Apple Says EU-Ireland Tax Order 'Defies Reality and Common Sense'

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Apple on Tuesday argued that the European Union's order for it to pay 13 billion euros ($14.3 billion) in back taxes to Ireland "defies reality and common sense," as it kicked off its legal challenge against the ruling.


According to Reuters, Apple also said the European Commission was using its powers "to retrofit changes to national law," which would create legal uncertainty for businesses.

Apple sent a six-person delegation led by its CFO Luca Maestri to the two-day court hearing taking place over Tuesday and Wednesday in Luxembourg. The company is arguing the same case that CEO Tim Cook made in a public letter about the tax ruling three years ago; namely, that Apple follows the law and pays all the taxes it owes in every country where it operates, including Ireland.

Apple also argues that nearly all of its research and development takes place in the United States, which is where the company pays the majority of its taxes.
"The Commission contends that essentially all of Apple's profits from all of its sales outside the Americas must be attributed to two branches in Ireland," Apple's lawyer Daniel Beard told the court.

He said the fact the iPhone, the iPad, the App Store, other Apple products and services and key intellectual property rights were developed in the United States, and not in Ireland, showed the flaws in the Commission's case.

"The branches' activities did not involve creating, developing or managing those rights. Based on the facts of this case, the primary line defies reality and common sense," Beard said.

"The activities of these two branches in Ireland simply could not be responsible for generating almost all of Apple's profits outside the Americas."
In 2016, the European Commission found Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland. Apple and Ireland both appealed the ruling, but the European Commission opened litigation against Ireland in October 2017 for its failure to procure Apple's back taxes, and Apple has already almost finished paying the back taxes it owes. If the order is overturned, the money will be returned to Apple.

Article Link: Apple Says EU-Ireland Tax Order 'Defies Reality and Common Sense'
 

RJCP

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2011
417
35
As a European, I agree with the EC ruling. I have, however, mixed feelings about the charge being retroactive because the fact is that it took the Commission all these years to crack down on the whole thing.

Moving forward, I’m 100% in agreement that the situation needs to be rectified because no matter how you spin it, Apple should never only pay 0.5% in tax. Paying retroactively comes a bit across as petty populist justice. A fine consisting of a percentage of the money owed in the past, sure thing.
 
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flottenheimer

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2008
1,174
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Up north
If this holds true, even partially, Apple should not only pay — they should also feel very ashamed and morally corrupt.
If not, shame on the EU.


Looking forward to see where this one ends.
Meanwhile, tax evasion is a pest to societies everywhere.
 

Khedron

macrumors 68000
Sep 27, 2013
1,978
3,708
As a European, I agree with the EC ruling. I have, however, mixed feelings about the charge being retroactive because the fact is that it took the Commission all these years to crack down on the whole thing.

Moving forward, I’m 100% in agreement that the situation needs to be rectified because no matter how you spin it, Apple should never only pay 0.5% in tax. Paying retroactively comes a bit across as petty populist justice. A fine consisting of a percentage of the money owed in the past, sure thing.
If you just make it a percentage fine then it's a guaranteed money making scheme. Plus all US corporations would then be legally required to maximise shareholder value by actively seeking similar deals.

This is like saying a thief should only be required to return a percentage of the things they stole.
 
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Jandalf

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2016
11
13
Am I the only one getting confused?:
Apple had to pay back taxes (0.005% in my opinion is far from any fair Corp. tax rate).
After some back and fourth Apple did pay (as MacRumors stated in 11/2018). And now they go to court and want their money back???
Paying at first seemed to me like an acknowledgement of wrong doing...?
 

jhfenton

macrumors 6502a
Dec 11, 2012
934
481
Cincinnati, Ohio
Am I the only one getting confused?:
Paying at first seemed to me like an acknowledgement of wrong doing...?
Not at all. It is quite common in many tax systems, including in the U.S., that you have to pay a disputed tax assessment and then litigate for a refund.
 

JoshBoy

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2008
394
187
Sydney, Australia
Am I the only one getting confused?:
Apple had to pay back taxes (0.005% in my opinion is far from any fair Corp. tax rate).
After some back and fourth Apple did pay (as MacRumors stated in 11/2018). And now they go to court and want their money back???
Paying at first seemed to me like an acknowledgement of wrong doing...?
No, they paid into trust, it’s held till the matter is resolved, it demonstrates that they wish to resolve legally. People also need to remember that certain countries will bid deals for companies to operate out of them, to help build revenue, create jobs etc etc
If a location offered me a better deal I would take it. Simple.
 

cfurlin

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2011
364
630
All lies. Does anyone believe apple sold $3 trillion of stuff in Ireland? With 0 apple retail stores. It is obvious the world is out to punish apple.
Everyone wants to make Apple their personal ATM. I’m surprised the woke scolds haven’t sued Apple for using color schemes they find “offensive” or make them feel “unsafe”.
 

