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Apple Is Moving Its Entire International iTunes Business To Ireland (billboard.com) 114

Starting February 5th, Apple will be moving its entire international iTunes business from Luxembourg to its European headquarters in Cork, Ireland, according to a note sent to developers this week. The non-U.S. iTunes business consists of Apple Music and the individual stores for iTunes, iBooks and Apps. Internationally, iTunes is available in over 140 countries, while Apple Music is streaming in roughly 115 territories. Billboard reports: Apple announced its intentions to move its iTunes biz to Ireland in September when it transferred an estimated $9 billion of iTunes assets. At that time it also shuffled all existing developer contracts to Ireland-based Apple Distribution International. Like Luxembourg, Ireland is known for being a low-tax haven for international businesses. Last month, both Apple and Ireland announced they would appeal a record $14 billion tax bill from the European Commission, which earlier found it had been underpaying tax on profits across the European bloc from 2003 to 2014. Apple today is the biggest private employer in Cork, the Irish Republic's second-largest city, with a workforce exceeding 5,500. Economists estimate Apple's Cork operation pumps around $17 billion annually in salaries, tax and investment into the Irish economy.
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Apple Is Moving Its Entire International iTunes Business To Ireland

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  • So that's, what (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:09PM (#53752773)
    Two guys and a duck? They're moving one tax dodge to another tax dodge. Probably to pressure Ireland to fight the EU off. They'll win out in the end, and the loser will be their taxpayers...
    • Re:So that's, what (Score:5, Interesting)

      by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:29PM (#53752849)

      They'll win out in the end, and the loser will be their taxpayers...

      From the summary:

      Apple today is the biggest private employer in Cork, the Irish Republic's second-largest city, with a workforce exceeding 5,500. Economists estimate Apple's Cork operation pumps around $17 billion annually in salaries, tax and investment into the Irish economy.

      $17,000,000 annually divided by 5,500 employees is over $3,000,000 per employee per annum of economic impact. If that's what it means to be a loser, then please sign me up! I'll talk to my city council and I am relatively certain I can get them on board.

      • And what do these 5500 millionaires actually *do* there exactly? Isn't iTunes like a webshop of digital products?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Even fictional constructs I don't think get to consider the taxes paid by their employees, taxes paid by the corporation, -and- assets simply owned by the construct ("corporation") as an altruistic contribution to the country they do business in.

        $3,000,000 per employee? Your own calculation should tell you this is implausible.

        In any case, it doesn't matter. You're isolating the economic impact to specifically where Apple would like you to--Ireland. The reality is that the money "gained" by Ireland is mon

        • yep these will be economists paid for by Apple or Ireland to try and make the deal look like an economic benefit for the country rather than the intended tax dodge that it is.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by RandyHill ( 4852971 )

          Yea, money gained in Ireland is not money "lost to the U.S.". These are profits from international operations, Apple already paid taxes on them in the countries where they were earned. We don't get to tax businesses in other countries because they don't generate costs in the US.

          Imagine your US company opens a subsidiary in France. That subsidiary pays 33% in corporate income taxes. If your subsidiary was forced to also pay taxes in the US (California), then your total tax rate is 33% France, 9% California,

      • Good grief, is there really anyone really that bad at grade school math on this science-based web page? $17,000,000 divided by 5,500 is $3,090.91. Thousands, not millions. Geeeezzzz...

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Good grief, is there really anyone really that bad at grade school math on this science-based web page? $17,000,000 divided by 5,500 is $3,090.91. Thousands, not millions. Geeeezzzz...

          Good grief, is there really anyone really that bad at grade school reading on this science-based web page? The summary says $17 billion. Therefore it would be millions, not thousands, per employee. Idiot.

          • Good grief, is there really anyone really that bad at grade school math on this science-based web page? $17,000,000 divided by 5,500 is $3,090.91. Thousands, not millions. Geeeezzzz...

            Good grief, is there really anyone really that bad at grade school reading on this science-based web page? The summary says $17 billion. Therefore it would be millions, not thousands, per employee. Idiot.

            He was quoting the figure used by El Cubano in the following paragraph :

            $17,000,000 annually divided by 5,500 employees is over $3,000,000 per employee per annum of economic impact. If that's what it means to be a loser, then please sign me up! I'll talk to my city council and I am relatively certain I can get them on board.

            • I made an error there. I definitely meant $17,000,000,000 / 5,500 with the $17,000,000,000 from the article. It would have been better to just use $17B.
        • Bad moderation.
      • The loser will be the taxpayer, as the share of wealth divided by employees is NOT 17 billion, but 17 Billion minus the ROI and financialization gains
        Think "falling wages" and "Less tax paid out".
        Someone will make up the loss
        And that person won't be a 0.001% er
    • So that's, what... two guys and a duck?

