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Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

Losing the Double Irish Won’t Make Much Difference To Apple’s Taxes

There’s been a great deal of confusion over the years about Apple’s tax, what it pays, what it doesn’t and how it doesn’t. And there’s now been a change in the law that will impact, a bit, on one of the ways that it doesn’t pay tax. However, it’s not going to make all that much difference in the long run:

US companies including Apple and Google could be hit with demands for billions of dollars after Ireland yesterday unveiled plans to close the ‘Double Irish’ tax loophole.

However, a new tax break and pressure to tackle avoidance elsewhere in the world means US companies are unlikely to depart from the struggling eurozone economy.

Analysts and tax advisers predict that corporations which need access to the European Union’s 500 million consumers will find it difficult to set up equally effective schemes in other member states, as Brussels investigates other arrangements that involve paying minimal tax rates

No one’s going to move out of the EU over this, that’s obviously true.

But it’s worth thinking through what Apple used to do. The most important thing is that Apple hasn’t actually dodged any tax at all: it’s only delayed the date at which it might have to pay it. Yes, all the money they make in Europe ends up in Ireland and Ireland doesn’t tax it very much (the tax rate is about 2%) and the money ends up sitting in Bermuda, having paid very little tax at all.

But, and here’s the thing, Apple isn’t home and free, not just yet. Because in the end it wants to get those profits into the hands of the shareholders, the people who own the company. That’s what companies are for, to feed profits to the shareholders. and to do that Apple must move that money into the US: that’s just how the system works. And once it does that Apple will pay the 35% US corporate income tax, minus that 2% already paid. There is no way out of this: if Apple is to give the profits to the shareholders, which is what a company is form, then it will have to pay US corporate income tax.

So, the worst we can say is that Apple has delayed having to pay tax, it’s not got away without paying it at all.

This recent change does mean that Apple can’t use exactly the method it has been to do this. But there are plenty of other options (this is all about royalties for the use of the Apple name and technology, to add a bit of boring detail), for example, Holland has a 5% tax rate for royalties. So, instead of the Double Irish Apple could use the Dutch Sandwich instead. And that would mean a 5% tax rate, which is indeed higher than 2% but it’s still a lot less than 35%. So, we’ll still see those profits being parked offshore, just through a different network of companies this time.

Things will change, yes, but not very much.

Posted: 16th, October 2014 | In: Money | Comment

Apple’s Fine From The EU Might Be As Much As …..Umm, 200 Million?

The European Commission has now released its document about why and how it thinks that Apple has been playing hooky with the Irish tax system. And it’s a real joy for connoiseurs of the intricacies of bureaucracy and taxation. Essentially, what the EU is saying is that the profits Apple made actually in Ireland were not properly taxed. And that, if they can prove that, then Apple must pay over to Ireland the tax that they should have paid.

The thing is, even if the EU manages to prove all of this then the likely amount that Apple will pay is $200 million or so. Yes, that’s all:

Apple set aside about $12 billion for U.S. federal and state income taxes in fiscal 2013, on sales of $62.7 billion in the Americas, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company, which doesn’t break down revenue by country, set aside just $1.1 billion for foreign income taxes over the same period, on sales outside the Americas of about $88 billion. It reported foreign pretax earnings of $30.5 billion that fiscal year.

Apple could be asked to pay up to $200 million in back taxes, said Heather Self, a tax partner at Pinsent Masons LLP in London. She said the company could also agree to pay a smaller amount to settle—or pay nothing if Ireland offers a robust defense.

And another estimation:

Seamus Coffey, an economics lecturer at University College Cork, who has examined Apple’s Irish tax affairs, said: “The EC can demand back payments for 10 years, which would take it back to 2004.”

Figures in the commission’s calculation show that the relevant Apple subsidiaries – Apple Operations Europe and Apple Sales Europe – had annual profits of between €60m and €80m between 2009 and 2012, and annual revenues of between €500m and €680m.

