Apple could owe over $8 billion in European taxes, new estimate indicates

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  • Reply 41 of 114
    latifbplatifbp Posts: 544member

    gatorguy said:
    TRUE

    If you take the child tax exemption, or the mortgage interest exemption on your annual taxes,
    you are NOT "dodging taxes".

    You are actually adhering to the current tax rules.
    What if you take the mortgage interest exemption on a home you don't actually live in? 
    A lot of people do that. They own the home yet lease it. Why would they not be able to claim that exemption?
  • Reply 42 of 114

    frankie said:
    Depending on the tax laws you might be right, but then again corporations should be allowed to BUY our government and write laws that benefit them in the first place.

    Government in and of itself isn't the problem, multi-billions $ corps and billionaires BUYING the government is.
    I think it's misleading to suggest that Apple "bought" the Irish govt. Imagine this scenario: Ireland goes to Apple and says, "You can set up a simple operation in Ireland to manage your international sales. It wouldn't require a bazillion employees; but it would allow you to control taxes because of our low rates." In a scenario like this, Ireland sees a way to increase revenues at very little investment because 1) Apple wasn't already there, and 2) Apple's presence wouldn't impact the operation of other businesses in Ireland. Ireland is "buying" Apple's business presence and tax revenue by offering Apple an attractive deal.

    This is in no way comparable to, say, a heavily-polluting factory making big political donations to influence the creation of favorable regulations.
  • Reply 43 of 114
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,165member
    latifbp said:

    gatorguy said:
    TRUE

    If you take the child tax exemption, or the mortgage interest exemption on your annual taxes,
    you are NOT "dodging taxes".

    You are actually adhering to the current tax rules.
    What if you take the mortgage interest exemption on a home you don't actually live in? 
    A lot of people do that. They own the home yet lease it. Why would they not be able to claim that exemption?
    The key word is "Home". If you don't live it a substantial part of the year it does not qualify as one. Yet I do know at least one person that rents their "home" out and still claims the home mortgage exemption as tho he lives there. 
    gwydionjustbobf
  • Reply 44 of 114
    gwydion said:
    Apple: We followed the law for our HQ in Ireland.

    EU: We realize you have followed the law between 2004 and 2012 but we want to retroactively change the law so that you can pay us more taxes. Ireland did not have the authority to give you that tax deal.

    Apple: Then sue Ireland for that amount of money. Not the corporations who follow its laws.

    Imagine the governments of North America doing this to it's citizens and corporations. There would be civil war 2.
    No, EU is not changing the law. Another case of not understanding what the case is about
    There is a lot of misunderstanding in this thread.
    gwydiongatorguycnocbui
  • Reply 45 of 114
    Even if the EU rules against Ireland/Apple, this will be drawn out in court for a long time. Ireland will appeal the ruling if it goes against them. 
    On the assumption Apple/Ireland are found guilty then appealing will drag it out but it is unlikely to change the outcome. On a guilty verdict Ireland has 30 days to appeal.
    If Ireland loses, the court battle will take years in the European Union Court of Justice. Apple will also be appealing the ruling if they are forced to pay billions. This will take a long time before the dust is settled. 
  • Reply 46 of 114
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    gwydion said:
    jungmark said:
    It was legal and allowed. The EU is crying foul because they need money for bailouts. 
    EU has been ruling ilegal aids from states and regions in Europe since long time ago. It has nothing to do with bailouts and if found ilegal, it was not legal and allowed
    Tax disputes are routinely retroactive: if I make a mistake on a tax submission, say innocently believing a particular deduction fits within the relevant definition,  the IRS has years and years to do an audit and ask for the correct amount to be paid once it's determined I was wrong (or my accountants were wrong) in their understanding of what was appropriate within that section of law.

    Ireland says they think they were right and followed EU tax rules, Apple states they think they were right in following EU tax rules as worked out with Ireland, but the EU commerce/tax authority has the final say and it seems may disagree: then those unpaid money are due. Good news is with Apple having around $200 billion stashed away even that hit isn't remarkable in the overall context of the company.
    cnocbuijustbobf
  • Reply 47 of 114
    On the assumption Apple/Ireland are found guilty then appealing will drag it out but it is unlikely to change the outcome. On a guilty verdict Ireland has 30 days to appeal.
    If Ireland loses, the court battle will take years in the European Union Court of Justice. Apple will also be appealing the ruling if they are forced to pay billions. This will take a long time before the dust is settled. 
    Unless I'm wrong if Ireland/Apple are found wrong and Ireland appeals and then loses its appeal then that is i.t Apple won't have any route to appeal as as the EUCJ is the highest court. But yes it will drag on and on and on.
  • Reply 48 of 114
    This action by the EU again prompts me to ask why these very large international companies have not established, for their mutual benefit, a sovereign territory that is wholly owned and operated by corporations with a zero tax rate?
  • Reply 49 of 114
    gwydion said:
    Apple: We followed the law for our HQ in Ireland.

    EU: We realize you have followed the law between 2004 and 2012 but we want to retroactively change the law so that you can pay us more taxes. Ireland did not have the authority to give you that tax deal.

