Apple’s Irish tax woes deepen as European watchdog finds ‘illegal state aid’ unacceptable

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2014

The European Commission publicized its ruling that Apple benefited from a favorable Irish tax rate, arguing that Apple’s funneling of revenues and earnings to Ireland, where the Cupertino firm cut a favorable tax deal with the Irish government in the late 1980s and early 1990s, constitutes illegal state aid, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Responding to these accusations, Apple issued a written statement denying it’s received preferential treatment from the government of Ireland. Apple is urging the need for corporate tax reform, insisting its tax arrangements in Ireland are perfectly legal. Read More

 

Tim Cook visits Irish government to talk tax evasion

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 31, 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook flew to Ireland today to meet with the country’s government officials and tour the company’s corporate office. Although the meeting agenda was shrouded in secrecy, media reported Cook and the head of government discussed tax loopholes and a change in the Irish laws that should prevent firms like Apple and Google to avoid declaring tax residency in either the U.S. or Ireland.

A loophole in Ireland’s corporate tax laws has enabled many of the world’s top corporations to operate as virtually stateless firms, ungoverned by any nation’s taxing authority… Read More

 

Ireland to alter tax laws in wake of Apple uproar

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 16, 2013

Ireland’s Finance Minister announced plans to close a loop-hole in the country’s corporate tax laws, eliminating the ability for companies such as Apple to operate as virtually ‘stateless’ firms ungoverned by any nation’s taxing authority. The change in the Irish laws means the iPhone maker cannot avoid declaring tax residency in either the U.S. or Ireland.

Earlier this year, Apple’s ability to funnel payments through a unit in Ireland to avoid paying taxes brought U.S. scrutiny by the Senate and testimony by Apple CEO Tim Cook… Read More

 

Ireland opposes grilling Apple and Google execs over tax shelters

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 5, 2013

Apple executives, and other tech titans under fire for their tax avoidance practices, can sigh with relief. An Irish committee voted earlier against asking Apple CEO Tim Cook and others about how they used the Irish tax laws to limit what they owe the IRS. Instead, a finance committee of the parliament will put European finance officials on the hot seat.

An investigation by a U.S. Senate subcommittee found Apple funneled a large portion of its income through an Irish business unit, which charged a very low tax rate. As part of that investigation, Cook was called to answer Senator’s questions… Read More

 

EU suggest clamping down on tax havens

By Ed Sutherland on May 28, 2013

European nations must stop offering incentives aimed at attracting companies seeking a haven from the U.S. government’s 35 percent tax on repatriated money. The European Union’s Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta Tuesday called on EU member nations to halt “specific incentives” aimed at attracting international corporations such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Coca Cola and many others.

Semeta’s comments in Brussels follows a week of high-profile discussion of ways Apple and other tech giants filter income through EU nations such as Ireland to avoid paying heftier taxes back home… Read More

 

Facebook launches free or discounted Messenger access in 14 countries

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 25, 2013

Facebook on Sunday announced a new promotion that will allow users of Messenger for iOS and Android to exchange instant messages for free or at heavily discounted data rates in select international markets. Partnering with more than eighteen operators in fourteen international markets, the social networking giant said Facebook for Every Phone, basically a bare-bone service for feature phones that is now optimized for chat, is also included in this promotion.

The move arrives just after the company flipped the switch on the in-app VoIP calling feature in its mobile client for iOS and Android devices. Facebook first rolled out VoIP calling in Canada earlier this year, and some parts of the US, via the Messenger app… Read More