“You’re taxed on profits, not revenues, but even if the EC said that all that revenue was pure profit, then over 10 years it would owe the Irish tax rate of 12.5% on about €6.8bn – that’s about €850m,” said Coffey. However, Coffey said a more likely figure would be 12.5% on total profits over the 10 years of perhaps €800m, amounting to €100m.

Well, the EU itself says back to 2003 but that’s trivia. The point being that over this same period of time Apple has made profits of around $150 billion (yes, that’s billion) and having to fork over another $100 million really isn’t going to be anything they’ll worry too much about.

As to why the sum is so small, it’s because the tax bill in Ireland is only on whatever profits come from actually doing business in Ireland. It’s a so called “territorial tax” system. So all of the vast profits Apple has been making by selling in the UK, and Germany, and Italy and so on and on don’t come into the Irish tax question at all.

This is, at worst, a pinprick, nothing more.

Posted: 1st, October 2014 | In: Money | Comment

Irish Bomber Blows Himself Up: Forgot About Putting His Clock Forward

dublin bomb idiot

THE Telegraph has the headline that we can all take a minute to appreciate:

Irish bomber blew himself up after device went off too soon ‘because he forgot to put his watch forward’

Our hero had placed a bomb beneath a Volvo SUV. Kaboom!

The suspected bomber was seen fleeing the area in Dublin with “blood dripping down his face” .

A police source told the Mirror:

“This certainly was a high-grade explosive used in this bomb. It wasn’t garbage stuff. It would appear the bomber got his timings wrong. It could be a case where he didn’t put his watch forward on Sunday and the timer went off too soon. If anyone had been in the car or walking near it at the time then they would have been killed.”

Supt Dave Taylor ads, lest the most simple fact escape us, as it seems to have escaped the cretinous villain:

“It is quite obvious that the car was the object of this attack.”

The owner of the vehicle, a local businessman, has offered no comment.

Posted: 8th, April 2014 | In: Reviews, Strange But True | Comment

1970s Irish Text Book: ‘Draw A Circle Around The One God Loves Most’

THIS photo is from an actual Irish school textbook in the 70s. Readers are invited to identify God’s pecking order:

Draw a circle around the one God loves most

God can’t draw his own circle because he’s using his right hand as a clue and the left hand only does the Devil’s work.


Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 10.49.12



Spotter:  Rubber Bandits @Rubberbandits

Posted: 5th, March 2014 | In: Books, Flashback | Comment

Devil Cat Tells Woman To ‘Go AWAY’

WHO needs Doctor Doolittle when you have animals that can talk English? That’s what one lady was faced with in Dublin after her kitchen was invaded by a Devil Cat.

‘Caroline H’ filmed the feline hiding in her kitchen, tempted in by the smell of biscuits.

The moggy, when shooed, replied with what sounds like ‘go away’, before flashing its demon eyes at everyone and knocking everything flying in the kitchen. Caroline’s off-screen companion can be heard helpfully shouting: “He’ll jump on you, Caroline, he’ll jump on you!”.

The footage ends with the cat hanging from the window frame like a weirdo.

“No cat was harmed in the filming of this video,” she wrote on YouTube. “The cat safely left the house after I stopped filming. This cat was an invader after our cookies. Please keep all doors and windows closed to protect yourself against rogue angry cats.”

After the video went online, another resident came forward to claim the cat was hers, and that it certainly wasn’t a ‘devil cat’ as described.

“Henry isn’t lost. He does, however, have a secret life that I don’t question him about. We’re all entitled to our secrets,” Emily Coffey wrote.

Posted: 20th, October 2013 | In: Strange But True | Comment

In Photos: St Anthony Of Padua Goes On Tour In Ireland

THE relic of St Anthony of Padua is on tour in Ireland. The meet and greet marks the 750th anniversary of the discovery of the saint’s remains by St Bonaventure in 1263. This year, St Anthony’s aged flesh has visited New York, California, Chicago, Canada and South Australia. Soon it will be in Britain.

