Irish lawmakers gearing up for $14.5B Apple tax bill appeal amidst industry concern

Posted:
in AAPL Investors edited August 2016
While a prominent Irish businessman is decrying the $14.5 billion tax edict applied by the European Commission with strong language, members from Ireland's government have started the appeal discussion -- but the process may take more time than expected to garner sufficient support from a wide body of lawmakers.




Ireland's Finance Minister Michael Noonan, a member of minority party Fine Gael, "disagreed profoundly" with the European Commission's ruling, and is dependent on other government members to back the appeal. Reuters notes that Noonan will need the support of the Independent Alliance for an appeal to succeed, and the Alliance needs time to evaluate both the ruling and the appeal.

"We will be able to make a decision but it is appropriate that we give this the time it needs" said Minister Paschal Donohoe about a possible extension of time for evaluation of the appeal. "I am very confident that this government will work its way through this issue and continue with the mandate the Irish people have given us."
"Frankly the Irish government shouldn't even appeal the decision. They should just write a letter to Europe and tell them to f*** off." - Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
A political party opposing Noonan, Fianna Fail, will reportedly back an appeal through the European court system. Left-wing Sinn Fein also generally opposes Fine Gael, but wants the ruling to be enforced.

From a business perspective, Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary called called the tax ruling "bizarre" and believes that it won't hold up in court.

"There are certain things Europe has no competence or rights in," O'Leary told the Irish Independent. "It's one of the fundamental principles of the EU that each country has the freedom to make its own tax decisions."

"Frankly the Irish government shouldn't even appeal the decision," added the historically outspoken O'Leary. "They should just write a letter to Europe and tell them to f*** off."

The European Commission handed down a record tax penalty on Tuesday, ordering Apple to pay 13 billion euro ($14.5 billion) to Ireland in back taxes, offset if other E.U. countries seek part of the pay-out. In its investigation, the regulatory group claimed that tax rates on European profits were illegally low at 0.005 percent in 2014, and 1 percent in 2003.

"The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple's history in Europe, ignore Ireland's tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process," Apple said in a statement about the ruling. "The Commission's case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes, it's about which government collects the money. It will have a profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe."

A FAQ also posted on Tuesday spells out Apple's path to an appeal, and notes that the process will take several years to conclude.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    I like that Ryanair CEO.
    anantksundaramfotoformatsilversquonkjony0viclauyycksec
  • Reply 2 of 47
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,462member
    Please, enough with the headlines. Let’s revisit this in 3-5 years to see what actually happens. Between now and then it’s all pontificating and political bloviating, the “fair” crowd against the “it’s business” crowd, socialists vs capitalists, ant hill city dwellers vs the self-sufficient pioneers in their Conestoga wagons.
    edited August 2016 [Deleted User]gatorguySpamSandwichCapriguy
  • Reply 3 of 47
    kent909kent909 Posts: 730member
    Welcome to the world of Bizarro. The EU tells Apple to pay money to Ireland, that Ireland did not ask for or want. 
    adrayvenCapriguy
  • Reply 4 of 47
    The EU is contending that Apple and Ireland colluded to form an illegal partnership, against EU tax law.  So why is Ireland not being penalized as well? Why just Apple?
    muadibeSpamSandwich
  • Reply 5 of 47
    The EU is contending that Apple and Ireland colluded to form an illegal partnership, against EU tax law.  So why is Ireland not being penalized as well? Why just Apple?
    Because usually the party that did not pay the taxes is the one that has the issues. Also, as far as I know Apple is (not yet) being penalized. The amount mentioned is the amount they should have payed more. So there is no financial penalty (as of yet)
  • Reply 6 of 47
    muadibemuadibe Posts: 134member
    The EU is contending that Apple and Ireland colluded to form an illegal partnership, against EU tax law.  So why is Ireland not being penalized as well? Why just Apple?
    Because Apple has the fat wallet everyone seems to want to empty.
    anantksundaramSpamSandwichericthehalfbeejony0viclauyyc
  • Reply 7 of 47
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,352member
    How about the EU forces AirBus to pay back France for all of the state aid they provided too then?
    http://www.politico.eu/article/wto-confirms-airbus-received-illegal-state-aid/

    This is pure political bullshit. Face it Europe, you have a failed state and no way to bail them out so you're coming after American countries to have them bail you out... again.  If money weren't a problem you wouldn't care.  This is a money grab, plain and simple.
    JanNLSpamSandwichviclauyyc
  • Reply 8 of 47
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 310member
    I like that Ryanair CEO.
    O'Leary is nice, if you want some more quotes: https://www.theguardian.com/business/shortcuts/2013/nov/08/michael-o-leary-33-daftest-quotesy
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 9 of 47
    I like that Ryanair CEO.
    He's a smarter version of John Legere. Pretty cool guy. I wish had a few like him. In business and politics.
    Capriguy
  • Reply 10 of 47

