Apple Hit With Tax Lobbying Protest, Italian Investigation Into AppleCare Offerings

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CNET reports that Apple is being targeted for protests by US Uncut, an organization seeking to stop companies from avoiding taxes, with the organization planning a series of protests at Apple's retail stores on June 4th. The organization is protesting Apple's participation in the "Win America Campaign" (WAC), an effort that has seen Apple banding together with other major companies to lobby for one-time tax breaks on profits currently being held overseas.
The group seeks to have Apple leave the WAC, which it claims is lobbying Congress for what would end up being a $4 billion tax cut for the company, as well as to cease other lobbying activities relating to "tax loopholes."

"Apple plays huge games with their taxes. By disguising profits in the U.S. as foreign earnings in low-tax countries, Apple dodges billions of dollars of taxes they should be paying," the group said in a statement this week.
US Uncut is also targeting Bank of America, Verizon, FedEx, GE, and BP with its June 4th "National Day of Action", although Apple appears to be the group's primary target for "dance-in" protests and other actions.




Meanwhile, setteB.IT reports that an Italian regulatory agency has taken action against Apple for its sale of AppleCare extended warranty programs that overlap with standard warranties required by European law, effectively selling customers warranty protection that they do not need.

Apple's standard warranties are good for one year, with AppleCare extended warranties pushing that coverage out to a total of two or three years depending on the product. European law requires, however, a standard two-year warranty, overlapping or entirely coinciding with Apple's separate AppleCare offerings. Complicating the issue are differing warranty requirements for manufacturers and sellers, requirements that Apple has apparently argued are being satisfactorily met but with which regulators disagree.

The actions taken by the Italian consumer agency could result in fines levied against Apple and serve as the basis for civil actions by customers.

Article Link: Apple Hit With Tax Lobbying Protest, Italian Investigation Into AppleCare Offerings
 
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ratzzo

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2011
826
35
Madrid
If Apple unrightfully avoided their taxes, I don't find it too bad that they are put in the same bag as those who didn't. Just pay the amount you owe.

And I love European laws.
 

d0minick

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2011
304
503
In the US we have the 14, 60, or 90 day warranty policies. I really like Europes' 1 year policies :D. Plus a 2 year extended. Once the 3 years are over you get a new lappy. :)

As for taxes, if I can't do sketchy things to dodge em, neither should Apple.
 

iStudentUK

macrumors 65816
Mar 8, 2009
1,439
4
London
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-gb) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

I've been pointing out for ages that EU law offers protection to consumers that can make AppleCare unnecessary in some circumstances. Glad to see the Italians may be addressing this. However, EU law doesn't mandate a 2 year warranty, it is a bit more complex than that. People in the EU should not assume that all electronics they buy are automatically covered for 2 years. It is about understanding the subtle difference between the legal coverage and AppleCare and deciding if the extra money is worth it.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,899
1,130
Washington DC
You know, I love Apple. I'm a shareholder and I want them to become as rich as possible.

And yet...yeah. US Uncut is absolutely right. We should all be complaining about such things.

But I kind of think protesting the companies is stupid. They'll always try to get the best deal they can. They should, that's just smart. It's the government that sets the rules, we should be complaining to them if the rules aren't strong enough.

This is like standing by the side of the road with a 'slow down' sign instead of trying to actually change the speed limit.
 

dustinsc

macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2009
230
52
There's an important distinction you learn in accounting classes between tax avoidance and tax evasion. A company would be stupid (and be doing a disservice to its shareholders) if it didn't pursue every legal avenue to avoid taxes. Tax evasion on the other hand, is illegally avoiding taxes, using methods that go against GAAP to hide profits or some other form of fraud.

I suspect Apple is avoiding taxes. In that case, if you want them to pay more in taxes, go after the government, not the company. You can't lobby a company to act irrationally and win.
 

whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,564
632
Cork, Ireland.
From our point of view - bad news for Ireland if this takes hold; Ireland being one of those pesky countries with very low corporate tax rates which Apple is availing of.
 

dustinsc

macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2009
230
52
You know, I love Apple. I'm a shareholder and I want them to become as rich as possible.

And yet...yeah. US Uncut is absolutely right. We should all be complaining about such things.

But I kind of think protesting the companies is stupid. They'll always try to get the best deal they can. They should, that's just smart. It's the government that sets the rules, we should be complaining to them if the rules aren't strong enough.

This is like standing by the side of the road with a 'slow down' sign instead of trying to actually change the speed limit.
I guess we had the same idea at roughly the same time, since I posted almost the exact same idea just below you :D
 

Les Kern

macrumors 68040
Apr 26, 2002
3,063
76
Alabama
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/27/apple-hit-with-tax-lobbying-protest-italian-investigation-into-applecare-offerings/Image
.....an effort that has seen Apple banding together with other major companies to lobby for one-time tax breaks on profits currently being held overseas.
No.
I pay my taxes, you pay yours. And why, pray tell, do you want to bring the money back in anyway? See, THAT'S the real question.

