Ireland: Yes, we have sweet international tax incentives, sorry we’re not sorry

posted at 8:01 pm on May 21, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

In a Senate hearing earlier today, Rand Paul rightly went on the rhetorical rampage in defense of Apple and their completely rational and legal attempts to minimize the amount of money that they pay in taxes (if you haven’t listened to his epic free-market rant yet, I definitely recommend it). Why, for instance, is it incumbent upon Apple to willingly pay more in taxes than they have to? If it is worthwhile for any business to invest the resources into finding ways to save money, you should always assume that they are going to do so — and that is a good thing, since in the end it benefits consumers and the economy just as much as it does their business model.

The fault doesn’t lie with Apple and the completely misbegotten sense of patriotism that they are ostensibly supposed to display by pouring as much money as they possibly can into the federal government’s coffers; rather, it lies with our wildly burdensome and uncompetitive tax code that gives companies a clear incentive to do otherwise. We are living in an increasingly global economy, and we better man up and deal with it — and I do not mean by persecuting the individual companies looking to streamline their taxes, because watch them close up shop and move aborad your own peril.

Ireland is one of the supposed culprits that Apple used to their tax-strategery advantage, and while the small country certainly has a heck of a lot of economic and fiscal problems on their hands, there is nothing illicit going on with low rates that make it appealing for multinational companies to do business there. An Irish official today paid the obligatory lip service to the trumped-up need for ‘robust international agreements’ to prevent tax-dodging to appease the Euro-bureaucrats, but they are not apologizing for having a tax code that attracts people and companies to their shores — nor should they. Via the NYT:

Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore of Ireland told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday that his government supported efforts to close “loopholes” in corporate taxation, but said these did not stem from Irish taxation policy. …

Ireland’s corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent, less than half the level in many larger European countries. American companies with their European headquarters in Ireland often pay considerably less than this on their European earnings because of accounting techniques that permit them to shift revenue to subsidiaries in offshore tax havens — as Apple has been accused of doing in a report prepared by Congressional investigators. …

While Ireland misses out on some tax revenue, analysts say its economy more than makes up for this in other ways, including the tens of thousands of jobs that American technology companies have created there – and the income taxes that well-paid programmers and executives contribute to the Irish treasury. Apple alone employs more than 4,000 workers in Ireland, while Google employs more than 2,500 there. …

Discrepancies like this have given rise to growing frustration among European policy makers at a time when governments are cutting budgets and struggling to make ends meet.

Of course, august European financiers and political leaders are saying that we all need a “global solution” to prevent multinational companies from exploiting loopholes, blah blah blah — but they are too often going about this “globalization” thing in precisely the wrong way (more central planning imposed upon an ever-wider swath of people? No. A free and open global economy across all fronts? Yes.). I’ve got your solution right here, and it’s called competition, which works just as well among individuals and private companies as it does countries and currencies. All of this talk about punishing companies that dare to seek legal means to decrease their tax burden and the countries that shelter them is nothing but antithetical to economic growth and a global free market.


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Only solution to this for Dems and RINOs, for tax ‘expenditures’ –

Tax Ireland!

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Shouldn’t O’bama be able to talk to some of his relatives over there and sort things out?

rightmind on May 21, 2013 at 8:09 PM

That is called “competition’. Something Obama understands about as well as he spells or pronounces common words.

pat on May 21, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Abolish the corporate tax. It isn’t even close to being worth having. Just make dividends part of income.

Count to 10 on May 21, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Don’t touch the Guinness…

d1carter on May 21, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Don’t touch the Guinness…

d1carter on May 21, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Tax it like hell!

It’s costing American liberals spending money.

What are you — anti-American?

I bet you’d shoot a guy you might catch raping a woman, without knowing his circumstances and how he feels.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Since some of my companies do business offshore, I am as guilty as Apple, albeit on a comparatively infinitesimal scale, in setting up Irish holding companies that place company funds in American banks and other American-based financial vehicles. All perfectly legal.

Why, because I don’t wish to pay a single penny more in taxes, no matter to which government that’s involved. Why does Apple do it or, for that matter, any other huge publicly traded entity do it? Well, if they didn’t, they’d be open to shareholder suits for “wasting corporate assets” or shareholder “Change of Management” proxy fights at their next annual meeting, which would be prosecuted by some multi-billion dollar investment fund holders.

