Originally Posted by jragosta
Since you admit that you don't know how the system works, why are you blathering about it at all?
And who is to say what a 'reasonable adjustment' is? Obviously, not someone who admits that he doesn't know how the system works.
The issue is far more complicated than you are implying. You are apparently unable to distinguish between income and assets.
I don't know every detail of the US tax system. From what I hear I doubt anyone does. That I admit that i don't know everything is a pretty poor reason to bash down any argument.
Thanks for graciously answering my question btw. Do you know the answer?
Originally Posted by jragosta
Apple pays income tax where the income is earned - which is in compliance with tax laws around the world. If the effective tax rate in Ireland is 2% (or 0.0002%, for that matter), then no one outside of Ireland should have any say in the matter. Each country sets its own tax rates and it's not up to you to criticize them. If they don't want to charge ANY corporate income tax, that's their choice. (By the same token, why aren't you running around protesting that the states that don't charge sales tax are unfair?)
That would be fine if Apple's economic activity was indisputably in Ireland. The two subsidiaries AOI and ASI that book income for Apple in Ireland have no employees, and exist merely as logical facades to siphon off the illusion of where profits are made, precisely so that Apply can achieve a low tax rate. That's a misrepresentation of income, so it is very appropriate for other countries to question this arrangement. Ireland can set it's tax rate wherever it wants, but companies should not be allowed to pretend that things are happening in Ireland just to take advantage of that rate. That's almost the dictionary definition what they call "a loophole".
Also, while Ireland can set its tax laws however it wants, that doesn't mean it gets criticism immunity, and its bizarre rule about only charging corporation tax if the company is "controlled" from domestic territory is frankly bizarre, and clearly Apple has exploited that too.
I think states that don't charge sales tax are fine. Sales tax is a flat tax (or regressive, by some definitions as discussed in another thread). I prefer progressive ones.
Originally Posted by jragosta The issue here is what to do about bringing cash into the US which has been earned elsewhere.
Actually I don't think this thread has much to do with repatriation at all, I think it's to do with core problems with Ireland and the EU's tax regime. Maybe we've been talking at cross-purposes, which is why you seem to have misunderstood some of what I've said?
Originally Posted by jragosta The issue here is what to do about bringing cash into the US which has been earned elsewhere. It's essentially the same as if you buy a truck overseas and ship it here - it's an asset that is being transferred. In some states, you are required to pay sales tax in a situation like that, but not very many. If it's your truck and you bring it here, it remains your truck and you don't have to pay for it again. Similarly, the argument is that if Apple moves an asset (cash) from one place to another, it shouldn't be taxed since they've already paid tax where the asset was earned. Paying income tax again is double taxation. This is, of course, complicated by corporate structures where Apple may also be moving the asset from one entity to another - which can sometimes create tax liabilities. Either way, the argument that income earned in a different country should be taxed at the same rate as income earned in the US is suspect from the start.
There are certainly discussions that can be had, but the subsidiaries in Ireland have been set up in a deliberate way so that they don't owe corporation tax to any country. Apple is effectively channeling profits out of the taxation system. The threat of double taxation is being used as a weapon to allow zero taxation. I'm of the opinion that something should be done about that, whether it's in Ireland, the EU or the US.