Ireland Expects EU to Reach Decision in Apple Tax Probe by October

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A decision in the European Commission probe of Apple's alleged "sweetheart tax deal" in Ireland is expected to be reached by September or October, according to Ireland's finance minister Michael Noonan (via Reuters).
    Apple is accused of sheltering tens of billions of dollars in Ireland in exchange for creating jobs in the country, a deal that could be considered illegal state aid. The company operates multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to pay significantly less tax outside of the U.S., where it earns up to two-thirds of its revenue.

    Apple's $64.1 billion in profits generated from 2004 to 2012 could be subject to a higher 12.5% tax rate, compared to the less than 2% that it pays, in which case it could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes. Apple insists that it is the largest taxpayer in the world and pays every cent of tax it owes under current laws.

    A decision in the tax probe was originally expected in late 2015, but the European Commission's requests for additional information pushed the investigation into 2016. Apple is one of several multinational corporations to be scrutinized for corporate tax avoidance in Europe recently, alongside Google, McDonald's, IKEA, and others.

    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: Ireland Expects EU to Reach Decision in Apple Tax Probe by October
  2. ksnell macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2012
    Largest taxpayer in the world. Pretty wild to think about that one.
  3. vooke macrumors 6502


    Jul 14, 2014
    Messi the highest paid athlete caught up in tax evasion
    Apple the most valuable corporation doing it
  4. Z400Racer37 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
    Evil bastards. Get your damn hands out of my pockets, and get your damn gun out of my face, and mind your business.
  5. misterjmann macrumors newbie


    Jun 13, 2016
    You know, we could always institute business-friendly corporate tax rates and force governments to run a balanced budget for their pet projects, but NAHHH, let's just punish success and reward lethargy.
  6. captain cadet macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2012
    And not a comment yet about Brexit and this! This is the first time as a Brit since we voted leave I haven't seen a mention about Brexit and Europe in the story or the comment section...
  7. H2SO4 macrumors 601

    Nov 4, 2008
    We could, but until that actually happens. Follow the goddam rules!!!
    We abide by the spirit of the law said Cook. What a clown.
  8. macfacts macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2012
    Way to skip out on the important details. Like Apple having multiple off shore shell companies that pay pennies for the ownership of Apple patents invented in USA. Meanwhile Apple pays royalties to those shell companies, thus shifting profits to the shell companies. All technically legal and only corporations can do because normal people don't own patents.
  9. smacrumon, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

    smacrumon macrumors 68030


    Jan 15, 2016
    The laws clearly need to change so that Apple pays a full 30% tax just like the amount it taxes developers. Profit shifting, tax avoidance and aggressive tax minimization seems part of Apple's business model. Apple doesn't abide by the spirit of laws, and it won't change, so governments around the world will have to change to recoup lost tax.

    All that missing tax, that Apple doesn't pay, means Apple is socializing its company structure worldwide, thereby creating negative funding outcomes for countries where Apple reduces tax. That's the reality of Apple paying less than 2% tax -- citizens, even those who don't buy Apple, are financially supporting Apple's corporate operations, this includes some of the poorest in the world which are supporting one of the wealthiest companies. That needs to end, and end fast.
  10. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    Every person or corporation is fully entitled to utilize every legal tax avoidance scheme available.
  11. misterjmann macrumors newbie


    Jun 13, 2016
    Im well aware of all the legal and just tactics used by corporations to keep more of the profits they earn in the free market. Off campus, you may find a more palatable appetite for corporate-friendly tax environments being as how a large part of the working world is employed by a corporation and the greatest capital expense for any corporation is labor, and the first to be retracted when our friends in government decide they know better how to spend that money. I support any and all efforts Apple, or any other corporation, or private individual for that matter, undertake to withhold taxes from government entities.
  12. mossy macrumors regular


    Sep 11, 2013
    What laws?
  13. Carvensno macrumors newbie


    Jan 10, 2016
    And who made all of these laws and loop holes? All of these governments including ours(US). Why? Because these politicians are also on the board of these companies.
  14. Dagless Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Punish success how? The tax rates are really clear cut. "Make X amount, pay Y percentage of that to the government"

    Should Pokemon Go, the creator of Flappy Bird, and the makers of Candy Crush, no longer pay 30% to Apple? After all that's Apple punishing their success. They worked hard so Apple should take a lower percentage.
  15. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    I would like to know which MR members pay more than they "technically owe."

