Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ireland Doesn’t Want Apple’s Back Taxes, but the Irish Aren’t So Sure

Apple’s campus in Cork, Ireland.
CORK, Ireland — When European officials ordered Ireland to collect a record $14.5 billion in back taxes from Apple, Kieran O’Connell drew up a wish list for spending the money.

A public social worker who deals with at-risk youth, Mr. O’Connell has faced drastic cuts since the Irish government imposed austerity measures six years ago during a financial crisis. His salary was frozen and his pension taxed. With his agency’s budget shrunk 30 percent, he hasn’t been able to replace staff, keep up with the demand for addiction and retraining programs or accommodate all the homeless teenagers looking for shelter.

“You could invest it in treatment centers, detox beds and community care,” said Mr. O’Connell, 50, who works in this southern Irish city, where Apple has had its European headquarters for more than 35 years.

But Ireland doesn’t want Apple’s billions. Instead, the Irish government is appealing Europe’s tax ruling, a move that is exposing a rift in a country still feeling the aftershocks from years of harsh cutbacks.  (more...)


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