In late August the European Commission ordered Ireland (behind paywall) to collect $14.5 billion in back taxes from Apple, saying the tech company has used the country as a tax haven for years. Apple said it'll have no trouble getting the decision overturned on appeal (Ireland is also expected to appeal), and appears to be doubling down on that bet by putting even more corporate assets underneath the Irish tax umbrella. Apple will essentially base its iTunes business in Holyhill, Ireland to serve customers in 100 countries. The business had been based in Luxembourg since 2004.
Apple paid 0.005% in taxes on its entire European profits in 2014, far below Ireland's normal corporate tax rate. One expert told Fast Company that acting as a tax shelter is a major part of Ireland's economic development strategy. MS