Originally Posted by jragosta
As soon as you agree to pay your legally required taxes and then contribute an additional 10% of your income voluntarily, then you would have the right to make that statement.
As soon as I start working in country A while paying the income tax rate of country B that statement might make sense. As usual, it doesn't.
Originally Posted by Rogifan
In Apple's SEC filing they report a 24.2% effective tax rate, much higher than the 9.8% the Times is reporting.
You think they would officially report that they pay too little tax? As noted in the report:
"Neither the government nor corporations make tax returns public, and a company’s taxable income often differs from the profits disclosed in annual reports. Companies report their cash outlays for income taxes in their annual Form 10-K, but it is impossible from those numbers to determine precisely how much, in total, corporations pay to governments. In Apple’s last annual disclosure, the company listed its worldwide taxes — which includes cash taxes paid as well as deferred taxes and other charges — at $8.3 billion, an effective tax rate of almost a quarter of profits.
However, tax analysts and scholars said that figure most likely overstated how much the company would hand to governments because it included sums that might never be paid. “The information on 10-Ks is fiction for most companies,” said Kimberly Clausing, an economist at Reed College who specializes in multinational taxation. “But for tech companies it goes from fiction to farcical.”"
Now, it could well be argued that if the only public financial evidence is fictional then so is the criticism of it but the report has information from ex-Apple employees who helped setup the systems:
"“We set up in Luxembourg because of the favorable taxes,” said Robert Hatta, who helped oversee Apple’s iTunes retail marketing and sales for European markets until 2007. “Downloads are different from tractors or steel because there’s nothing you can touch, so it doesn’t matter if your computer is in France or England. If you’re buying from Luxembourg, it’s a relationship with Luxembourg.”
Downloadable goods illustrate how modern tax systems have become increasingly ill equipped for an economy dominated by electronic commerce. Apple, say former executives, has been particularly talented at identifying legal tax loopholes and hiring accountants who, as much as iPhone designers, are known for their innovation. In the 1980s, for instance, Apple was among the first major corporations to designate overseas distributors as “commissionaires,” rather than retailers, said Michael Rashkin, Apple’s first director of tax policy, who helped set up the system before leaving in 1999."
Apple has said it “has conducted all of its business with the highest of ethical standards, complying with applicable laws and accounting rules.” and on the face of it, the Apple staff demonstrate a high level of integrity but the lower taxed offices are a reality and that is not ethical. Apple's HQ is in California and iTunes is a core product. UK sales in iTunes being paid by people paying UK tax rates are registered in Luxembourg - the UK site has the contact details of iTunes S.a.r.l in Luxembourg:
People in the UK pay taxes for healthcare and services. Tax on the profit shouldn't be going to Luxembourg just because they have a lower rate.
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich
Here's an illuminating article for all the Apple-hating idiots to stew over
Please avoid the use of ad-homs in your generalisations. The article doesn't in any way discount the report, all it says is the same thing people are saying here - that it's ok for Apple to avoid taxes on their own earnings as long as they are generating lots of sales tax and income tax from job creation i.e they can profit as much as they like while the majority of the population foots the bill for public services.
Originally Posted by libertyforall
Income Tax is the biggest scam in the US
We don't all have the privilege of avoiding it though and there's little sense in allowing the wealthiest to pay less so that the poorest pay more. We either all pay our fair share or none of us do. The debt the taxes are used for has to be paid, the reasons that the debt exists can be debated at length.