back to article Microsoft Irish subsidiary makes $314.73bn profit

A subsidiary of Microsoft in Ireland that is "resident" in Bermuda for tax purposes has reported a whopping $314.73bn in profit. Registered in Dublin, Ireland, Microsoft Round Island One recorded $13.6bn in revenue for the 2020 financial year. That was up from $9.9bn a year earlier. The British island territory, famous for …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the correct word

    Why does the word "theft" always come to mind when reading these kind's of articles ?

    What alternative words could be used to sum up the kind of culture where the common man struggles to get by whilst corporations such as these shower themselves in gold with the governments blessing.

    I am happy that companies become successful but this far outweighs requirements or achievements, this becomes pure greed, in the worse sense.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: shower themselves in gold with the governments blessing.

      Be careful with that analogy.

      Trump will want to join in.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: shower themselves in gold with the governments blessing.

        IF Trump were as smart as he says he is, he would have.

        Then they would have gone bankrupt...

    2. oiseau
      WTF?

      Re: What's the correct word

      Why does the word "theft" always come to mind ...?

      Because it is closely related to what this really is: piracy.

      But then ...

      Who is at fault here?

      Microsoft's Irish Round Island whatever or the Irish government's, who for some strange reason can happily forego the tax on a whooping (I assume US currency) $314.73bn.

      The relationship between the Irish authorities, tax and mega tech corporations has at times been strained.

      Hmm ...

      Yes, obviously very strained.

      Uncannily so.

      There is a saying in Spanish speaking countries which basically translates thus:

      It's not about the pig, it's about the one who feeds it.

      Maybe the Irish authorities read ElReg:

      Ní bhaineann sé leis an muc, baineann sé leis an té a bheathaíonn í.

      O.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: What's the correct word

      "What alternative words could be used to sum up the kind of culture where the common man struggles to get by whilst corporations such as these shower themselves in gold with the governments blessing."

      It always reminds of the old adage "if you owe the bank £1000, you have a problem. If you owe the bank £1,000,000, the bank has a problem"

      Government can tax millions of little people who can't individually afford expensive tax accountants.lawyers. $billion corporations can.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: What's the correct word

        Come on, taxes are for the poor, and only the poor.

        The rich and influential don't bother paying taxes, because "it's their hard-earned money". Obviously the poor don't hard-earn, because they keep paying taxes. Yes, I know, why don't they also hire some specialist lawyers and financial advisors, create some offshore puppet holding companies and funnel their meager daily wages through those... Too lazy, clearly. They're clearly the only ones to blame.

    4. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

      Re: What's the correct word

      "Why does the word "theft" always come to mind when reading these kind's of articles ?"

      The correct word is "legal"! If it were not then the Irish government would indeed pursue this entity for restitution.

      If you are concerned about corporations using "legal" means for reducing their tax burden, then you should lobby for those laws to be changed in your home country.

      I don't know anything about Irish (or any European countries) tax laws but here in the US most of these methods of reducing a corporations (and especially when it comes to Wall Street firms) taxes were codified into law not by those "evil" Republicans but by the "so called" tax the rich Democrats.

    5. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: What's the correct word

      B'stards?

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Coat

    "The British island territory, famous for its pink sands, is incidentally not round. Perhaps it's an in-joke among, er, residents."

    I live in Bermuda and this is the first time I've heard this reference.

  3. Chubango
    Joke

    Trickle-on economics

    I'm sure they've created a bunch of well-paying jobs with these profits.

  4. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Microsoft is good at abusing boundaries...

    Back in the day we used to refer to them as buffer overflows and such like.

    Try mailing them at the registered address and see if you get an Invalid Page Fault.

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft is good at abusing boundaries...

      Bermudan Screen Of Death

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Microsoft is good at abusing boundaries...

      It's not just Microsoft, it's every single multinational corporation. They all have teams of tax lawyers whose job is to move their money around to legally avoid taxes. Non multinationals do it to but generally less blatantly.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft is good at abusing boundaries...

        Worse still: they fund lobbies to draft legislation that suits them. Tax is difficult and international even more so because the lobbies get to fly the flag and make everything an act of patriotism.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Nagi of the Ferengi-Nazi States of America are masters at acquiring latinum and hiding it from Brunt and the Grand Nagus.

