Australian government announces crackdown on tax avoidance by Apple, others

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2015
The government of Australia announced on Monday that it plans to investigate alleged tax avoidance in its country by a total of 30 multinational corporations, including the most valuable company on the planet: Apple.




The so-called "crackdown" was announced by the government in a press conference held in Sydney on Monday, as reported by Reuters. Australia's treasurer, Joe Hockey, told the press that major companies are "diverting profits earned in Australia away" from the country to avoid paying local taxes.

And though the government declined to name specific companies in its statement on Monday, it was already revealed in April that inquiries were made into Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Those companies, and apparently some 27 others, are officially "under review" for their tax practices.

In addition, the Australian government is looking to pass new laws that will aim to close tax loopholes used by corporations, and could fine those companies up to 100 percent. If the laws were to pass parliament, they would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

Australia joins the European Union in targeting major corporations for their tax policies, though the efforts have drawn scrutiny for largely targeting American corporations. And though U.S. companies have paid an outsized amount in fines when compared to their European counterparts, the E.U. has denied specifically targeting American corporations.

As for the companies accused of not paying their fair share of taxes, they --?including Apple -- have adamantly maintained that they follow all international tax laws.

Those tax strategies usually involve the use of Ireland, along with Luxembourg and the Netherlands, as those countries have offered sweetheart tax arrangements to large companies in exchange for setting up operations there. The use of tax shelters in Ireland and elsewhere are the main crux of investigations by Australia and the E.U.

One analysis issued last week said that if the E.U. were to impose the worst-possible scenario, it could reduce Apple's annual earnings by 10 percent.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 111
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,244member
    And so it begins...
  • Reply 2 of 111
    Vultures just looking for a payday. Leave Australia's market. Or cut jobs and close stores. Australia will have no corporate taxes from Apple, no sales taxes on their products sold, no property taxes on their stores and offices, and no payroll taxes nor income taxes from Apple employees. Teach them some respect.
  • Reply 3 of 111
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,794member
    "The taxation of trade routes is in dispute."
  • Reply 4 of 111
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,352member

    I find it so pathetic that these countries have to resort to extortion to try to make money. I'm willing to bet that what Apple is doing is 100% legal, but these countries are poopooed that Apple has more cash on hand than their entire economy.  If I were Apple I'd leave and shut down any retail there and let the consumer inform their own democracies.

  • Reply 5 of 111
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    solipsismz wrote: »
    Vultures just looking for a payday. Leave Australia's market. Or cut jobs and close stores. No corporate taxes, no tax on products sold, no property tax, no employees paying taxes. Teach them some respect.

    Hey guys, just FYI, this isn't the real Solipsism, it's a clone.
  • Reply 6 of 111
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,734member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    In addition, the Australian government is looking to pass new laws that will aim to close tax loopholes used by corporations, and could fine those companies up to 100 percent.

     

     

    The Australian government passes tax laws that companies have to abide by.  So how is it even remotely legal on any-level that a government can now come back and fine a company for using tax laws / loopholes?  They did nothing wrong?



    Ah right... election year must be coming.  Politicians have to fluff their feathers.

  • Reply 7 of 111
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    I love my AAPL, but for god's sake folks, just how far are you willing to bend over in defending capitalism's inalienable right to make money from the social infrastructure that makes it possible?
    As the so called hardworking types used to say, 'Ain't no Free Lunches', and the biggest pigs at the free lunch counter are corporations.

    (And please spare me the "they're just following the letter of the law" BS... talk about a low moral bar.)
  • Reply 8 of 111
    Hey guys, just FYI, this isn't the real Solipsism, it's a clone.

    You must have a very fulfilling life.
  • Reply 9 of 111
    Australia, like new Zealand, is a huge nanny state. The economy is suffering under the current Abbott government, and as a result, Australia has become more repressive.

    Ironically, Apple products cost less in Australia than in the US, because Apple unofficially capitulated previously when parliament investigated their pricing practices.

    As someone who lives in the region, I personally hope that Apple just raises its prices to pay the Aussie government all the taxes it wants, and then passes it back to the consumers. That way, they can enjoy their cheap Chinese knockoffs all the more.
  • Reply 10 of 111
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    gqb wrote: »
    I love my AAPL, but for god's sake folks, just how far are you willing to bend over in defending capitalism's inalienable right to make money from the social infrastructure that makes it possible?
    As the so called hardworking types used to say, 'Ain't no Free Lunches', and the biggest pigs at the free lunch counter are corporations.

    qft
    Sad to say, I have to agree with you.
    I do not expect that any Govt would try to fine a corp retrospectively though.
    The corps are only using the guidelines govts put in place.