    Apple: Then sue Ireland for that amount of money. Not the corporations who follow its laws.

    Imagine the governments of North America doing this to it's citizens and corporations. There would be civil war 2.
    No, EU is not changing the law. Another case of not understanding what the case is about
    The EU is forcing Ireland to comply.
    justbobf
  • Reply 50 of 114
    gwydion said:
    No, EU is not changing the law. Another case of not understanding what the case is about
    The EU is forcing Ireland to comply.
    To the law! How dare they!
    cnocbuijustbobf
  • Reply 51 of 114
    cnocbui said:
    Even if the EU rules against Ireland/Apple, this will be drawn out in court for a long time. Ireland will appeal the ruling if it goes against them. 
    If they appeal, I as a put-upon tax payer will ask them loudly why they are doing so as it isn't in my interests nor those of other Irish tax payers that the large US multinationals continue to get away with this unbelievable rort.

    This shouldn't just be about Apple, but all the companies that have had their snouts in the trough.
    A pause for thought here.  If the Irish Government offers tax havens to off-shore companies (as several other governments do) and companies like Apple take the Irish government up on their offer in good faith and invest in the country, providing local jobs etc., for a tax-break, they are not to blame.  If you don't like it, as a put-upon Irish tax payer, don't whine about the companies (and the corporate investment that your government tries to acquire from them) - vote to change this despicable "snout-in-the-trough" government that enables this behaviour.  Sure, be a put-upon Irish tax payer without a job - or maybe, just wake up to the world you actually inhabit.
    tenly
  • Reply 52 of 114
    Pay 'em and move on.
    cnocbuijustbobf
  • Reply 53 of 114
    This action by the EU again prompts me to ask why these very large international companies have not established, for their mutual benefit, a sovereign territory that is wholly owned and operated by corporations with a zero tax rate?
    Talk about an interesting question. Not “Can a corporation own sovereign land,” but “Are there any countries on Earth that would cede land for any reason not involving the loss of a war?”

    It’s entirely possible for a group of corporations to set up shop in Bir Tawil, claim it as their own, and hire private mercenaries to guard the land.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 54 of 114
    This action by the EU again prompts me to ask why these very large international companies have not established, for their mutual benefit, a sovereign territory that is wholly owned and operated by corporations with a zero tax rate?
    Talk about an interesting question. Not “Can a corporation own sovereign land,” but “Are there any countries on Earth that would cede land for any reason not involving the loss of a war?”

    It’s entirely possible for a group of corporations to set up shop in Bir Tawil, claim it as their own, and hire private mercenaries to guard the land.
    And I don't think it's an unreasonable conclusion for me to reach considering the vast amount of money involved. Why WOULDN'T hundred-billion dollar companies be interested in LEGALLY setting up their own sovereign country? 
  • Reply 55 of 114
    tenlytenly Posts: 709member
    gwydion said:
    No, EU is not changing the law. Another case of not understanding what the case is about
    The EU is forcing Ireland to comply.
    So, hang on a sec...there are so many contradictions in this thread that I'm having trouble understanding what actually happened....

    It is my understanding that there were no closed door negotiations between Apple and the Irish government and that Apple designed and complied with the existing, published, Irish Tax rules, rates and procedures....  Is that not true?  I thought that the "tax strategies" (as opposed to "dodges") that Apple employed were public, well known and available to anybody (such as other large corporations).

    if that's true - I would think that there should be some sort of culpability on the EU as a whole to review the tax laws of its member countries within a reasonable timeframe and provide notice to all companies with a tax presence in the offending country that they are committing a crime.  Something as important as this, with such far reaching ramifications should be a top priority for the EU taxation folks - but it appears that they were content to just "let things slide" for an unacceptably long time in the hopes of getting a larger pay-day when they finally decide to move forward and re-write the rules.  They knew that if they moved quickly - those "offending" corporations would move their operations to the country with the next most favourable tax laws.  I think the way the EU has handled this is corrupt, unethical and possibly even criminal.  Further - the corporations have all operated in good faith, followed the laws as they were written and brought significant financial benefit to Ireland and the EU during the course of this arrangement - and if this financial windfall for the Irish government and the EU is found to be obtained under false pretences - those windfalls should be used to offset any additional tax burden that arises out of the fraud they perpetrated on Apple and the other corporations.

    Finally - the courts should be forced to  recognize that Apple and these other large corporations would not have done business in Ireland had the new rules been known.  They would have used the second most favourable country for minimizing their taxes - therefore any financial obligation these companies are subjected to should be limited to the amount they WOULD have had to pay in the next most favourable country.  Any ruling that attempts to extort more $ than that from these companies whom are actually VICTIMS of a fraud perpetrated by one of the EU's own member countries would just reek of collusion and itself would be extremely corrupt and unethical.   The EU needs to just back off.  Evaluate the tax rules and determine if they are fine or illegal.  If illegal - they need to APLOGIZE to the countries whom invested in Ireland, moved offices and jobs into the company and then they need to advise these companies that the rules are changing and they have 1 year grace to restructure their companies (if they so desire).  Any talk of retroactive payments should be held between the EU and the Irish Government - and not the victims of the fraud.  Maybe the corporations should band together and declare sovereignty.  If the EU tried to pull this shit with the government of another country, it would be seen as an extremely hostile and aggressive act if not an outright act of war.  Shame, shame on the EU for allowing this situation to happen in the first place, let alone the direction they have chosen to take to resolve things.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 56 of 114
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Talk about an interesting question. Not “Can a corporation own sovereign land,” but “Are there any countries on Earth that would cede land for any reason not involving the loss of a war?”

