… Gets Hammered Down
Double Irish Under Attack
Closure to hurt American companies
A graphic explaining it. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/28/business/Double-Irish-With-A-Dutch-Sandwich.html
This is a sad day. One of my favorite things in the world, Apple’s tax shelter is under attack. The Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich is very likely to go the way of the Dodo bird and Swiss Numbered Accounts.
It’s a wonderful thing when someone takes what other people take for granted, looks at the same thing from a different angle, and discovers a breakthrough. This is now we got penicillin and the theory of relativity. And it’s how we got the Double Irish.
A long time ago, some tax guys working for Apple (and others) took a look at the complicated global tax picture and decided there had to be a weak link in there somewhere. In fact it turned out there were several of them, which they duly uncovered. Then they put them together into a cohesive tax strategy and ended up saving Apple $400 billion dollars in tax. That’s $400 Billion Dollars.
Hooray for them. This is what business is all about. Finding an edge and capitalizing. It’s called competitive advantage.
Things went along swimmingly and the tax savings piled up until, a decade later, the New York Times got wind of it and published an article. (Thanks a lot NY Times.) Then Congress held hearings and raked Apple over the coals, for no reason at all. (Thanks a lot Congress. You just ridiculed an iconic American company known far and wide for its creativity for being overly creative.) Then along comes an organization called “The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development” that declares war on the Double Irish. (We all know any company with “Cooperation” in its name is up to no good. Your organization just caused a remarkable case of cooperation between a private company and several countries to blow up. Pay more attention to your name.)
Ireland’s finance minister is proposing today to close the popular tax loophole.
Woe is me.
Everything was completely legal. No one broke the law. No one ever accused them of breaking the law. No one has ever been prosecuted. Dolce & Gabbana, those nitwits, were prosecuted for a bungled attempt to avoid taxes, but Apple’s strategy was completely legal. Even after everybody in the world knew about it, nobody was prosecuted. They were condemned by the Political Correctness Police, but never prosecuted and never even accused.
The countries knew what they were doing when the passed the laws. They did it on purpose to create tax havens. They did it to boost their economy. It worked. Now Ireland is succumbing to pressure and closing the Double Irish.
Who pays the price?
Apple, Google, Facebook, GE, Caterpillar and others.
The American economy
You and me