, where it operates multiple subsidiaries, sheltering those earnings from up to a 35 percent corporate tax rate in the United States. Ireland has a much lower corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, but Apple is believed to have a sweetheart deal with Ireland that sees it pay less than 2 percent in exchange for creating jobs in the country. Apple has been the subject of a European Commission probe related to its Irish tax arrangements since June 2014, with the executive body investigating whether the deal constitutes illegal state aid. Ireland's finance minister Michael Noonan recently said he expects a decision to be reached by September or October, and Apple could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes depending on the outcome. Apple insists it is the largest taxpayer in the world and that it pays every cent of tax it owes under current laws. In a late 2015

Ireland Expects EU to Reach Decision in Apple Tax Probe by October

A decision in the European Commission probe of Apple's alleged "sweetheart tax deal" in Ireland is expected to be reached by September or October, according to Ireland's finance minister Michael Noonan (via Reuters)."Commissioner Vestager indicated to me that there wouldn't be a decision in July but there would probably be a decision early in the autumn. My expectation is September or early October," Michael Noonan told a news conference after meeting antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager on Tuesday.Apple is accused of sheltering tens of billions of dollars in Ireland in exchange for creating jobs in the country, a deal that could be considered illegal state aid. The company operates multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to pay significantly less tax outside of the U.S., where it earns up to two-thirds of its revenue. Apple's $64.1 billion in profits generated from 2004 to 2012 could be subject to a higher 12.5% tax rate, compared to the less than 2% that it pays, in which case it could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes. Apple insists that it is the largest taxpayer in the world and pays every cent of tax it owes under current laws. A decision in the tax probe was originally expected in late 2015, but the European Commission's requests for additional information pushed the investigation into 2016. Apple is one of several multinational corporations to be scrutinized for corporate tax avoidance in Europe recently, alongside Google, McDonald's, IKEA, and others. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in

Apple to Attend EU Hearing on Tuesday to Discuss Taxes

Apple, Google, McDonald's, and IKEA representatives will be in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss their tax deals in Europe, reports Reuters. The hearing will be hosted by the European Parliament's tax committee, but the lawmakers do not have the power to order any changes, according to the report. Nevertheless, the meeting should raise some important questions about each company's compliance with EU tax rules in the past and present. Apple is one of several multinational corporations that have been targeted for possible corporate tax avoidance in Europe. In September 2014, the European Commission formally accused the iPhone maker of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland, where it has reportedly paid a reduced tax rate of around 1.8% on it overseas profits. Apple operates multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to pay significantly less tax outside of the U.S., where it earns up to 60% of its revenue. The company's $64.1 billion in profits generated from 2004 to 2012 could be subject to a higher 12.5% tax rate, in which case it would owe more than $8 billion in back taxes. A decision in the tax probe was originally expected in late 2015, but the European Commission's request for additional information has pushed the investigation into 2016. Last week, EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager told reporters "don't hold your breath" in terms of when the commission will make a decision. Apple previously said it pays all of its taxes and added that it would appeal any decision made against the company. Update: While Reuters says the hearing will take place on

EU Competition Chief on Apple Tax Probe: 'Don't Hold Your Breath'

A decision in the European Commission's probe of Apple's tax affairs in Ireland may not be reached soon, according to EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager (via Bloomberg).“Don’t hold your breath,” she told reporters in Brussels on Monday about the timing of decisions targeting Apple and online shopping giant Amazon.com Inc, whose tax affairs in Luxembourg are also under intense scrutiny. “I’m just warning you.”Apple is one of several multinational corporations, alongside Amazon, McDonald's, Starbucks, and others, that have been targeted for possible corporate tax avoidance in Europe. Brussels launched the probe in June 2014, and it formally accused the iPhone maker of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland three months later. If Apple's $64.1 billion in profits generated from 2004 to 2012 are subjected to a 12.5% tax rate, compared to its current foreign tax rate of about 1.8%, the company could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes. Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing, and vows to appeal any decision that goes against the company. Apple operates multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to pay significantly less tax outside of the U.S., where it earns up to 60% of its revenue. A decision in the tax probe was originally expected in late 2015, but the European Commission's request for additional information has pushed the investigation into 2016. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow

