EU Competition Chief on Apple Tax Probe: 'Don't Hold Your Breath'

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    A decision in the European Commission's probe of Apple's tax affairs in Ireland may not be reached soon, according to EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager (via Bloomberg).
    Apple is one of several multinational corporations, alongside Amazon, McDonald's, Starbucks, and others, that have been targeted for possible corporate tax avoidance in Europe. Brussels launched the probe in June 2014, and it formally accused the iPhone maker of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland three months later.

    If Apple's $64.1 billion in profits generated from 2004 to 2012 are subjected to a 12.5% tax rate, compared to its current foreign tax rate of about 1.8%, the company could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes. Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing, and vows to appeal any decision that goes against the company.

    Apple operates multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to pay significantly less tax outside of the U.S., where it earns up to 60% of its revenue. A decision in the tax probe was originally expected in late 2015, but the European Commission's request for additional information has pushed the investigation into 2016.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: EU Competition Chief on Apple Tax Probe: 'Don't Hold Your Breath'
     
  2. nebo1ss macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #2
    Many of the companies that have been exploiting the tax situation by using Ireland have been settling in individual countries. For example both Google and Facebook have settled in the UK paid some back tax "Though hardly enough" and will comply going forward. Apple will have to bite the bullet eventually. Of course it is possible for Europe to ignore the settlements negotiated in individual countries and impose heavy fines.
     
  3. carrrrrlos macrumors 6502

    carrrrrlos

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    PNW
    #3
    It’s going to be a busy year for Apple’s legal team.
     
  4. iSRS macrumors 6502

    iSRS

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #4
    I don't have a problem with them finding the setup to be unfair, or need to be changed. What I have a problem with is that they want to go back 12 years (and counting - as they continue to drag this out) and collect back taxes for a new rate.

    Change it, pick a recent date (1-Sept-2014 (when they formally accused), 1-Jul-2015 or 1-Jan-2016 seem reasonable) to collect the now considered back taxes and move on.

    Because to let this go on for over a decade, allow a company to legally operate, and then change your mind about it, again, a decade later, is not just.
     
  5. bushido Suspended

    bushido

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    blame the law not the player and change said law
     
  6. 512ke macrumors 6502

    512ke

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #6
    Europe talks tough but its economy is not in great shape, and its politics are not that stable. Chasing away American companies will not help either.
     
  7. iSRS macrumors 6502

    iSRS

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #7
    They are seeing $8 billion USD plus penalties...
     
  8. vmistery macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Apple won't stop selling stuff in Europe even if it does have to start paying more tax, all that will happen is prices will go up, the aim is to level the playing field. There is no doubt that these companies should be paying fair tax in every country the same as local businesses otherwise competition suffers which is the bone I have with the current tax arrangements. The problem is really with the tax systems themselves though and not the companies and Europe with the rest of the world needs to start ensuring that global players and smaller players are all able to play on a fair field which isn't currently the case.
     
  9. kidaje macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    #9
    What about Google and Microsoft?

    Do they use the same tax avoidancy policy?
     
  10. acegreen, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016

    acegreen macrumors member

    acegreen

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    #10
    Thats unfortunately not how it works. If EU charges from any of your dates onwards, the first thing Apple will do is say "hey, so its not illegal before but from this point onwards it is?" And it will have the whole thing thrown out in an appeal.

    Listen, its either they are guilty or not. With your logic, Allies should have only prosecuted Nazis for war crimes, ONLY following their invasion onwards. Because technically they "let it run" until they came and said enough is enough. Also EU didn't let them run legally for a decade. Sometimes big organizations just don't have the resources or mandate to deal with such issues. The EU spent the last decade reforming/refining its organizations, giving them more power under a more consolidated EU policy. They are now just reaping those benefits.
     
  11. aaronvan macrumors 65816

    aaronvan

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    I can see Puget Sound from here
    #11
    Europe is enfeebled and unable the compete on the global stage. Hence, legal action against innovative, ground-breaking American corporations.
     
  12. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

    Joined:
    May 9, 2015
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    12.5%?

    Apple should pay 25%, which would be more appropriate. They might as well pay more and more tax each year, since they can't find anything else to do with their money.
     
  13. jonnysods macrumors 68040

    jonnysods

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    There & Back Again
    #13
    Apple know what they're doing, no way will they give up 8 billion!!
     
