Ireland must recover up to 13 billion euros ($14.6 billion) in unpaid taxes from Apple, European officials said on Tuesday.
On the surface, this might seem like a windfall to Ireland. To the contrary, Ireland said it will appeal the decision, saying Apple paid what it owed. The country has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe, making it an attractive place for global companies.
On our trip to Ireland this summer we were reminded that Apple, Intel, Google and Facebook, and Silicon Valley tech startups are all opening offices in Ireland. We visited some of them to see for ourselves.
“Dublin looks a lot like home: a young and educated workforce, global business culture, population thirsting for new technology and Twitter and Facebook signs dotting the horizon,” as the San Jose Mercury News has observed.
“Labor and real estate are cheaper than in other European destination cities and, more than the familiar language or palatable food, the city’s tech tenant roster makes Dublin feel comfortable to Silicon Valley transplants.”
AerLingus now has a thriving nonstop flight from San Francisco to Dublin. ““Approximately 40 percent of the foreign direct investment to Ireland from the U.S. comes from the Silicon Valley area,”Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller has said. “This route will strengthen the links between Silicon Valley and Ireland’s own cluster of tech companies in Dublin.”
Ireland might find a better partner in Silicon Valley than the EU, which is beginning to look and feel like “yesterday’s lettuce.”