Apple Could Owe More Than $8 Billion in European Tax Probe

Apple could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes if the European Commission finds issue with the iPhone maker's corporate tax policies in Ireland, according to analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence. Apple is one of several multinational corporations that have been scrutinized for corporate tax avoidance in Europe over the past few years. The European Commission began Apple's tax probe in June 2014, and formally accused the iPhone maker of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland three months later. The company's $64.1 billion in profit generated from 2004 to 2012 could be subject to a 12.5% tax rate, compared to its current foreign tax rate of about 1.8%, depending on the outcome of the investigation. A decision in the probe is expected in Brussels by March, possibly after the 2016 Irish election. Apple's tax breakdown in Ireland (Image: Bloomberg Intelligence) Apple operates multiple subsidiary companies in Ireland to pay significantly less tax outside the U.S., where it earns about 55% of its revenue. Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing, and both the company and Ireland vow to take the European Commission to court over any negative verdict. Last month, Apple agreed to pay 318 million euros in Italy to settle an investigation that accused the company of booking profits generated in Italy through an Irish subsidiary, in an effort to lower its taxable income base and save 879 million euros between 2008 and 2013. Italian regulators concluded that tax probe in March. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion

European Probe of Apple's Irish Tax Policies Extended to 2016

A decision in the European Commission probe of Ireland's alleged "sweetheart tax deal" with Apple will likely be delayed until after the Irish elections in early 2016, as Financial Times reports the executive cabinet has now requested supplementary questionnaires in the lengthy investigation. The European Commission began Apple's Irish tax probe in June 2014, and the Brussels-based executive body formally accused the iPhone maker of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland in September 2014. A decision was originally expected earlier this year, but the additional information requested will likely cause further delays. Apple's tax policies have been scrutinized on numerous occasions over the past three years, as the company is said to utilize multiple subsidiary companies located in the Irish city of Cork to move money around without significant tax penalties. Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing, and Ireland vows to take the European Commission to court over any negative ruling, according to the report. Apple's Irish tax probe is part of a larger crackdown by the European Commission on possible corporate tax avoidance in EU countries. Earlier this month, the commission reportedly accused McDonald's of "benefiting from arrangements that allowed it to pay no tax on European royalties in Luxembourg," and Fiat and Starbucks were ordered in October to repay up to €30 million in back

Apple to Create 1,000 New Jobs in Ireland Amid Tax Probe

Apple plans to hire an additional 1,000 employees at its Cork offices in Ireland, a country where the iPhone maker shelters multi-billion-dollar profits from corporate taxes in the United States, according to Reuters. Apple's offices in Cork, Ireland Ireland's main foreign investment agency, the IDA, said Apple was to add 1,000 jobs to its office in Cork by mid-2017 from 5,000 at present. It said the company had also added 1,000 jobs in the past year.In September 2014, the European Commission accused Apple of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland in return for maintaining jobs. A decision in the investigation is due after Christmas, according to Ireland's finance minister Michael Noonan. Apple’s Tim Cook says Cork operations won't be affected by EC tax investigation outcome. Full interview on 6.1 news https://t.co/sdY8mbdMey— RTÉ News (@rtenews) November 11, 2015 Apple has paid a corporate tax rate of about 2.5% in Ireland on $109 billion in profits over the past five years, far less than an average 12.5% paid by many other companies in the country. The U.S. has an average corporate tax rate of about 15% to

Apple Watch Launches in Austria, Denmark and Ireland September 25

Apple has updated its regional websites for Austria, Denmark and Ireland to announce the Apple Watch will be available on September 25. Apple Watch models with prices were also added to the Apple Store app in Norway and Poland, but no release dates have been listed in either country. Austria - Apple Watch Sport: €399 to €449 - Apple Watch: €649 to €1,249 - Apple Watch Edition: €11,000 to €18,000 Denmark - Apple Watch Sport: 3.099,00 kr. to 3.499,00 kr. - Apple Watch: 4.999,00 kr. to 9.699,00 kr. - Apple Watch Edition: 85.000,00 kr. to 140.000,00 kr. Ireland - Apple Watch Sport: €429 to €479 - Apple Watch: €679 to €1,279 - Apple Watch Edition: €11,300 to €18,500 MacRumors previously reported the Apple Watch was expected to launch in Austria, Denmark and India this month, leaving India as the sole country of the three that has yet to announce an Apple Watch release date. Austria, Denmark and Ireland will be part of the fifth Apple Watch launch wave: April 24: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, U.K. and U.S. June 26: Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan July 17: The Netherlands, Sweden, Thailand July 31: New Zealand, Russia, Turkey September 25: Austria, Denmark, Ireland Apple Watch sales have also expanded to dozens of Apple Premium Resellers