European Commission to investigate Apple's Ireland tax haven - report

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 78
    thepixeldocthepixeldoc Posts: 2,257member
    Apple has a stake in Texas already and they could certainly add more people there if it becomes necessary. I also don't believe the "torus" is a sound business decision. Some may consider it a monument to Steve Jobs, but I think the best tribute to Jobs would be a fiscally responsible company that continues to grow and innovate and pinch pennies (it really doesn't matter how much money they have in the bank). I have a theory about businesses that when they've grown to the point where people are more concerned about the size of their offices, the quality of their furnishings and the appearance of their buildings, they are too "comfortable" and need a shakeup.
    Lest I remind you: Steve Jobs lobbied his cancer-stricken butt off for the building permits and the authorization needed from Cupertino to build "The Torus". I rather think he considered a tribute to the people that made Apple to what is today, surely realizing he (probably) wouldn't be around to enjoy it himself... :(
  • Reply 22 of 78
    This appleinsider write-up does somewhat look like it is lobbying on behalf of Apple.
  • Reply 23 of 78
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    r00fus wrote: »
    So I assume they're going to inspect Google, Microsoft and Amazon (and 100 other huge multinational corporations) as well? I'm absolutely certain they all use the double-dutch irish coffee sandwich, or whatever it's called these days, to avoid taxes.

    Yes of course their also going after the companies you listed and others as well, it would help if you actually read the article before calling foul.
  • Reply 24 of 78
    smalmsmalm Posts: 656member
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by greatrix View Post



    Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon are all using this Irish Republic loophole and thereby depriving, mainly the US treasurer, of tax income of some considerable order,

    Nonsense.

    They are using the irish/dutch loophole to avoid paing taxes in Europe for the money the earned in Europe!

    And then, by not patriating the money they got this way, they avoid paying taxes in the US - but that are loopholes in US law.

    (BTW it is not repatriating - the money wasn't in the US before)

  • Reply 25 of 78
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

     

    Paying taxes is immoral?



    The old covenant required 10 percent.  If man requires more from his fellow man then God, then yes, maybe it is immoral!


  • Reply 26 of 78
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,300member
    Lest I remind you: Steve Jobs lobbied his cancer-stricken butt off for the building permits and the authorization needed from Cupertino to build "The Torus". I rather think he considered a tribute to the people that made Apple to what is today, surely realizing he (probably) wouldn't be around to enjoy it himself... :(

    I'm aware of that.
  • Reply 27 of 78
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Masteric View Post



    With companies leaving California left and right for more tax friendly states like Texas, it surprises me that Apple choose to build their flagship corporate office in un-business-friendly California.



    Just ask Toyota about leaving California for Texas. Don't believe the spin that it had nothing to do with California business costs.

     

    Apple stays in California because it's easy to attract the calibre of employee they need to California. It's easy to move manufacturing jobs to Texas. because it's an employer's market. It's less easy to move engineering jobs because it's an employee's market.

     

    California keeps its taxes high because it knows that it has more to offer than just low taxes. It's only shit-hole states that no-one wants to live in that have to lower their taxes to attract business.

     

    The same applies to Europe. 

  • Reply 28 of 78
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,143member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by greatrix View Post



    Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon are all using this Irish Republic loophole and thereby depriving, mainly the US treasurer, of tax income of some considerable order, that could otherwise be used for social services etc. However this can be justified according to Irish law, it is immoral and should be condemned. It could become a reason for us to cease buying Apple products, which would be a great shame.

    They are doing nothing illegal. Try living in the real world where companies and people only pay what they have to and no more. A company who paid extra taxes voluntarily would be sued by its' shareholders.

     

    Will never happen!

  • Reply 29 of 78
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

     

    Apple has a stake in Texas already and they could certainly add more people there if it becomes necessary. I also don't believe the "torus" is a sound business decision. Some may consider it a monument to Steve Jobs, but I think the best tribute to Jobs would be a fiscally responsible company that continues to grow and innovate and pinch pennies (it really doesn't matter how much money they have in the bank). I have a theory about businesses that when they've grown to the point where people are more concerned about the size of their offices, the quality of their furnishings and the appearance of their buildings, they are too "comfortable" and need a shakeup.


    You are welcome to disagree with me on this, but I would suggest that money is better spent attracting the best talent than on furnishings. I would rather see it invested in people rather than luxuries, and for what it's worth, I am fairly thrifty with my own spending by any standard.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by r00fus View Post



    So I assume they're going to inspect Google, Microsoft and Amazon (and 100 other huge multinational corporations) as well? I'm absolutely certain they all use the double-dutch irish coffee sandwich, or whatever it's called these days, to avoid taxes.

    They have inspected each of those companies. You just weren't aware of it. In some cases it is ongoing. The articles go back several years, but not all of them appeared on AI.

  • Reply 30 of 78
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,709member
    greatrix wrote: »
    Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon are all using this Irish Republic loophole and thereby depriving, mainly the US treasurer, of tax income of some considerable order, that could otherwise be used for social services etc. However this can be justified according to Irish law, it is immoral and should be condemned. It could become a reason for us to cease buying Apple products, which would be a great shame.

