- Apple CEO Tim Cook is currently in Dublin, Ireland to receive an award recognizing Apple’s investment in the country over 40 years.
- Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will present Cook with the prize, which was first reported earlier this month.
- On Saturday, Cook thanked Ireland for its “amazing welcome” and tweeted a picture of himself alongside Irish singer-songwriter Hozier, offering to provide “backup vocals” for the star’s future songs.
- The tech giant has been accused of avoiding paying taxes by moving its profits into Irish subsidiaries, and in 2016 the European Commission ordered it to pay the Irish government €13 billion ($14.4 billion) to compensate for illegal tax breaks.
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Tim Cook is currently in Dublin to receive an award recognizing Apple’s investment in Ireland over the past 40 years.
Cook is currently in Dublin to receive the award, which will reportedly be presented by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, according to The Irish Times.
The Apple CEO took to Twitter on Saturday to post about the trip.
He wrote: “What an amazing welcome back to Ireland! Thank you @Hozier for sharing your music with me, and for the chance to look around the studio. Feel free to reach out if you ever need some backup vocals.”
It hasn’t been totally smooth sailing for Apple in Ireland however.
What an amazing welcome back to Ireland! Thank you @Hozier for sharing your music with me, and for the chance to look around the studio. Feel free to reach out if you ever need some backup vocals. ???? pic.twitter.com/Opfka0j2UK
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 19, 2020
The tech giant was accused of avoiding paying taxes by moving its US profits into Irish subsidiaries, while in 2016, the European Commission ordered it to pay the Irish government €13 billion ($14.4 billion) to compensate for what it described as illegal tax breaks.
In 2016, the Commission claimed that the effective tax rate the firm paid in Ireland, of less than 1%, amounted to illegal state aid. EU law states that member countries cannot hand tax breaks to selected companies.
For their part, both Apple and the Irish government have always vociferously denied any wrongdoing.
When the fine was first announced, Ireland’s finance minister Pascal Donohoe said he “fundamentally disagreed with the Commission’s analysis,” while Apple’s lawyers said as recently as September 2019 that the fine “defied reality and common sense.”
Apple did pay the fine in late 2018, nearly two years after the Commission’s deadline for payment, though the money is being held in escrow until the result of both Apple’s and the Irish government’s appeals are known.
Another fiasco was Apple’s planned data center in Ireland, in the town of Athenry. The pitch was that the data center would bring investment and jobs, but Apple scrapped the plan after running into planning problems.