Apple Not Alone With Irish Tax Haven, Facebook Might Be Doing The Same

Apple has been under a lot of scrutiny lately over offshore profit shifting to Ireland. The tech giant apparently dodged $13.8 Billion (yes billion with a capital B) in taxes thanks to a tax shelter aka office in Ireland. Of course the company is vehemently denying these charges but they are going to have to prove it over the coming months.

I was recently looking-over some Facebook domain registration data when I noticed that Facebook seems to be registering domains and keeping them with their Irish entity, even though it would sure make a lot more sense to have these owned by their Silicon Valley-based HQ…unless of course they’ve figured out the same things that Apple did.

FacebookPoke.at and FacebookPoke.mobi are owned by Facebook Ireland even though neither of these domains is a .ie name, the local ccTLD for Ireland.

Facebook Ireland Ltd. has also been at the center of some pretty fishy Pay Pal charges that users have recently been complaining about as recently as May 17th. Now Facebook does seem to have a legitimate office in Ireland and is creating jobs there, which is a very good thing…but it sounds like Apple did too.

Moral of the story? Ireland might be a good place for a tax haven and Apple isn’t the only smart cookie to figure it out. That being said, if Apple gets in trouble Facebook could be next.

Note: I am a shareholder in Facebook but have no inside information about the company, any data used in this article was found in public records. At no point in this article am I saying or suggesting that Apple or Facebook are breaking the law.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Logan Flatt May 23, 2013, 8:49 am

    As long as Congress keeps creating tax loopholes for special interests, those interests will continue to make use of them. The real question to ask is: Why does a heavily bloated U.S. federal government — whose power and size the U.S. Constitution was originally designed and intended to limit — need all of these tax revenues in the first place?

    Reply
  • Anticareer.com May 23, 2013, 8:52 am

    Actually Apple did not deny the charges. Tim Cook just went in front of Congress and testified. Basically what happened is that in the US tax code they need to pay taxes for where the sales occur, in Ireland’s tax code you need to pay taxes based on where your business is set up. Nothing illegal about it since Apple is following the law of the land in both places and Tim Cook basically stated that.

    So, Apple has an office in Ireland that they run as a point place for international sales, whilst their business is based in the US so they avoid paying taxes to US and they avoid paying taxes to Ireland.

    If you want to look at the biggest culprit look at GE (General Electric). They paid $0 in taxes. Apple paid billions in taxes, but they also avoided billions more in taxes. GE paid nada.

    Reply
  • Aaron@Strong.US May 23, 2013, 9:53 am

    Just another reason for a flat tax! Our tax system is unfair and this is proven by the latest IRS scandal.

    Reply
  • Louise May 23, 2013, 12:58 pm

    Get the popcorn! Apple, Amazon, Starbucks are among the big offenders, pushing the boundaries of what the code will allow. Here is a chart of IRS receipts by source:

    Here is a link to the chart: http://static6.businessinsider.com/image/519b96026bb3f7336e000014-992-804/screen%20shot%202013-05-21%20at%2011.41.57%20am.png

    It’s so entertaining watching the big companies hoard their cash overseas while the economy tanks, I started a twitter account: http://twitter.com/TaxElitism with media-recognized atrocities in timeline fashion. Little brick and mortar businesses struggle to survive, paying near 35% while supplying jobs to the local economy, while online has forged a way to pay the least for services we as citizens of the US enjoy, including the court system, which Apple flagrantly exploits, to the consumer’s disadvantage! Whew! I said a mouthful!

    Reply
  • Louise May 24, 2013, 6:03 am

    Our tax system is unfair and this is proven by the latest IRS scandal.

    Unfair or not, the law is the law – you have to obey, whether you agree or not, is what MY understanding is! These companies are not on board with this country. Then it filters down – I know, I know – to smaller businesses who register in Delaware, Wyoming, or Nevada, to save taxes from their own state. My traveling overseer had his own successful business, so I pummeled him to a finish, asking about paying taxes, because I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He finally answered, “You should pay in the state and country in which you live.” So, I am glad. He was successful doing even paying correctly!

    Partial bridge collapse in Washington state sends vehicles plunging into river
    cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57586034/partial-bridge-collapse-in-washington-state-sends-vehicles-plunging-into-river

    We’re going to see more scenes of this, because the infrastructure is crumbling. US ingenuity is great! But lots of bridges and water treatment plants were built in the ’50’s or earlier, and they need replacing.

    Reply
  • Louise May 24, 2013, 5:41 pm

    Check this Jon Stewart clip, highlighting senators celebrity-struck over Cook and Apple, instead of exposing the behemoth!

    Jon Stewart on APPLE CEO Tim Cooks
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLIf0m5CNXQ

    including Tim Cook telling the house how to run things! Well done!

    Reply

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