A publicly held company has a lot more scrutiny, due to its board’s fiduciary duty to shareholders, than does a simple, greedy bastard like me.

TXUS on May 21, 2013 at 8:18 PM

I bet you’d shoot a guy you might catch raping a woman, without knowing his circumstances and how he feels.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:15 PM

lol, He was just socially awkward and didn’t know how to ask politely.

arnold ziffel on May 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

A publicly held company has a lot more scrutiny, due to its board’s fiduciary duty to shareholders, than does a simple, greedy bastard like me.

TXUS on May 21, 2013 at 8:18 PM

I hope you get filthy rich.

And never hire liberals.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

I love to mention this sort of stuff to my Apple using lib friends.

How Apple uses foreign labor (toss in exploit for extra effect) and minimizes their tax exposure thru perfectly legal means.

Fun to watch them squirm.

Hill60 on May 21, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Ban St Patrick’s Day parades !!

burrata on May 21, 2013 at 8:20 PM

lol, He was just socially awkward and didn’t know how to ask politely.

arnold ziffel on May 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Kill a rapist, offend a liberal.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Ban St Patrick’s Day parades !!

burrata on May 21, 2013 at 8:20 PM

No! We can’t do THAT!

Tax it instead! See — a level playing field.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:23 PM

If following the law to avoid paying taxes is wrong, can we impeach Obama on the fact that he claimed deductions on his 1040?

malclave on May 21, 2013 at 8:27 PM

If following the law to avoid paying taxes is wrong, can we impeach Obama on the fact that he claimed deductions on his 1040?

malclave on May 21, 2013 at 8:27 PM

That’s funny. When Clinton made one of his returns public years ago, he wrote off his used undershorts at $2.50 each.

I don’t file a long form any more. But when I did, I never claimed my charitable donations. What I return to God does not leave me room to try getting back a piece of it.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:31 PM

I’d like to travel back into the past and bitchslap everyone involved in setting up LoN/UN

dmacleo on May 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM

I hope you get filthy rich.

And never hire liberals.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Well, when your choice is paying the Irish 12.5% on offshore earnings vs. the IRS’s 35% on same, almost three times as much, this Texan’s ready to share a pint and a “top ‘o the mornin’ to ye.”

TXUS on May 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Tax it instead! See — a level playing field.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Great !
Now let them try to tax Cinco de Mayo parade ,
you know for a level playing field !!

burrata on May 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Well, when your choice is paying the Irish 12.5% on offshore earnings vs. the IRS’s 35% on same, almost three times as much, this Texan’s ready to share a pint and a “top ‘o the mornin’ to ye.”

TXUS on May 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Long as ye buy the first pint, we celebrate!

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Great !
Now let them try to tax Cinco de Mayo parade ,
you know for a level playing field !!

burrata on May 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM

That would be racist, man. What is wrong with you?

The Irish aren’t a minority.

Why do I hang out with you people? /

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Long as ye buy the first pint, we celebrate!

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Nigh a problem, William. I’ll buy the pints, you bring the lassies.

TXUS on May 21, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Nigh a problem, William. I’ll buy the pints, you bring the lassies.

TXUS on May 21, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Deal!

I have a thing for redheads. That okay there?

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Éirinn go Brách (or for my English friends, Erin go Bragh)

IrishEyes on May 21, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Éirinn go Brách (or for my English friends, Erin go Bragh)

IrishEyes on May 21, 2013 at 8:52 PM

From an American of Scot lineage: Ciamar a tha thu?

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Tax Bono.

Ronnie on May 21, 2013 at 8:55 PM

I don’t file a long form any more. But when I did, I never claimed my charitable donations. What I return to God does not leave me room to try getting back a piece of it.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:31 PM

That’s one way of looking at it, the other way of looking at it, is that by claiming the deduction, it provides more to give. i.e, if you are in the 28% bracket, if you don’t take the deduction, for every dollar you donate, you have to earn $1.39.

AZfederalist on May 21, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Tax Bono.

Ronnie on May 21, 2013 at 8:55 PM

+1000

Out his a$$!

He’s nothing but an international panhandler in a Bond Street suit.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 8:58 PM

That’s one way of looking at it, the other way of looking at it, is that by claiming the deduction, it provides more to give. i.e, if you are in the 28% bracket, if you don’t take the deduction, for every dollar you donate, you have to earn $1.39.