H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
4,353
3,752
No, they paid into trust, it’s held till the matter is resolved, it demonstrates that they wish to resolve legally. People also need to remember that certain countries will bid deals for companies to operate out of them, to help build revenue, create jobs etc etc
If a location offered me a better deal I would take it. Simple.
I’m sure what you meant to say is, “If a location offered me a better deal that was legal, I would take it. Simple.”
?
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,137
5,215
Home is everywhere and nowhere.
Really Apple? Sorry but I also think paying just 0.005% tax ‘defies reality and common sense’!

It’s also a disgusting slap in the face of everyone else in society paying for your shortfall in taxes!

It was a clear breach of EU tax laws and EVERYONE knew it!
Some of our American friends think otherwise, just look at the comments here and in former articles concerning this topic.
Most of them seem to be misinformed.
The EU slapped more fines on companies such as Microsoft and Google, did they ever overturn those fines...Nope.
Now only if the EU would do the same to Facebook, matter of time...not if.
I really don't get it why some of our American friends are so hardheaded on this topic, they are or misinformed or just think the EU needs more money, amongst other reasons.


Ireland is in the EU, they must abide by EU law, you can not give preferential treatment to a company (State sponsoring), that's unfair for others, therefor Apple has to pay the tax other company pays, they clearly did not.
 
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WBRacing

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2012
1,108
2,418
UK
Some of our American friends think otherwise, just look at the comments here and in former articles concerning this topic.
Most of them seem to be misinformed.
The EU slapped more fines on companies such as Microsoft and Google, did they ever overturn those fines...Nope.
Now only if the EU would do the same to Facebook, matter of time...not if.
I really don't get it why some of our American friends are so hardheaded on this topic, they are or misinformed or just think the EU needs more money, amongst other reasons.


Ireland is in the EU, they must abide by EU law, you can not give preferential treatment to a company (State sponsoring), that's unfair for others, therefor Apple has to pay the tax other company pays, they clearly did not.
People on here who defend Apple clearly have never dealt B2B with them, they are both aggressive and razor sharp. They know what they are doing business wise and happy to use their enviable position to further serve and benefit themselves.

Fact is they entered into this deal and should have (and most definitely would have) always known that the EU might come a knocking, as this breaches their law. That really is the end of discussion. There is no defence, other than of course that from the ever faithful ADL.
 

tongxinshe

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2008
786
346
Really Apple? Sorry but I also think paying just 0.005% tax ‘defies reality and common sense’!

It’s also a disgusting slap in the face of everyone else in society paying for your shortfall in taxes!

It was a clear breach of EU tax laws and EVERYONE knew it!
Anyone with THE MINIMUM sense of math will immediately know the "0.005%" is a PURELY WRONG judgement, I mean, WRONG, not mistake or anything weaker. One clear indisputable fact is, for that year, Apple paid 400 million as tax to Ireland. Just do the SIMPLEST math, what sales/profit baseline that "0.005%" judgement used!
 

apolloa

macrumors G5
Oct 21, 2008
12,253
7,703
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Some of our American friends think otherwise, just look at the comments here and in former articles concerning this topic.
Most of them seem to be misinformed.
The EU slapped more fines on companies such as Microsoft and Google, did they ever overturn those fines...Nope.
Now only if the EU would do the same to Facebook, matter of time...not if.
I really don't get it why some of our American friends are so hardheaded on this topic, they are or misinformed or just think the EU needs more money, amongst other reasons.


Ireland is in the EU, they must abide by EU law, you can not give preferential treatment to a company (State sponsoring), that's unfair for others, therefor Apple has to pay the tax other company pays, they clearly did not.
Yeap exactly. Although it’s Ireland who has to pay the back tax, not Apple, yet Apple ‘think’ they can overturn the decision haha, no chance.
[doublepost=1568754739][/doublepost]
Anyone with THE MINIMUM sense of math will immediately know the "0.005%" is a PURELY WRONG judgement, I mean, WRONG, not mistake or anything weaker. One clear indisputable fact is, for that year, Apple paid 400 million as tax to Ireland. Just do the SIMPLEST math, what sales/profit baseline that "0.005%" judgement used!
Erm, it was widely reported in mainstream news and the EU commission, it’s a fact not a confused calculation. This is how much tax Apple was paying Ireland in 2014, fact.
[doublepost=1568754873][/doublepost]
Who is gonna pay for infrastructure/education/security/safety....
The rest of society according to Apple, not the worlds richest company.
 
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lec0rsaire

macrumors 65816
Feb 23, 2017
1,494
1,402
I thought those double Irish Dutch sandwiches were really tasty? “Defies reality and common sense.” LOL!