Fr Mario Conte, international editor of the Messenger of St Anthony magazie tells the Catholic Herald:

There is nothing at all superstitious about relics, he said: “It’s love that is the real meaning of a relic, a link of love between you and that person.”

The relics have been on show at the Church of the Visitation, in Fairview Dublin.


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Posted: 17th, October 2013 | In: Reviews | Comment

Behold! The Irishman stuck in a baby seat in McDonald’s!

mcdonalds_stuck copy

THE Irish are an unfairly maligned people, often jibed at for being a country of dimwits. However, like all national stereotypes, there’s always one berk on-hand to live up to it.

And so, we go to a McDonald’s in Cork (bring back the Oriental McRib, please) where a man managed to get himself stuck in a baby seat like a big buffoon.

Of course, the Gardai had to be called out and here’s the picture evidence.

“McDonald’s is aware of the incident involving a customer who decided to sit in one of our children’s high-chairs in Winthrop Street,” said a representative from McDonald’s.

“And as you can see, we recommend that children don’t use the high-chair without adult supervision!”

The man fulfilled another Irish stereotype while he was at it: He was reportedly drunk at the time.


Posted: 16th, May 2013 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment (1)

11 photos that explain Ireland to the world

IRELAND: 11 snapshots of life in the Emerald Isle:

ireland 11


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Posted: 13th, May 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comment

Thieves rob secret location in Ireland – police appeal for no witnesses

ireland theft secret copy

IRELAND news, as told by UTV:

Thieves targeted a building used by the gardaí armed division, the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), somewhere in the Republic of Ireland.

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Posted: 4th, April 2013 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)

The simian negroid Irish depicted in English and American cartoons

the irish monkey 11


ANGLO-Irish Relations have been strained for years. Ever since the Earl of Pembroke became involved in a local matter in Leinster in 1170, the English have played a role in Irish affairs. When John de Courcy seized control of Ulster 1177, the English became the self-styled civilising force. The Irish were the bestial savages. As these cartoons show, the Irish were portrayed as low-browed, wire-haired simians, More ape than man.

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Posted: 29th, March 2013 | In: Flashback, Politicians | Comment

Savita Halappanavar: the UK’s Irish abortion tourists (garph)

DID Ireland’s anti-abortionists kill Savita Halappanavar in Ireland? Did ignorance? Did the Catholic Church? Did misogyny? Who owns your body..?

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Posted: 16th, November 2012 | In: Reviews | Comment

Did Ireland’s anti-abortionists kill Savita Halappanavar? (protest photos)

DID Ireland’s anti-abortionist kill Savita Halappanavar. Mrs Halappanavar was a 31-year-old dentist from India. Seventeen weeks into her pregnancy she suffered a miscarriage. Aware that her baby – her first – was dying inside her, she asked for an abortion. abortion The Irish State refused. The baby died. A few days Savita Halappanavar succumbed to septicaemia.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, 34, says Savita asked for an abortion at Galway University Hospital. He has said that doctors refused to carry out a medical termination because the foetus’s heartbeat was present.

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Posted: 14th, November 2012 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)

Couple have sex on table in Irish theme pub

TO Orlando, where Jeremie Calo, 32, and his lover have been arrested. It is reported that they had sex on the table at a Paddy Murphys Irish pub and eatery. On a Monday. In full view of other diners.

The manager asked them to leave. Calo replied: “She can’t get up at this time.”

Calo was then presented with a $101 bill. Police arrested him for refusing to pay the bill and scrapping with staff. He was not pinched for having sex in public because, reportedly, no-one wanted to go on the record to state what they had seen.

