Ireland invests Apple's collected back taxes in low-risk bonds

Posted:
in General Discussion
As a way of keeping up value pending appeals, the Irish government has reportedly invested the back taxes the European Commission ordered it to collect from Apple into low-risk securities.

Dublin Ireland


Most of the investments are in short- to medium-term sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds, the National Treasury Management Agency said in an annual report seen by Reuters. Irish taxpayers will allegedly be protected against any losses.

The will be "no loss to the state," said NTMA chief executive Conor O'Kelly. "Apple and Ireland have agreed that the pot is the pot, whatever is there at the end so we don't have to make up any difference. That's an agreed investment policy."

In 2016, the European Commission ruled that Ireland extended illegal state aid to Apple in the form of preferential tax breaks. While Apple and the Irish government are still fighting the decision, Apple has already paid Ireland a $15 billion lump sum to avoid any additional E.U. actions. The money is being held in escrow in the belief that it will eventually be returned.

CEO Tim Cook has maintained that Apple pays "all of the taxes we owe" and follows "the spirit of the laws," despite the long-running use of loopholes, and previous rulings on back taxes.

The company is known to have funneled billions of dollars in international revenue through Ireland, exploiting a financial trick known as the "double Irish." It paid just 1% on European profits in 2003, and as little as 0.005% in 2014.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    Can we be very clear. There are no loopholes, but there is the law. Apple, like so many others, have conducted themselves legally. Do we like it? Perhaps not, but it’s no more a loophole than the design of the law itself. 
    emoeller
  • Reply 2 of 4
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,030member
    Can we be very clear. There are no loopholes, but there is the law.
    There are loopholes and there is the law. Not only are these not mutually exclusive, this usage acknowledges that Apple did legally exploit an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law.

    I personally think Ireland should be the one to cover the expenses, not Apple, but if Apple sees it advantageous to pay back taxes for something they setup legally with a nation then so be it.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,264member
    Soli said:
    Can we be very clear. There are no loopholes, but there is the law.
    There are loopholes and there is the law. Not only are these not mutually exclusive, this usage acknowledges that Apple did legally exploit an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law.

    I personally think Ireland should be the one to cover the expenses, not Apple, but if Apple sees it advantageous to pay back taxes for something they setup legally with a nation then so be it.
    Well yeh...   The EU never went after Apple.  They went after Ireland who bent / broke the rules to offer Apple a tax package they weren't allowed to offer -- because the EU's charter requires a level playing field.

    I think the best analogy is the thief who steals something then sells it to an innocent person.  The person may be innocent -- but they still have to return the stolen goods.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 4 of 4
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,030member
    Soli said:
    Can we be very clear. There are no loopholes, but there is the law.
    There are loopholes and there is the law. Not only are these not mutually exclusive, this usage acknowledges that Apple did legally exploit an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law.

    I personally think Ireland should be the one to cover the expenses, not Apple, but if Apple sees it advantageous to pay back taxes for something they setup legally with a nation then so be it.
    Well yeh...   The EU never went after Apple.  They went after Ireland who bent / broke the rules to offer Apple a tax package they weren't allowed to offer -- because the EU's charter requires a level playing field.

    I think the best analogy is the thief who steals something then sells it to an innocent person.  The person may be innocent -- but they still have to return the stolen goods.
    I agree with that analogy.
    GeorgeBMac
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