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E.U. to Take Ireland to Court For Failing to Claim Apple Tax

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The European Commission said on Wednesday it will take Ireland to court for its failure to recover up to 13 billion euros ($15.3 billion) of tax due from Apple (via Reuters). Apple was ordered to pay the unpaid taxes in August 2016 after the Commission ruled that the company had received illegal state aid.

The Commission argued that Irish revenue commissioners gave Apple unfair advantage between 1991 and 2007 by allowing the company to move income from the European market through two "non-resident" head office subsidiaries based in Ireland. Ireland vowed to appeal the ruling.
"More than one year after the Commission adopted this decision, Ireland has still not recovered the money," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, adding that Dublin had not even sought a portion of the sum.

"We of course understand that recovery in certain cases may be more complex than in others, and we are always ready to assist. But member states need to make sufficient progress to restore competition," she added.

The Commission said the deadline for Ireland to implement its decision had been Jan. 3 this year and that, until the aid was recovered, the company continued to benefit from an illegal advantage.
Ireland's finance ministry said it had never accepted the Commission's analysis in the Apple state aid decision, but would collect the money due pending Dublin's own appeal of the ruling.

"It is extremely regrettable that the Commission has taken this action, especially in relation to a case with such a large scale recovery amount," the ministry said in a statement.

Apple claimed earlier this year that the Commission made "fundamental errors" when it ruled that the company owed Ireland the unpaid taxes plus interest, and argued that the profits to those activities were attributable to the United States.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has called the EC's ruling "total political crap" and described the lower end 0.005 percent tax rate Apple is accused of paying as a "false number". The Apple CEO has previously said he believes the decision will be reversed.

In addition, Vestager announced a demand for Amazon to pay around 250 million euros in taxes to Luxembourg. Amazon denied it owed any back tax, and claimed it had not received any "special treatment" from Luxembourg.

"We will study the Commission's ruling and consider our legal options, including an appeal," an Amazon spokesperson said.

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: E.U. to Take Ireland to Court For Failing to Claim Apple Tax
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
Apple and Ireland are aligned on this issue. Apple has put several billion into escrow with Ireland to comply with the law as it is written under the dispute process. But EU is trying to extract $ from US taxpayers to pay for socialist and insolvent countries like France, Portugal, Greece, Italy and others.

Under current law any monies not paid to foreign tax authorities and repatriated to the US is taxed at the incremental rate to our rate. That's why Apple and everyone else parks money overseas. It's also why there is a huge push to reduce our rate to 20% and to have a lower repatriation rate around 10% or less.

cite:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/european-debt-crisis-not-just-greece-drowning-debt/
 
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Ries

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Apr 21, 2007
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Apple and Ireland are aligned on this issue. Apple has put several billion into escrow with Ireland to comply with the law as it is written under the dispute process. But EU is trying to extract $ from US taxpayers to pay for socialist and insolvent countries like France, Portugal, Greece, Italy and others.

Ireland has to abide bu EU tax law. I'm quite sure the EU don't care if Ireland or Apple is the one going to foot that bill, but one of them will. They made that money in the EU and the EU will have those taxes as agreed upon.
 
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kingpushup

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Jun 24, 2013
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I really want to see the EU find success in life - its harmonic alliance can be good for the world - but not like this. If it has teeth to add some bite to its laws, do so on a go-forward basis. None of this selective bluster or worse perhaps: ex post facto cherry picking crap, imho.
 
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brianvictor7

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Oct 24, 2013
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So, let me see if I understand this right. A commission magically found after OVER TWO DECADES that Apple and Ireland had been violating the law in plain sight of THE WHOLE WORLD and now they want to sue? Sorry EU, but you have yourself to blame for this one if you don't like it. Change the law to close the loophole if you like, but you'll have to put on a mighty fine tap-dance show to convince me that any laws were broken here.

Now, whether or not what Apple and Ireland did was ethical is another discussion.
 
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giggles

macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2012
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Apple should proportionally contribute to the roads, police forces and fiber infrastructure that make its business possible in the countries where Apple makes business.

Ireland should abide to EU law, of course.

Simple as that.

I'll leave legal technicalities to the courts, pretty sure both sides have top lawyers.
 
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Rocketman

macrumors 603
The problem with the EU structure itself is it is a currency and trade zone but not a common fiscal zone like the USA or even Russia. The individual members are fiscally insolvent and have no intention of changing that. Imagine if the state of New York ran annual $100B deficits.

Oh wait.

The EU needs to become a fiscal union or dissolve.
 
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TheRealTVGuy

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Jul 21, 2010
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"make sufficient progress to restore competition,"

This isn't about competition, this about yet another governmental entity getting their hands on more $$.
I'm a business owner and there is no incentive to do well when the better you do, the more the government takes. The worst part is, even though we technically have representation, when none of it reflects your values or ideals (or they spend most of the tax dollars in asinine ways), are we REALLY getting representation for our taxation?
 
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giggles

macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2012
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Apple goes out of its way to portray itself as progressive, compassionate, and the champion of the disadvantaged, but they sure don't want to give up penny of profit.

Also, rainbow watchband sporting Disney family friendly morning tv interview gay persona Tim Cook going all "it's total crap" about institutions acting on behalf of 510million EU citizens is some DrJekyll/MrHyde stuff..
 
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gnipgnop

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Feb 18, 2009
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Under current law any monies not paid to foreign tax authorities and repatriated to the US is taxed at the incremental rate to our rate. That's why Apple and everyone else parks money overseas. It's also why there is a huge push to reduce our rate to 20% and to have a lower repatriation rate around 10% or less.

There's no real penalty for Apple or anyone else under the current system. Federal interest rates on borrowing are lower than the return on bonds, so all Apple has to do is hold a bond sale and essentially it's like the U.S. government is paying them to borrow. That's why Apple has held so many bond sales. It's literally free money under the current interest rate structure. Giving them a break on repatriation is just doubling the giveaway.
 
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Jsameds

Suspended
Apr 22, 2008
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Only if Apple can prove that they had all the reasons to believe they were paying a fair/legal tax rate.

Reality is that they choose Ireland as their European hub for one reason only, that they could get a sweetheart tax deal.

Of course they did, but Ireland set the terms. If those terms were illegal the onus should be on Ireland, not Apple.
 
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maerz001

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2010
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So, let me see if I understand this right. A commission magically found after OVER TWO DECADES that Apple and Ireland had been violating the law in plain sight of THE WHOLE WORLD and now they want to sue? Sorry EU, but you have yourself to blame for this one if you don't like it. Change the law to close the loophole if you like, but you'll have to put on a mighty fine tap-dance show to convince me that any laws were broken here.

Now, whether or not what Apple and Ireland did was ethical is another discussion.
As the article says the existing law was broken. So no need to change the law.

But yes they should be much faster getting those multi billion dollars.

Why do u even think that it's good to leave Apple untouched there? They made so much money and just getting lazy and slow with updates or inventions. Good example is the 4year old design of the iPhone 8
 
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