    If govts move the goal posts through legislation the corps will react accordingly to minimise exposure in any given country.
  • Reply 11 of 111
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,225member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismZ View Post



    Vultures just looking for a payday. Leave Australia's market. Or cut jobs and close stores. Australia will have no corporate taxes from Apple, no sales taxes on their products sold, no property taxes on their stores and offices, and no payroll taxes nor income taxes from Apple employees. Teach them some respect.

    Hmm... I've been watching your posts for a few weeks now, and I am fairly convinced you're not our formerly prolific poster SolipsismX (nee Solipsism).

     

    I am sure he must be quite flattered -- and it's most certainly not 'illegal' vis-a-vis AI rules -- but may I ask why you chose this particular nom de plume?

  • Reply 12 of 111
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,222member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismZ View Post



    Vultures just looking for a payday. Leave Australia's market. Or cut jobs and close stores. Australia will have no corporate taxes from Apple, no sales taxes on their products sold, no property taxes on their stores and offices, and no payroll taxes nor income taxes from Apple employees. Teach them some respect.



    Hey jerk, wanna stop spoofing SolipsismY??? Choose a different name...

  • Reply 13 of 111
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    Just wait till governments start penalizing the individual citizens retrospectively for following the laws. The EU and australia were weak minded enough not to close the loopholes while america has seen many corporate headquarters leave US soil for tax havens.

    The national governments could just collect at the register (like state sales tax) but they refuse to make it simple in order to screw tax paying voters with the progressive tax system that is in place today.

    Whatever, it all balances in the end with Apple and others simply charging more for products. Don't forget, corporations don't pay any tax that they cannot pass on to the consumer. It is the european or australian consumer that ultimately gets screwed.
  • Reply 14 of 111
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,222member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismZ View Post





    You must have a very fulfilling life.



    You certainly don't if you feel the need to impersonate a total stranger online, loser.

  • Reply 15 of 111
    Hmm... I've been watching your posts for a few weeks now, and I am fairly convinced you're not our formerly prolific poster SolipsismX (nee Solipsism).

    I am sure he must be quite flattered -- and it's most certainly not 'illegal' vis-a-vis AI rules -- but may I ask why you chose this particular nom de plume?

    PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: There is also a SolipsismY.

    I am going to assume that the content of my comment was so good as to warrant such scrutiny of my username. Or TheWhiteFalcon is feeling a tad bit threatened today. Regardless, cheers and happy posting.
  • Reply 16 of 111
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    Hey guys, just FYI, this isn't the real Solipsism, it's a clone.

    The low post count gave it away. Soli is either here full speed, or not at all.
  • Reply 17 of 111
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     

     

    The Australian government passes tax laws that companies have to abide by.  So how is it even remotely legal on any-level that a government can now come back and fine a company for using tax laws / loopholes?  They did nothing wrong?



    Ah right... election year must be coming.  Politicians have to fluff their feathers.




    That's only the half of it. Australia has been living large off the huge influx of wealthy immigrants and companies seeking to live and do business there. Now that China's economy has slowed and is buying less from Australia, they need to cover their loss in revenue.

     

    The resentment towards American companies and wealthy individuals is immense, so this kind of government tax grab is entirely predictable. I hope Tim shows some courage and fights back; Apple is nearly half the size of Australia (1.5 Trillion) when comparing valuation versus GDP, and if current trends continue, may achieve parity in a few years ....

  • Reply 18 of 111
    magman1979 wrote: »

    You certainly don't if you feel the need to impersonate a total stranger online, loser.

    I am not impersonating anyone you blundering idiot. There is more than one, more than two usernames that include the word Solipsism.
  • Reply 19 of 111
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,222member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismZ View Post





    PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: There is also a SolipsismY.



    I am going to assume that the content of my comment was so good as to warrant such scrutiny of my username. Or TheWhiteFalcon is feeling a tad bit threatened today. Regardless, cheers and happy posting.



    And you have just been flagged, every post, for impersonation.

  • Reply 20 of 111
    It is nice to see such vicious cries of homage to your beloved absent SolipsismX. But please just use a coaster for your styrofoam cups gentlemen.
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