France fines Apple $422 million over its controversial tax practices

By Sébastien Page on Nov 24, 2016

French tax authorities have recently issued Apple a fine in the amount of 400 million euros (about $422 million), according to L’Express. At the core of the adjustment is Apple’s complex and controversial tax optimization scheme that allows the firm to send back the lion share of its profits to tax-friendly countries such as Ireland. Read More

 

Ireland is cheering in favor of Apple in EU state aid tax ruling

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 10, 2016

In August, the European Commission slammed Apple with a tax bill from hell over a sweetheart deal it received from Ireland—which, in the Commission’s view, constitutes “illegal state aid”.

Dublin promptly promised to join Apple’s fight against EU and it’s put its money where its mouth is.

Michael Noonan, Finance Minister in the Irish government, said that Dublin today challenged the EU judgment by submitting an appeal to the European courts in a bid to block the decision, ArsTechnica reports. Read More

 

The government of Ireland will back Apple in its fight against EU’s tax bill from hell

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 2, 2016

Following news earlier this week that the European Commission had ruled that Apple must pay €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes to the government of Ireland because its sweetheart deal with Dublin that lets it be subjected to a lower tax rate constitutes “illegal state aid,” the Irish government said today it would join Apple in its fight against the ruling.

“Paradoxically, Ireland is determined not to accept the tax windfall, which would be equivalent to what it spent last year on funding its struggling health service,” says the report. Read More

 

Here’s Tim Cook’s message to Apple community regarding massive Irish tax bill

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 30, 2016

The European Commission has ruled that Apple is on the hook for €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes as its “sweetheart deal” to pay a lower tax rate in Ireland has been characterized as “illegal state aid”.

Apple is going to appeal the ruling and now CEO Tim Cook has penned an open letter, entitled “A Message to the Apple Community in Europe,” in which he explains Apple’s position in this case, writing he is “confident” that the huge tax bill will be reversed. Read More

 

EU orders Apple to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 30, 2016

At a press conference Tuesday, the European Commission’s competition commissioner Margarethe Vestager announced that the European Union has ordered the government of Ireland to collect up to €13 billion, or about $14.5 billion, in back taxes from Apple. The sum represents Europe’s largest tax penalty and a significant increase over the 1 billion figure floated around ahead of the ruling.

Apple will appeal the decision. Read More

 

European Commission to reportedly rule against Apple’s sweetheart tax deal with Ireland

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 29, 2016

According to a 130-page judgment seen by The Financial Times, the European Commission (EC) is set to rule Tuesday against Apple’s sweetheart tax deal it struck with the government of Ireland back in 1999.

The Commission is reportedly set to demand that Ireland recoup over 1 billion euros in back taxes from the iPhone maker, or circa $1.12 billion.

“Apple will on Tuesday be hit with Europe’s largest tax penalty after Brussels ruled that the company received illegal state aid from Ireland,” warns the financial newspaper. Read More

 

Apple given go-ahead to start building its massive $1 billion data center in Ireland

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 12, 2016

Following months of back and forth between Apple and Ireland’s independent planning body An Bord Pleanála, plans for a massive $1 billion data center in Galway County have been approved, reports Business Insider. “Despite opposition from a number of individuals and local businesses,” Apple’s been granted the go-ahead to build the first stage of the data center on a 197-hectare site.

The facility will support Apple’s online services for customers in Europe, including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri. Read More

 

Apple to expand key Irish operation as demand for products grows

By Christian Zibreg on May 11, 2015

Apple is considering a major expansion of its key Irish operation just months after completing a massive €300 million (about $335 million) development in the country, according to Independent.ie Monday.

Already employing more than 4,000 people in Ireland and its Cork plant in Hollyhill, the latest expansion should deliver a multi-million euro boost to the move. Read More

 

EU probe of Irish tax policy could have ‘material’ impact on Apple

By Cody Lee on Apr 29, 2015

The European Commission’s investigation into Ireland’s tax deals for multinational corporations could have a “material” impact on Apple, the company said in a 10Q filing to the S&E Commissions this week. If it’s determined that Dublin’s tax policies represented unfair state aid, the Cupertino firm could suffer significant losses. Read More

 

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