Tim Cook has made a journey over to Ireland this week to visit with staff at the company’s Cork offices. Along with addressing the 4,000 employees responsible for assembling the MacBook Pro, Cook also met up with the country’s prime minister, Taoiseach Enda Kenny today to talk about Apple’s presence in the country, and the Irish tax laws that help it avoid paying billions extra.
The Irish Prime Minister denied claims that the Irish government courts multinational companies like Apple to give them special deals on their corporate tax rate. According to a report from theJournal.ie, Edna Kenny said the tax issue came up during his conversation with Cook and told him they’re in discussions with the OECD about an international response, but the country’s statutory rate of 12.5% applies to all companies.
“I pointed out to Cook that Ireland, as a member of the [European] Union, is participating in the OECD discussions that are taking place now about an international response in terms of clarity about the tax position. There are fifteen different sectors involving that and Ireland is participating in them all.
Apple came under fire last year for its tax practices of funneling 64% of its earnings into Irish subsidiaries with zero employees in order to minimize its tax burdens. Irish official have deflected blame while Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer appeared before a Senate sub-committee to discuss their tax avoidance.
Regarding Cook’s visit Enda Kenny said the CEO was “exceptionally happy” with the work going on at its Cork office. The two met at Apple’s Cork offices for a tour of the plant but when asked whether Apple would be making a bigger investment in the area, Kenny said it’s up to Apple to decide.