      Don't be ridiculous, they wouldn't disrespect the duck like that... the guys on the other hand...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You can call them tax dodges but Apple isn't doing anything illegal, unethical or immoral. Tax rates are a legitimate reason to base operations in one country instead of another. If I was an Apple shareholder I'd be pissed if they didn't take tax impact into account when locating international business units, because that would be my money they'd be wasting.

    • by tuxgeek ( 872962 )
      Yep. Don't use 'em. Don't use their products. Don't care. Go away and die.
  • I expect a Twitter storm within hours on this one. Something about taxes and jobs.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why would Trump be upset? He's the one who said paying taxes is for losers. Apple's just following in his footsteps.

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:41PM (#53752893)

      I expect a Twitter storm within hours on this one. Something about taxes and jobs.

      These jobs are moving from Luxembourg to Ireland. Trump only cares about jobs moving out of America. An obvious remedy is to avoid creating jobs in America in the first place.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gtall ( 79522 )

        What makes you think Trump gives a flying rat's ass about what he can use to pressure companies? No ranking official in a country or company should ever have a conversation with el Presidente Tweety, he'll only twist it.

        The past is replete with examples. Two of them are when Clapper called him to explain no one in intelligence agencies leaked the Russian hacking probe. Trump turned that into Clapper agrees with Trump on is view that Russian hacking had nothing to do with the election. He had a public tiff w

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Clapper. The under oath liar. Right, like you can trust anything coming from that source. What did he say? No one in intelligence leaked Russian hacking probe?

          How does he not understand that everyone stopped trusting him that day?

          I'm not angry about the leaks. Clapper just needs to retire.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      The Pussy Grabber in Chief is going to lower corporate tax from 35% to 15% so America can become tax-friendly like Ireland.

      Except the admitted Sexual Predator in Chief already says he doesn't pay any taxes and he knows full well corporations don't pay taxes, either.

      We've been hearing a lot about Ireland lately, like how Microsoft's cloud service business is booming ever since Microsoft told American 3-letters to fuck off on grabbing people's data from Ireland.

      Recall Trump's visit(s) to Ireland re: golf cou

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by jcr ( 53032 )

        The Pussy Grabber in Chief is going to lower corporate tax from 35% to 15% so America can become tax-friendly like Ireland.

        You should know that presidents don't get to set tax rates. That's up to the congress.

        corporations don't pay taxes,

        Corporations don't pay taxes, they only collect them. People pay taxes.

        -jcr

      • The Pussy Grabber in Chief is going to lower corporate tax from 35% to 15% so America can become tax-friendly like Ireland.

        Except the admitted Sexual Predator in Chief already says he doesn't pay any taxes and he knows full well corporations don't pay taxes, either.

        We've been hearing a lot about Ireland lately, like how Microsoft's cloud service business is booming ever since Microsoft told American 3-letters to fuck off on grabbing people's data from Ireland.

        Recall Trump's visit(s) to Ireland re: golf course?

        That's where that tax-dodging coke head keeps his money, too.

        Hey, I'm fine with them lowing the tax rate from 35% to 15% as long as there isn't any loopholes, deductions, or any way out of paying the 15% tax rate. After all, most corporations probably end up paying a lot less with the financial games they play.

        • After completion of your first math course, you will learn that avoiding 35% is precisely equivalent to avoiding 15%.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Now that they've elected AND ARE ECSTATIC over a president who is an admitted rapist (by the definition of sexual misconduct of the same level as Assange is being accused of outside the courts), will they now be cheering him on and berating Sweden et al for trying o demonise him. After all, they KNOW that if you're famous, then they'll let you do whatever you want to them. Orangina said so, and that was, for them, a reason to vote for the fake tan.

        Or is it going to be right for the people they like and a he

  • pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers.

      Those are American. Don't think I've ever seen them in an Irish shop.

  • First, they're too complex. Second, after all is said and done they're too high.

    Hey Head Cheeto! Fix the damned tax laws that let this shit happen before figuring out who builds the damned fence!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    People do know Apple pays a shit ton of taxes in the U.S. right?

    • by jcr ( 53032 )

      Apple pays a shit ton of taxes in the U.S.

      Yes they do, and as a shareholder I'd like to see them get far more creative in reducing their tax bill. If they fully adopted the methods used by GE (for example), there are billions of dollars that can be kept in the productive side of the economy instead of being pissed away on bloody mayhem.

      -jcr

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What, exactly, do Ireland get out of this? Nothing. The ruling GIVES them money. The EU isn't asking for the tax revenue, they're asking Ireland to collect the taxes that Apple owe the Eire government. So the government is spending money to protect Apple and ensure they get less money in the future.