    It’s entirely possible for a group of corporations to set up shop in Bir Tawil, claim it as their own, and hire private mercenaries to guard the land.
    And I don't think it's an unreasonable conclusion for me to reach considering the vast amount of money involved. Why WOULDN'T hundred-billion dollar companies be interested in LEGALLY setting up their own sovereign country? 
    It wouldn't be legal to set up a 'sovereign' country.  It wouldn't be recognised  by legitimate countries.  Who would live in this country?  Companies can't exist without people.  Who in their right mind would want to live in this corporate hell?  Do you honestly think Apple could persuade it's employees to move there with their families?
    'Honey, great news, were not moving to Sydney after all, we're going to Corparia!'
    'No, YOU are moving to Corparia.  You can make yourself dinner, I need to talk to my lawyer.'

    People have families, they have children who need schooling, they have friends, their children have friends, they want nice places to live, amenities, culture, recreation, schools, medical care - by the time these insane corporations of yours have gotten around to trying to duplicate all a modern society has to offer and people expect, they will have had to spend every last penny they make, and still wont get anywhere close.

    What a completely daft idea.


    justbobfsingularity
  • Reply 57 of 114
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,165member
    tenly said:
    gwydion said:
    No, EU is not changing the law. Another case of not understanding what the case is about
    The EU is forcing Ireland to comply.
    So, hang on a sec...there are so many contradictions in this thread that I'm having trouble understanding what actually happened....

    It is my understanding that there were no closed door negotiations between Apple and the Irish government and that Apple designed and complied with the existing, published, Irish Tax rules, rates and procedures....  Is that not true? 
    There were documents related to the negotiations that were revealed in the US Senate inquiry a couple years ago and now part of the EU's tax investigation. Those notes indicated it was essentially done "behind closed doors". Even the tax Apple agreed to was apparently based on a completely arbitrary number that Apple suggested.

    To read excerpts from the notes see pages 10-11 of this document:
    http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/cases/253200/253200_1582634_87_2.pdf
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 58 of 114
    tenlytenly Posts: 709member
    cnocbui said:
    And I don't think it's an unreasonable conclusion for me to reach considering the vast amount of money involved. Why WOULDN'T hundred-billion dollar companies be interested in LEGALLY setting up their own sovereign country? 
    It wouldn't be legal to set up a 'sovereign' country.  It wouldn't be recognised  by legitimate countries.  Who would live in this country?  Companies can't exist without people.  Who in their right mind would want to live in this corporate hell?  Do you honestly think Apple could persuade it's employees to move there with their families?
    'Honey, great news, were not moving to Sydney after all, we're going to Corparia!'
    'No, YOU are moving to Corparia.  You can make yourself dinner, I need to talk to my lawyer.'

    People have families, they have children who need schooling, they have friends, their children have friends, they want nice places to live, amenities, culture, recreation, schools, medical care - by the time these insane corporations of yours have gotten around to trying to duplicate all a modern society has to offer and people expect, they will have had to spend every last penny they make, and still wont get anywhere close.

    What a completely daft idea.


    I disagree.  Especially if they start by purchasing a small country, province, state or area that already has a reasonable infrastructure in place.

    i also think it would be VERY easy to attract citizens.  Can you think of any people that live in a country in which they are not happy with their existing living conditions and/or government?

    The only obstacle is as you stated - other existing countries would refuse to recognize them.

    But I would go in a heartbeat - even if it were just for the self-driving cars!!!  /s
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 59 of 114
    tenlytenly Posts: 709member
    gatorguy said:
    tenly said:
    So, hang on a sec...there are so many contradictions in this thread that I'm having trouble understanding what actually happened....

    It is my understanding that there were no closed door negotiations between Apple and the Irish government and that Apple designed and complied with the existing, published, Irish Tax rules, rates and procedures....  Is that not true? 
    There were documents related to the negotiations that were revealed in the US Senate inquiry a couple years ago. Those indicated it was essentially done "behind closed doors".
    Well, I can see how that would possibly change things a little - possibly even a lot - depending on how big a difference there is between the public rates and rules and in the actual deal that Apple walked away with.  But again - I would think that the public rules, rates and policies in place would set another "floor" to any retroactive amounts owed.
    edited January 2016 justbobf
  • Reply 60 of 114
    williamh said:
    I don't appreciate how the author refers to Apple's "tax dodges."  
    how about "legitimate tax avoidance measure"

    there is too much work involved to save a lot of money for this not to be a tax dodge. 
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