Ireland

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

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.

Apple to expand key Irish operation as demand for products grows

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Tim Cook visits Irish government to talk tax evasion

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…

Ireland to alter tax laws in wake of Apple uproar

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…

Ireland opposes grilling Apple and Google execs over tax shelters

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…

EU suggest clamping down on tax havens

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…

Facebook launches free or discounted Messenger access in 14 countries

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…