“The biggest technology company on Earth has a sizable portion of its operations here on the outskirts of Cork, a provincial town in southern Ireland, up a hill past a traffic circle marked with a large statue of Jesus Christ on the cross,” Vivienne Walt reports for Fortune. “In other words, this is about as far as one can get from Apple’s Silicon Valley base of Cupertino, more than five thousand miles away.”

MacDailyNews Take: Close. Only 7,400 miles off from as far as one can get from Cupertino.

“And yet Cork — population about 120,000 — is home to five of Apple’s global subsidiaries, including Apple Sales International, which manages the company’s gargantuan global distribution and sales of iPads, iPhones, computers, and its many other devices. (Also here are Apple Operations Europe, Apple Operations International, Apple Distribution International, and Apple Operations,)” Walt reports. “Yet there are no multi-lane highways across the street from its redbrick and glass building. Rather, a pair of horses munches on a rangy patch of grass, near to an empty soccer field, while a few miles away, dairy cows laze on the green fields of Blarney under a stormy sky — just as they did decades ago, when Steve Jobs flew into Cork in 1980 to open Apple’s overseas operation.”

MacDailyNews Take: That’s a football field, Viv. You know, the real football.

Walt reports, “From the front, Apple HQ could well be mistaken for a high school, bland and modern, and just three stories high. And foot traffic is thin enough that when Fortune wandered up to the entrance on Tuesday morning, security guards quickly took notice. Was there anyone we could say hello to, we asked? No, the nearest public-relations staffer was in London. Despite that, the activities inside this modest building have provoked a firestorm in Washington, which has now rippled all the way back to Ireland. In U.S. Senate hearings last May, Apple struggled to explain how it had managed to avoid an estimated $44 billion or so in U.S. taxes, by taking advantage of Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax rate, as well as mechanisms that effectively rendered it stateless for tax purposes.”

MacDailyNews Take: If by “struggled,” you mean having U.S. Senators eating out of your hand, you’d be correct.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The U.S. corporate tax rate is way too high. Obviously.

Under the current U.S. corporate tax system, it would be very expensive to repatriate that cash. Unfortunately, the tax code has not kept up with the digital age. The tax system handicaps American corporations in relation to our foreign competitors who don’t have such constraints on the free flow of capital… Apple has always believed in the simple, not the complex. You can see it in our products and the way we conduct ourselves. It is in this spirit that we recommend a dramatic simplification of the corporate tax code. This reform should be revenue neutral, eliminate all corporate tax expenditures, lower corporate income tax rates and implement a reasonable tax on foreign earnings that allows the free flow of capital back to the U.S. We make this recommendation with our eyes wide open, realizing this would likely increase Apple’s U.S. taxes. But we strongly believe such comprehensive reform would be fair to all taxpayers, would keep America globally competitive and would promote U.S. economic growth.Apple CEO Tim Cook, May 21, 2013

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