    Oh please. Everyone looks for deductions and it's all legal. I'm sure you pay all your taxes including sales tax for online sales, right?
  • Reply 31 of 78
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,390member
    herbapou wrote: »
    For hardware, the way I understand it Apple pays its tax in every EU countries then send the money into Ireland. So its a cash placeholder and it affects US Tax not EU tax. Ireland is a good place to hold cash because Apple can invest its cash and only pay 2% in tax to Ireland on the interest it makes.

    For the hardware Apple doesn't pay tax, the customer does. Same with income tax, the employees pay that.
  • Reply 32 of 78
    Apple should just buy the EU. ;)

    And shut it down.
  • Reply 33 of 78
     

    What, uh… what happens if Italy collapses?

    Because I’ve heard things. Not about Italy–well, yes, about Italy, but that’s not what I mean–but about the EU in this regard.

    What happens to the Eurozone if one, two, three of its members collapse?

    Obviously the EU should never have allowed mismanaged and economically damaged countries to join.

    Maybe. But then it would consist of no countries. Bit like a perfectly-run hospital with no patients.
  • Reply 34 of 78
    greatrix wrote: »
    Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon are all using this Irish Republic loophole and thereby depriving, mainly the US treasurer, of tax income of some considerable order, that could otherwise be used for social services etc. However this can be justified according to Irish law, it is immoral and should be condemned. It could become a reason for us to cease buying Apple products, which would be a great shame.

    Is your name Ricks and you are great, or Trix and you are grey?
  • Reply 35 of 78
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Reforming tax law is one of those things like trying to reform patent law. It is almost impossible because big corporations have unlimited lobbying budgets. Just because something is legal doesn't make it ethical. Everyone knows what Apple and others are doing with the Ireland EU HQ. The fact that they charge themselves huge royalties on patent licensing to avoid taxes in every other country, is really a gray area. 

     

    As a private citizen, perhaps I should register a patent on "method and process for living in my house". It is completely original because no one else has ever lived in my house. Then I can charge myself huge royalties to license the patent of "method and process for living in my house", allowing me to deduct that from my income statement and pay nothing in taxes.

  • Reply 36 of 78
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    It's already been established through other investigations that Apple has not broken any laws in utilizing Ireland as a tax haven, so it's unclear exactly what the commission may be seeking in targeting Apple.

    $ and 

  • Reply 37 of 78
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    herbapou wrote: »
    For hardware, the way I understand it Apple pays its tax in every EU countries then send the money into Ireland. So its a cash placeholder and it affects US Tax not EU tax. Ireland is a good place to hold cash because Apple can invest its cash and only pay 2% in tax to Ireland on the interest it makes.

    For software and services, its another story, it looks like Apple is dodging EU taxes for everything itunes related.

    The EU may have a case on itunes sales, but on hardware sales I dont see anything wrong with this.

    If that's the case, then that seems to explain the "region locking" by store pushed by Apple, Nintendo, Microsoft, Steam, etc is to force the taxes and royalties to be paid to the correct countries media monopoly and tax system. Think about it. If the taxes are the lowest in Ireland, everyone in the EU would buy from the Ireland iTunes store.

    I think what needs to happen, realistically, is that the "internet" needs to be treated as it's own country for the purposes of tax and laws are concerned. Between each country and state unwillingness or strongarming of/by corporations, each piece of the internet falls under different laws and regulations. This would at least move the question of "what is legal" to the physical realm. If a user is pirating a video or watching Netflix, would not be a decision left to the ISP and/or the physical country the user is in. Taxes collected "inside" the internet would only go to fund infrastructure supporting the internet pathways used in that transaction and not into the purse of the country whom the end points terminate in. That would put capacity investment right where it is needed.
  • Reply 38 of 78
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post





    For the hardware Apple doesn't pay tax, the customer does. Same with income tax, the employees pay that.

     

    That is an overly simplified view of it, because demand isn't entirely elastic. Using a rather extreme example, Apple could in theory price each iphone at $10k today. This would offer a higher gross margin per device, but it's unlikely that they would sell enough of them to maintain a viable product line. Changes in taxes can affect the price paid, but it isn't the only factor. They do in fact have to balance what is considered an acceptable margin against how many would sell at that price. It would be different if the devices were right on the edge of being profitable where a few percentage points could push them into a loss. That isn't the case here, so they have a certain amount of leeway when it comes to pricing structure. Apple much like other companies also rounds to certain price points, so any impact on costs must be great enough to motivate a pricing difference of $50 or $100 depending on the price range of that product.

  • Reply 39 of 78

    When you have so much money that you don't know what to do with and only pay 2% tax there's something wrong

  • Reply 40 of 78
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    richl wrote: »
    Apple stays in California because it's easy to attract the calibre of employee they need to California. It's easy to move manufacturing jobs to Texas. because it's an employer's market. It's less easy to move engineering jobs because it's an employee's market.

    California keeps its taxes high because it knows that it has more to offer than just low taxes. It's only shit-hole states that no-one wants to live in that have to lower their taxes to attract business.

    The same applies to Europe. 

    Just Ireland, in general European's pay more in tax's then the US does, do to our social programs, check out how much Sweden pays it will make your head spin.
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