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Tax heaven – Apple to move international iTunes HQ to Ireland

Apple is set to move its international iTunes headquarters from Luxembourg to Ireland, beginning in February. This new HQ will cover everything from its non-US iTunes Store, to Apple Music, the main App Store and iBooks Store, which means that when it comes to filing tax returns on all of those businesses, it will be able to take further advantage of Ireland’s low rates.

This is a move that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as Apple did allude to such a move towards the end of 2016. It has also already moved over £7 billion of iTunes assets to the country (as per Ars). Developer contracts have also been transferred to Apple’s Irish branch, Apple Distribution International.

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Apple’s tax avoidance seems to continue infinitely too. Source: Nurmib/Wikimedia

The main reason for the move seems likely to be motivated by tax. Apple has effectively paid just 0.005 per cent tax on its earnings in Ireland over the past few years, which is why last year the EU ordered the government there to collect a further £10.8 billion from the Cupertino company. Apple and Ireland’s government have both announced their intention to appeal the decision, so it could be that this move is designed to show some solidarity with Apple’s partner in tax avoidance.

Moving its headquarters to Ireland could see even more international funds funnelled through the country, which if it is successful with its appeal, could see the company avoid paying even more tax.

Apple is also currently building a new facility in Athenry, Ireland too, which will house all of the data from its international iTunes and iCloud business.

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KitGuru Says: It’s one of the most frustrating things in the world to hear politicians talk about austerity measures and cut backs, when companies like Apple, Google and Facebook pay thousands of a per cent of the taxes they owe. 

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