And while I'm at it, with almost 70BN in cash, would it KILL you to manufacture SOMETHING in America? All you want to do is duck taxes and pay slaves to make your crap. Typical corporate blood-sucking whores.
 

reden

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
629
553
In the US we have the 14, 60, or 90 day warranty policies. I really like Europes' 1 year policies :D. Plus a 2 year extended. Once the 3 years are over you get a new lappy. :)

As for taxes, if I can't do sketchy things to dodge em, neither should Apple.
Why do you use so many smiley faces? :):D:):):D:):):D:rolleyes:;)
 

Tiger8

macrumors 68020
May 23, 2011
2,479
649
Why blame Apple for taking advantage of a HUGE loophole in the Tax law? Even as individuals we can't wait for a deduction or so (a lot of people buy homes to take advantage of tax shelters) so are we surprised that a multibillion company would do that? Look at GE.

We should blame our government and tax code for giving such loopholes.
 

ciTiger

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2011
626
0
Portugal (Porto)
It's true Apple care here in Europe always confused me since we are supposed to have 2 years standard warranty and not just a Year... What Apple employees claim when asked is that the standard warranty is indeed 2 years but after a year without Apple Care the warranty is only valid for certain types of malfunctions although they don't specify which...
While Apple is supposed to cover most things I m not really sure what the standard warranty covers but I guess it should be similar right?
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,899
1,130
Washington DC
Why blame Apple for taking advantage of a HUGE loophole in the Tax law? Even as individuals we can't wait for a deduction or so (a lot of people buy homes to take advantage of tax shelters) so are we surprised that a multibillion company would do that? Look at GE.

We should blame our government and tax code for giving such loopholes.
Well, the point is that Apple is asking for more loopholes that doen't exist yet.

But then they should tell the government to say "no." Make people angry about it and make sure the government knows people don't like it.

Just telling Apple to not even ask is a waste of time, I think.
 

Tiger8

macrumors 68020
May 23, 2011
2,479
649
would it KILL you to manufacture SOMETHING in America? All you want to do is duck taxes and pay slaves to make your crap. Typical corporate blood-sucking whores.
Would it KILL you to pay $1,500 for the iPad 2?
 

Aidoneus

macrumors 6502
Aug 3, 2009
313
0
There's an important distinction you learn in accounting classes between tax avoidance and tax evasion. A company would be stupid (and be doing a disservice to its shareholders) if it didn't pursue every legal avenue to avoid taxes. Tax evasion on the other hand, is illegally avoiding taxes, using methods that go against GAAP to hide profits or some other form of fraud.

I suspect Apple is avoiding taxes. In that case, if you want them to pay more in taxes, go after the government, not the company. You can't lobby a company to act irrationally and win.
This.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't companies legally obliged to avoid taxes wherever possible? Surely doing otherwise would be acting against the interests of shareholders, and they could be taken to court.
 

FriarNurgle

macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2011
233
0
Why all the outrage? This is standard business practice in the US. The entire tax code needs rewritten, but who do you think will end up writing it? The corporate lobbyists will ensure it still works out for their benefit.
 

RalfTheDog

macrumors 65816
Feb 23, 2010
1,413
81
Lagrange Point
If a country is sheltering money by sending jobs out of the United States, and they want a one time tax break to bring those jobs back to America, I say, Go for it!
 

mzeb

macrumors regular
Jan 30, 2007
108
74
There's an important distinction you learn in accounting classes between tax avoidance and tax evasion. A company would be stupid (and be doing a disservice to its shareholders) if it didn't pursue every legal avenue to avoid taxes. Tax evasion on the other hand, is illegally avoiding taxes, using methods that go against GAAP to hide profits or some other form of fraud.

I suspect Apple is avoiding taxes. In that case, if you want them to pay more in taxes, go after the government, not the company. You can't lobby a company to act irrationally and win.
That's the way it looks to me to. Apple hasn't done anything illegal, and what's happening as far as I can tell is that the US is trying to become more competitive in it's corporate taxes. That's why Apple wants to move money back in. That's why we're seeing the datacenters go up in the US (well, that and better US connection speeds). It may actually behoove the US economy on the whole (increased jobs due to more $$ in the US) to allow this break.
 

PraisiX-windows

macrumors regular
May 19, 2011
185
0
I live in Denmark, and at least here it's like this.
They need to cover our products for 2 years, however, if the problem that might occur with our product is due to "user error" (i.e. negligence etc.) they don't have to, so I believe yeah, we got 2 years of warranty standard, but convincing the manufacturers that the error is a manufacturing related issue and not a user created one, that becomes hard after a few months. - Some companies are way harder than others to convince.