Tuesday, September 9, 2014

9/9/2014: iPhone 6 Dilemma for Ireland?..

And so it comes... the iPhone 6 is about to be launched, and Apple has a major dilemma. Hype in the market suggests bumper sales for the new phone. But sales mean profits. And profits, for Apple, mean growing a pile of cash stashed in off-shore locations, including Ireland that the company can't do much with. Get the dilemma? The Guardian did: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/07/apple-iphone-6-cash-pile-tax-avoidance-us?curator=MediaREDEF.

I covered this earlier: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2014/06/2562014-imf-on-corporate-tax-spillovers.html as well as within the context of the overall position of Ireland as a corporate tax non-haven (you can track the topic from the links starting here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2014/08/2682014-betting-on-corporate-tax.html).

Lest we forget: in the last 12 months through Q1 2014 (the latest for which data is available), Irish economy shipped out EUR26.678 billion in net factor payments abroad (these are, roughly, profits paid out to foreign entities out of Ireland, net of profits from Irish investments abroad). In the same 12 months period of 2012-2013, the amount was EUR28.517. Which means that in the 12 months through Q1 2014, cash repatriation out of Ireland was EUR1.839 billion lower than a year before. This contributed positively to our GDP. But our GDP over the same period rose by EUR1.953 billion. So if profits repatriation was running in 12 months through Q1 2014 at the same rate as in 12 months through Q1 2013, our GDP would have risen not by EUR1.953 billion (+1.13%) but by EUR114 million (+0.07%).

Let's take a look at Apple, again: the company has USD140 billion worth of cash stashed around the world, with much of this - by various reports between USD60 and USD90 billion via Ireland. Take a lower envelope and start repatriating... there can be a risk of a serious recession in Ireland were this to happen.

Ah, all the worries of the FDI-rich Ireland, the best little country to do tax business from...
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