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Posted: 18th, October 2012 | In: The Consumer | Comment

Ireland’s Little People See Off Australia In Rugby World Cup: Photos

THE Rugby World Cup has just created its first highlight. Look beyond Mike Tindall’s dwarf story and see Ireland defeat Australia. Yeah – the so-called little people have just taken one of the game’s biggest scalps… (Picture 2 is brilliant.)


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Ireland's Stephen Ferris gives away his shirt after the game


Posted: 17th, September 2011 | In: Sports | Comment

Irish Woman Shagging Alsatian Killed By Dog’s Sperm

A CAUTIONARY tale from Patrickswell, Ireland, where a 43-year-old woman having sex with a pet dog has died. It was an allergic reaction to the dog’s semen that killed her.

The woman, a mother of four children, died in October 2008. But it only now that we can know what killed her.  The dog has been in quarantine for almost three years.

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Posted: 10th, July 2011 | In: Strange But True | Comments (9)

Barack Obama In Ireland: Photos

BARACK Obama has been to Ireland. It’s a big day for free Ireland. After years of poverty and life ruled by the English pound, the Irish are now free to pay off their own massiove debts – albeit with loans from the, er, English…


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Handout photo issued by Maxwell's of US President Barack Obama enjoying a Guinness in Hayes Bar in Moneygall, County Offaly, during his visit to Ireland.

Posted: 23rd, May 2011 | In: Politicians | Comment

Queen’s Trip To Ireland – Day 4 Photos: The Empire Coffin And Paper Suits


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Queen Elizabeth II visiting Tyndall National Institute in Cork on the last day of her State Visit to Ireland.

Posted: 20th, May 2011 | In: Royal Family | Comment

Queen Meets Mary Byrne, Westlife And Riverdance: Irish Revenge Mission Begins In Earnest

DAY 3 of the Queen’s visit to Ireland: Her Majesty meets X Factor contestant Mary Byrne and singing-down-the-phone boyband Westlife at the National Convention Centre in Dublin and then sees Riverdance. The Irish will not redress the pain of British rule over night, but they’ve made a decent start…


Posted: 19th, May 2011 | In: Royal Family | Comment (1)

Queen’s Visit To Ireland: Days 2 – Croke Park’s Little People

THE Queen is in Ireland. It’s Day 2 of the visit. Protests against the visit and support for it are fierce:


Posted: 18th, May 2011 | In: Royal Family | Comment

Queen’s Visit to Ireland: Remembering The Bombs In Dublin, Monaghan And Birmingham

IRELAND is making ready for a visit from Her Majesty the Queen. The impoverished country, bailed out by the EU-International Monetary Fund, has found some cash for the Queen’s first State visit to the country. Perhaps some of the £7bn the UK has dropped on Ireland will fund the trip?

The parade and party is not popular with everyone.

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Posted: 16th, May 2011 | In: Royal Family | Comment

Run A Muck Challenge 2011: Photos Of The Irish Getaway

MAY 14, and it must be the Run A Muck challenge at Clonkeeran House in Co Kildare. The run involves 5 km of rough terrain with lots of obstacles, river crossings, hills, walls and mud. It’s like Deliverance without the banjos…


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Laura O'Conner (right) and another runner (name not known) take part in the Niall Mellon Township Trust Run A Muck challenge at Clonkeeran House in Co Kildare.

Posted: 14th, May 2011 | In: Reviews | Comment

Dalai Lama Tours Ireland: Photos Of China’s Kindly Public Enemy No. 1

THE Dalai Lama – No.2 to Nelson Mandela on the list of people celebrities like to meet – has been at the Citywest Hotel Dublin. This is his first trip to Ireland in 20 years. He walked with his close friend Richard Moore, who was blinded by a rubber bullet in Northern Ireland as a child.

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Posted: 13th, April 2011 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)

That Irish Bailout Joke: A German Tourist Arrives

IT is a slow day in a damp little Irish town. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted.

Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

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Posted: 13th, December 2010 | In: Money | Comments (2)