    And don't give me the "But the employees pay taxes", because the tax payments the employees pay get almost none of the efforts of law enforcement, the justice system or the road system, not to mention the access

    • Actually Ireland gets to tax of all Apple profits on business based in Ireland. iTunes is super profitable so this is going to transfer a hella amount of taxes from Luxumberg to Ireland. Since Apple doesn't have a ton of actual employees in Ireland, Ireland doesn't really have much in the way of additional expenses from these massive free tax revenues. Whoever negotiated the Apple agreement for Ireland should have been knighted, made a saint and nominated for the nobel prize. The EU isn't claiming Apple o
  • Want to Fix This? (Score:3, Informative)

    by rally2xs ( 1093023 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @06:55AM (#53753995)

    Ireland's main claim to fame is a 12.5% corporate income tax. That's why myriad American companies are there at all.

    Want to fix that? Pass the Fair Tax. Among the Fair Taxes' many beneficial changes would be the complete lifting of corporate income taxes. That would make the USA the newest, bestest corporate tax haven on the planet. Corporate executives would injure themselves in the stampede to build factories and move corporate headquarters to the USA. Our financial problems would be a thing of the past. We would be the richest, most prosperous nation on the planet by a wide margin. The reason we're not achieving our full potential right now is that the 2nd worst mistake this country has ever made, right behind slavery, is the income taxes. The Fair Tax abolishes _all_ the income taxes - individual, corporate, payroll, gift, estate, self-employment, capital gains, etc. etc. The IRS, and any tax based on income, is abolished. Only NEW items sold at retail, and services sold at retail are taxed. Tuition is exempt because it is really an investment. The Fair Tax may not make you rich - you still have to do that yourself - but doing it will get a lot easier under the Fair Tax as compared to under the income taxes.

    • The Fair Tax isn't fair to everyone. It's really only helpful to those with income. In my case, for example, while I'm "retired" I don't actually get a pension. My retirement consists of a bank account full of the savings I accumulated over years of working. All that cash is what's left over after I paid income taxes on my earnings. That money I have was taxed on the way into my savings accounts.

      If a Fair Tax comes along then all savers like me will be taxed again when our money reverses direction and leave

      • Nothing's perfect, but your method of saving for retirement, with after-tax money in a bank, is rare. Most people save with pre-tax money in some vehicle like a tax-exempt retirement account. Those get taxed as the money is withdrawn. Under the Fair Tax, if you have a 401K with a million or 3 in it, you can withdraw money from it with no tax taken out, no matter if you withdraw a little or a lot.

        As for savings accounts, the Fair Tax does not tax the interest on them. If you have a million or 3 in the

      • All taxes come from people's income. Let me repeat that - all taxes comes from people's income.
        • A corporate income tax gets passed on as cuts to the wages of the corporation's employees (i.e. their income), reduction in dividends given to shareholders (i.e. their income), and as higher prices (i.e. your income). If you are employed by a corporation or own stocks or collect interest on a savings account, "their income" in the previous sentence is also "your income."
        • A sales tax gets paid out of your pocke
    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      A corporation having a post box in a lawyers office in your country doesn't benefitsociet. The real answer is that we start taxing corporations for money earned in a country and costs should be based on (country revenue / global revenue) * global expenses.
      • You can pretend to tax corporations all you want, but no business has ever, or will ever, pay a penny of tax. They COLLECT taxes. The gov't demands a tax, and the business raises their prices, lowers or fails to raise the wages of employees, and curtails stock dividends to pay the tax. In each case - customers, employees, or stockholders, all those people taxed are US, and not the corporation. The corporation, or business, doesn't pay a penny of tax. We do. Until we wake up and see the truth of this

      • A corporation paying taxes in a country with only post box in a lawyers offices is a huge benefit to that country.

        In reality, corporations should not have to pay any income taxes. It's a tax on the creation of jobs and capital. Eliminating it would increase both.

  • I hope Mr. The Edge doesn't dump another free album on my iWhatsit. Yuck.
  • It makes sense for a business, or a person, to utilize the regulations and laws to their best advantage. Ireland purposefully has lower taxes to attract businesses which means more revenue for them, more jobs for their people, etc. What the EU is going to achieve is forcing Ireland to do their own Brexit. The EU is being greedy and this sort of behavior will hurt the EU in the long run as it crumbles.

    • I don't think Ireland will leave the EU in my lifetime. Irish people are very pro-EU in general.

  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @09:25AM (#53754237)
    I haven't used that in over 5 years.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Earlier in the EU the VAT of services like software could be paid to the country of the seller, and Luxemburg happens to have really low VAT. So how Apple dealt with this was that they routed their whole iTunes sales through Luxemburg and paid only the very low VAT from all their sales, then took 30% commission of the price without VAT and gave the rest of the money to developers by "buying service from an EU company with 0% VAT". This was a win-win for both developers and Apple, but mostly for Apple becaus

  • More and more countries will have to be more efficient and competitive when determining their tax structure

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