  6. ShadowSystems

    Multiple gigaton meteore strikes...

    One on the head of every MS C-level executive, HQ, and tax haven. Pretty please?

    If you strike them down I'll wear pants for a whole month!

    *Sighs in disgust*

    Where's a passing Vogon Constructa ship when you want one?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's stories like these that would tempt me to (try to) find ways around paying the license fees - if I used Microsoft products.

  8. Lorribot

    There is another way

    All corporations of a size do this moving of money around, it is what people pay accountants to do, saves them tax and makes companies better off. It is what it is because we have stupidly complicated tax systems. If our tax system was a firewall we would have been hacked...pretty much continously.

    Until we elect governments that actually want to get rid of all the tax rules rather than create more more loop holes "to stimulate the economy" then there will always be these stories.

    I once read a Sunday Times (I think) article that did the numbers and stated if we got rid of all taxes and loopholes and just paid 12% income tax on everything we earnt that would net the government the same income as they get now and it would be a lot simpler to to do. And it would only be one page instead of the 10,000 or so we have now.

    No VAT, no CGT, no corporation tax, no alcohol or stamp duty and no loopholes. Simple to do, simple to police and simple to prosecute.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: There is another way

      Was that 12% for everyone, no matter their income? There's currently a lot of people who don't pay tax because they don't reach the current income threshold. Those people are the one least likely to be able to afford even that low 12%. I wonder how the figures work if we pay, say 20% of everything over £12,000? Still keeps it simple and we don't drive the poor even further into poverty.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: There is another way

        Or you could introduce a Universal Basic Income and solve the problem that way.

    2. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: There is another way

      You know, taxation started like that: pay me $ammount of what you have and you continue to live.

      Then the rich hired smart guys to hide their worth who, in turn, invented bribes... erm, political contributions.

      Then... apocalypse! The lawyer was invented. The rest is history.

  9. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Black Hole

    Something in the shape that attracts and holds onto $$$?

    Apple HQ

    Microsoft Round Island One

  10. anothercynic Silver badge

    And yet...

    ... Everyone goes after Amazon.

    Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Google, Facebook, Twitter, the list goes on, folks. They're *all* at it because no-one wants to grasp the nettle and rip it out.

  11. seven of five

    Ireland. again.

    The Irish government is working harder at the destruction of the EU than any leave campain could do.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Ireland. again.

      This wouldn't be possible without Bermuda being a tax haven though. Tax evasion seems to be the main income for British overseas territories.

      1. EnviableOne

        Re: Ireland. again.

        the top 3in the financial secrecy index are overseas teritories

        British Virgin Islands

        Cayman islands

        Bermuda

        the BVI was the number one pace people hid their money in the panama papers (orders of magnitude above second and third)

    2. elaar

      Re: Ireland. again.

      It was the Tory and UKIP MEPs (those that bother to ever show up) that voted against EU legislation to tackle corporate tax avoidance. I wonder why? British overseas territories top the list for world's biggest enablers of tax abuse.

      We can't blame Ireland here...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somehow I don't feel so guilty

    for furloughing my partner from our PSC for the last year while saving money on commuting and overnight expenses. Stashed the loot in our pensions to swerve tax. Yet I still pay more tax than Microsoft in Ireland.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Taxation

    Without Redmondpresentation!

  14. tiggity Silver badge

    translation

    "Our organisational and tax structure reflects our complex global business. We are fully compliant with all local laws and regulations in the countries where we operate."

    translates as

    We employ teams of skilled accountants to exploit every loophole and tax haven we can possibly find as making money is far more important, we don't care about depriving nation states of tax revenue that could benefit their population because social responsibility is a thing we pay lip service to but want to avoid whenever possible,

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: translation

      > we don't care about depriving nation states of tax revenue

      It's way simpler than that: "We only settle where we're sure to not have to pay any tax". You don't seriously think they chose Ireland for its scenic beauty? Like all other Ireland-based subsidiaries of big multinational companies, they are there because they can avoid paying any taxes while being inside the free market of the EU.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there a repeated typo in this article, or did MS really make a profit of 10x revenue?

    "Microsoft subsidiary makes $314.73bn profit"

    "Registered in Dublin, Ireland, Microsoft Round Island One recorded $13.6bn in revenue for the 2020 financial year"

    So $314.73bn profit on $13.6bn sales...

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