AZfederalist on May 21, 2013 at 8:57 PM

I’m no longer in position to itemize. But I have a personal religious view. I worked from there.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 9:01 PM

But I have a personal religious view. I worked from there.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I do, too. If I get $100 bill from a bank (I hate $100 bills) I put it in the first charity box I see, wrapped in a $1. We’re not rich, rich. We just have a little breathing room. My philosophy is good deeds don’t count if you tell someone or claim it as a deduction. My accountant hates me… lol.

Fallon on May 21, 2013 at 9:06 PM

I do, too. If I get $100 bill from a bank (I hate $100 bills) I put it in the first charity box I see, wrapped in a $1. We’re not rich, rich. We just have a little breathing room. My philosophy is good deeds don’t count if you tell someone or claim it as a deduction. My accountant hates me… lol.

Fallon on May 21, 2013 at 9:06 PM

I’m of the view, as according to Scripture, that for what we do in private with the Lord, He will reward us openly.

I believe as you do.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 9:10 PM

I do, too. If I get $100 bill from a bank (I hate $100 bills) I put it in the first charity box I see, wrapped in a $1. We’re not rich, rich. We just have a little breathing room. My philosophy is good deeds don’t count if you tell someone or claim it as a deduction. My accountant hates me… lol.

Everybody needs to do what their conscience tells them. I think where one would get off track is if one were to give because it is tax deducttible.

AZfederalist on May 21, 2013 at 9:10 PM

… as far as giving without publicizing it; up until this week, I was under the impression that my charitable donations were completely private and that the IRS would keep those records private.

AZfederalist on May 21, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Everybody needs to do what their conscience tells them. I think where one would get off track is if one were to give because it is tax deducttible.

AZfederalist on May 21, 2013 at 9:10 PM

THAT describes a liberal.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Everybody needs to do what their conscience tells them. I think where one would get off track is if one were to give because it is tax deducttible.

AZfederalist on May 21, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Think about it — Bill Clinton deducted from his $2.50 a pair for his ‘donated undershorts, and we’re expected to think he’s somehow a ‘nice guy’?

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 9:18 PM

I’m in a bad mood all day.

Give me a troll to chew on.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 9:21 PM

We do a lot of things wrong in Ireland
but the corporate tax rate was one of the things we did right
now the eurocrats want to take it away

breffnian on May 21, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Apple: “Hey Ireland how about a low tax rate?”

Ireland: Brilliant!

Apple: Brilliant!

BKennedy on May 21, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Hill60 on May 21, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Good. That’s my only problem with Apple doing this; that they are a bunch of hypocritical progs.

As to declaring taxes, I’ve considered the doing in private aspect, and really respect those who chose that route, but when I consider all the pure evil the government does with my tax dollar, I chose to keep as much out of their wicked hands as legally possible. I still fear it won’t be enough to wash me of the guilt I have in continuing to fund that evil.

pannw on May 21, 2013 at 10:31 PM

While Ireland misses out on some tax revenue, analysts say its economy more than makes up for this in other ways, including the tens of thousands of jobs that American technology companies have created there – and the income taxes that well-paid programmers and executives contribute to the Irish treasury.

The proggie lib hears only “misses out on … tax revenue” and says, “That’s not fair! You’re not paying your fair share!”

When asked about the jobs, the proggie lib responds indignantly, “Well, since you won’t give EVERYONE a well-paying programmer or executive job, then THAT’S NOT FAIR either!”

When told life isn’t fair, the proggie lib snarls, “Once the government controls everything, IT WILL BE!”

Marcola on May 22, 2013 at 12:26 AM

Letting too many snakes onto the Emerald Isle in P.C. stupidity.

O’Sharia.

profitsbeard on May 22, 2013 at 3:49 AM

Say there wasn’t anyone on that panel that has a rich heiress wife that shelters her NINE-figure fortune in a Trust, is there?

Cough-Cindy-Cough-McCain…

Tekov Yahoser on May 22, 2013 at 4:57 AM

I guess the Senate Democrats figured they’d found a pot o’ gold.

Odysseus on May 22, 2013 at 7:27 AM

The nerve of those Irish.

Not taxing everyone that wants to do business in their country over 50%. To not support their ruling elite with well earned compensation and benefits such as “seperate but equal” healthcare, pensions/social security, immunity from tax and regulations as well as most non felonious law.

They are obviously infidels and heathens unworthy of our fearless leaders support.

acyl72 on May 22, 2013 at 7:31 AM