Why Apple (And Lots Of Other Companies) Wound Up In Ireland | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Why Apple (And Lots Of Other Companies) Wound Up In Ireland

Play associated audio

Apple was criticized in a Senate committee hearing Tuesday for using complex accounting to minimize the corporate taxes it pays. One key piece of the company's tax strategy: It funnels lots of its profits through subsidiaries in Ireland.

Offering low corporate tax rates has been a fundamental part of Ireland's economic strategy for decades — a way to get foreign companies to set up operations in the country.

In the hearing, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned that Apple has had a subsidiary in Ireland since 1980, when the country was recruiting international tech companies and offering tax deals.

As it happens, the idea of using taxes to lure foreign companies goes back even further than that, according to Frank Barry, an Irish economist who has studied the country's tax history.

After World War II, the Irish government used rebuilding funds provided by the U.S. government to, among other things, hire U.S. consultants, Barry says. The consultants produced a 100-page report that was a broad look at the Irish economy. (First line: "In the Irish economy, cattle is king.")

On one page, the report noted that Puerto Rico — another small island economy — had done well by lowering its corporate tax rate, which attracted multinational corporations.

"The U.S. consultants downplayed it," Barry says. "But our bureaucrats here spotted it and said, 'This has the makings of a very good idea.' "

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Living Small In The City: With More Singles, Micro-Housing Gets Big

Single people represent the fastest growing category of households in the U.S. That's made small dwellings — from micro-apartments to stand-alone tiny houses, a niche force in the real estate market.
NPR

Don't Be Fooled By The Fishy Ingredients: This Burger Is Delicious

Chef Marcus Samuelsson has a ritual whenever he travels to a new place — ask the cabdriver, "Where do you eat?" When he did that on a trip to Barbados, he fell in love with a fish sandwich.
WAMU 88.5

Hogan Refutes Claims That His Charter-School Bill Is A Union Buster

More than half of the state's 47 charter schools are located in Baltimore, and Hogan believes making it easier for more to open there — and elsewhere in Maryland — would help close the widening achievement gap between white students and students of color.
NPR

FCC Approves New Rules Intended To Protect Open Internet

The Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines — 3 to 2 — to approve new net neutrality rules that would regulate access to the Internet more like a public utility.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.