  14. Cuban Missles macrumors 68030

    Cuban Missles

    #14
    I agree. If the EU says the Ireland law is invalid (or the one in Luxemburg) then the law needs to be changed in that country. However, the company that has been following the law on the books should not be held liable for all the years they were FOLLOWING THE LAW. If the law is changed, we should expect the company to then follow the new law or move countries. Anything outside of this seems punitive and not reasonable.
     
  15. a0me macrumors 6502a

    a0me

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #15
    Tax avoidance is costing the European and American economy dozens of billions of dollars, nobody is denying it. So let's not act surprised when our economy is "not in great shape."
     
  16. winston1236 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #16

    Yes and many others do as well and they are all being investigated. It's not just Europe that is cracking down on this though, most governments are going after large companies for tax avoidance and are increasingly sharing info with each other to find it.
     
  17. H2SO4, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016

    H2SO4 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    #17
    But;
    "We don't use tax gimmicks," Cook said. "We pay all the taxes we owe, every single dollar. We don't just comply with the law, we comply with the spirit of the law.”
    No Tim - nice but dim, you don’t. You’re a disingenuous liar. Disgusting.
     
  18. GadgetDon macrumors 6502

    GadgetDon

    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    #18
    Why would it take long? I regularly hear that the situation is cut and dried, Apple definitely owes 8 billion, there's no discussion, no question.

    Maybe it's NOT so cut and dried, maybe there are issues to be resolved. Weird.
     
  19. nebo1ss, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016

    nebo1ss macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #19
    Seem to remember the US jumping all over BP and exacting hugh fines, when in fact it was American company Halliburton hired by BP that totally messed up. Also look at the fines on European banks in the last two years and then come back and tell me about Europe bias.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 7, 2016 ---
    If you check what Apple is really doing you would be horrified. The corporate tax in the UK is 25 percent in Ireland it is 12.5 percent. You would think they are actually paying the 12.5 percent in Ireland. Facts show they pay next to nothing because the income from Ireland is then sent to some Caribbean offshore tax structured company.

    I think it should be called Racketeering.
     
  20. miniroll32 macrumors 6502a

    miniroll32

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #20
    I must be missing something at Starbucks then...
     
  21. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #21
    From my understanding of it - they're coming at it from a slightly different tack. Ireland is free to set its own tax rate, so the EU can't (or won't) yet interfere with that. Instead, they're claiming Ireland offered a unique tax deal to Apple - effectively a form of subsidy, which they can punish. If Apple had paid the 12.5% Irish corporate tax rate, or if every company had paid the same lower rate as Apple, then there would be no case.

    It was particularly farcical when - within the space of a few days - Cook commented that Apple had a special deal in Ireland, while the Irish Taoiseach denied any such deal existed.
     
  22. thermodynamic, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016

    thermodynamic macrumors 65816

    thermodynamic

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #22
    It's good that people have jobs. Helps the 'conomy.
     
  23. aaronvan macrumors 65816

    aaronvan

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    I can see Puget Sound from here
    #23
    Old Europe is litigating against Starbucks? Interesting, considering the thousands of Starbucks stores appearing all across the EU.
     
  24. thermodynamic macrumors 65816

    thermodynamic

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #24

    I think you have a typo in there, somewhere (misspelling "Tim" to form a derogatory epithet). But, yeah, it is disingenuous spin on his part. But not surprising, nor simplistic. If only everyday citizens can get away with the stunts our corporate countrymen can... Imagine the bank robber or murderer pulling those sorts of lines in getting around a crime.

    Still, this company has in the past has a history of embracing people who openly admit they're criminals. From "Good artists copy, great artists steal" with a big grin to not telling the customer base about a known defect then trying to pin the blame on them for when the problem exhibits itself (e.g. iPhone 4 antenna). Why would the present bunch of folks be any different, especially if the predecessor chose them?
    --- Post Merged, Mar 7, 2016 ---
    Multinational companies, otherwise they wouldn't have moved jobs or taxes offshore to begin with. They have zero loyalty to one country despite taking every form of corporate welfare/entitlement from us. Consider that.
     
  25. scaramoosh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    #25
    More tax just means more cost to the consumer.... tax them nothing tbh.
     

Share This Page