    Apple, just like any other intelligent entity is entitled to take all the legal steps they can to avoid paying taxes. Nobody, no matter how rich or poor is just going to give up money to the governments that they don't legally owe.

    Even Warren Buffett thinks that Billionaires should be paying much more taxes, but until he HAS TO, he is not going to just donate to government.
  16. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    iPhone now starting at only 899€ coming our way! One must pay for those taxes right
  17. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    Everyone is accountable apart from the government apparently.
  18. EricTheHalfBee Suspended

    Mar 10, 2013
    This. It's hilarious people have no problems using any available deductions possible when doing their own taxes, yet scream bloody murder if a company (esp Apple) does the same thing.
  19. Zirel, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

    Zirel Suspended


    Jul 24, 2015
    Don't buy it then.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese are opening "wharehouses" in the EU that sell phones online, and pay 0€ of sales tax, 0€ of corporate tax, don't have any warranty (despite claiming otherwise in their site), bribe the press, and you're happy with that!
  20. Z400Racer37, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

    Z400Racer37 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
    Jeez, all these people whining about how they haven't successfully extorted "their cut" from Apple's productivity. Questions:

    Is what Apple is doing illegal? - No.

    Do you have a right to steal their stuff anyways? - No.

    Does Apple have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits for its shareholders? - Yes

    How immature. Grow up and earn your keep.
  21. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    And when (if) the taxes come their way, then they will pay them. Until then everyone needs to step off of companies that are following the laws that inept politicians wrote.
  22. CliftonHighgrov macrumors regular


    Oct 1, 2014
    United Kingdom
    1) The Law is ambiguous in every facet of its existence as a result of the very flexibility of language itself,
    2) That ambiguity is exploited whenever possible to the advantage of those who wish to pursue an action in their own favour
    3) Exploiting ambiguity is not illegal, but is morally suspect

    Limiting ambiguity in legal documents is a craft in itself, and texts are frequently revised. We should not judge the EU for trying to make Apple pay taxes it attempted to make as clear as language permits should be payable; equally, we are justified in viewing with some scorn any company that claims to be paying all the tax it is liable for under the Law.

    Tim Cook's apparent comment (which I have not personally read), btw, that Apple abides by the spirit of the law is an empty statement, refecting an awareness that following the letter of the law is impossible, owing to the subjective nature of interpretation. Warren Buffet's (whom I have never heard of, btw, so have no opinion on the individual personally) comment is equally self-serving and legalistic, reflecting an awareness that no law can be so drafted as to be entirely without ambiguity: "has to" implies an unambiguity that will never exist. It's all sophistry.
  23. coolfactor macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    The problem with raising costs for companies (or lower profit margins) is that it eventually overspills to the customers (us) who are faced with rising purchase prices. It's a never-ending cycle. How about governments work harder to *lower* the revenues they need to operate, instead of trying to find new money? Once they have it, then they'll need more, and on it goes. Raising Apple's taxes is not the solution that serves everyone involved.
  24. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

    May 9, 2015
    London, England
    And how is Apple paying 2% tax fair when income tax here is 20% or 40% or more if you're a higher rate taxpayer?

    In addition, government debt is astronomical. They need all the tax they can get. Apple have zero sympathy from the public when it comes to paying tax. We all now how obscene their profit margins are, and how they print money.
  25. mossy, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

    mossy macrumors regular


    Sep 11, 2013
    True true. Another thing is - the governments (in the west especially) employ people to write up the tax codes. Then - the same people who wrote the tax codes eventually end up leaving the public sector and join these massive companies - purely for the knowledge of the loopholes of the tax codes that they wrote (and presumably were passed into law by the said government).
    --- Post Merged, Jul 13, 2016 ---
    :D Good one....

    Seriously though, in Ireland the government only care about the jobs. The jobs that are created by the foreign direct investment (multinational's) is all they think about. Anything they get extra in taxes is only gravy to them. Sad but true.

    Unless there was some global tax rate system - brought in at the exact same time (say 01/01/2020) for all countries, then it will continue.

    And remember - during the 1980's when Ireland gave that so called 'Sweetheart deal' - Apple was on its knee's. So - I am glad they were able to survive back then. Only when Apple started to generate so much money over the last decade has this suddenly became so important to the EU competition authority. France especially has a serious problem with Ireland over it. I am sure they are whispering in somebody's ear. But as the saying goes 'C'est la vie'.

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