When people talk about Apple’s Irish operations, it’s normally negatively, regarding questionable tax practices. But the company operates a 4,000-person factory in Cork, Ireland, that builds iMacs — and it’s the only Apple-owned manufacturing facility in the world.
The Irish Examiner recently got a peek inside the secretive Apple manufacturing plant in Cork. Check out some photos below.
Ireland will apparently announce plans to phase out its “Double Irish” tax arrangement that has allowed companies like Apple and Google to save billions, according to a Reuters report citing sources familiar with the matter.
Over the past 18 months, the country has been criticized by both the United States and Europe for tax loopholes that let companies slash their overseas tax rate to single digits. Preliminary findings by the European Commission recently slammed a “sweetheart” tax deal on the part of Ireland that allowed Apple to avoid paying taxes by building up a massive offshore cash pile of $137.7 billion in the country.
Preliminary findings by the European Commission have slammed Apple and Ireland for a so-called “sweetheart” tax deal which allowed Apple to avoid paying taxes by building up a massive offshore cash pile of $137.7bn in the country.
The deal dates back to 1991, and allowed Ireland to provide Apple with illegal state aid. Apple has had a base in the country since 1980.
In a statement, the European Commission said that “the Irish authorities confer an advantage on Apple,” and that this “advantage is obtained every year and ongoing.”
Regulators are set to break down the reason tax deals given to Apple in Ireland violate EU laws, according to people familiar with the matter.
The European Commission began formal investigations into the tax avoidance issue back in June, and plans to publish its findings as early as today — with the claim that tax deals between Apple and the Irish government could fall under the heading of illegal state aid.
While Apple has yet to make a comment on the matter, the Irish government has spoken up; describing its position as “confident” that the Apple deal represents “no breach of state-aid rules.” It claims that it has already submitted a formal response to the European Commission, in which it addresses in detail “the concerns and some misunderstandings.”
Apple believes it’s the highest taxpayer in the U.S, but the company has still been subjected to intense scrutiny because the majority of its cash isn’t located stateside, but in offshore subsidiaries scattered around the globe.
In a U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee this summer, Apple was accused of using Irish tax loopholes to avoid paying on about $44 billion in foreign profits. By basing ghost subsidiaries in Ireland, Apple has been able to not pay a considerable amount of taxes to any country. Now the Irish government is considering changing its tax code to prevent such behavior from happening in the future.