    The EU is contending that Apple and Ireland colluded to form an illegal partnership, against EU tax law.  So why is Ireland not being penalized as well? Why just Apple?
    Because usually the party that did not pay the taxes is the one that has the issues. Also, as far as I know Apple is (not yet) being penalized. The amount mentioned is the amount they should have payed more. So there is no financial penalty (as of yet)
    I am curious: do you pay any taxes that you are not asked to? Or does that only apply other people?
    Capriguy
  • Reply 11 of 47
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member

    The EU is contending that Apple and Ireland colluded to form an illegal partnership, against EU tax law.  So why is Ireland not being penalized as well? Why just Apple?
    Because usually the party that did not pay the taxes is the one that has the issues. Also, as far as I know Apple is (not yet) being penalized. The amount mentioned is the amount they should have payed more. So there is no financial penalty (as of yet)
    I am curious: do you pay any taxes that you are not asked to? Or does that only apply other people?
    We all know (or should) that bad advice from our accountant doesn't absolve us from a tax obligation. Did you also know that if the IRS offers you bad advice it doesn't mean you won't have to pay, even penalized with interest, for tax obligations they later say you do owe despite what they told you? 
    Dixon v. United States
    Schuster v. Commissioner
    David Michael Maser v Commissioner

    I'd be shocked if Apple's tax folks weren't always aware that there was at least a remote possibility they received bad advice. 

    In any event I think there's a distinct chance that Ireland may not appeal despite their Finance Ministers statements. IMHO it may depend on citizen reactions. 
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 12 of 47
    I wonder how ol' Michael O'Leary would feel if one of the other airlines managed to get an exclusive deal where they didn't have to pay any corporate taxes and his company still had to.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,274member
    So the EU wants Apple to pay billions in back taxes, yet the EU won't say why none of its annual audits are ever approved? Ridiculous. 
    SpamSandwichcrowleyviclauyycCapriguy
  • Reply 14 of 47
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,005member

    If EU is really concern about State Back enterprises or State supported businesses they need not look any further than Airbus. This is a company who makes parts, large parts of the plane all over the EU and ships large section of a plane via truck, rail, ship and barges to the main assembly plant and they can still sell a plane less than Boeing who build all of their planes in one factory and only ships in raw material or smaller parts not entire wing sections. Airbus is supported by a number of government in the EU. The reason they do not look at this is due to the fact they are an EU company verse and outside company and it operating in multiply EU countries unlike Apple who only operates in Ireland and only Ireland benefits. Also Ireland does not have social issue that exist in other parts of the EU, if you show up in Ireland from another country you better assimilate, drink beer and speak like them or you are not going to last 

    SpamSandwichhlee1169
  • Reply 15 of 47
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,594member
    I guess these EU halfwits have forgotten about Airbus which would not exist today without government subsidies, tax breaks and other "special relatioships".
    SpamSandwichviclauyycCapriguy
  • Reply 16 of 47
    That O'Leary has the spirit! ;) lol
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 17 of 47
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,594member
    gatorguy said:

    I am curious: do you pay any taxes that you are not asked to? Or does that only apply other people?
    We all know (or should) that bad advice from our accountant doesn't absolve us from a tax obligation. Did you also know that if the IRS offers you bad advice it doesn't mean you won't have to pay, even penalized with interest, for tax obligations they later say you do owe despite what they told you? 
    Dixon v. United States
    Schuster v. Commissioner
    David Michael Maser v Commissioner

    I'd be shocked if Apple's tax folks weren't always aware that there was at least a remote possibility they received bad advice. 

    In any event I think there's a distinct chance that Ireland may not appeal despite their Finance Ministers statements. IMHO it may depend on citizen reactions. 
    You mean the actual thousands of citizens that Apple employs in Ireland??? And has everyone forgotten about Airbus which would not exist without the government susidies, tax breaks and special treatment they received from France, England and Germany....
    SpamSandwichCapriguy
  • Reply 18 of 47
    The European Union was ill conceived.
    As more and more countries realize this they will exit.

    Capriguy
  • Reply 19 of 47
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    kent909 said:
    Welcome to the world of Bizarro. The EU tells Apple to pay money to Ireland, that Ireland did not ask for or want. 
    They (Irish tax authorities) may not have asked for it, so far, but it wouldn't surprise me if we find out that they (the aggregate of Irish people) do indeed want it.
  • Reply 20 of 47
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,005member
    gatorguy said:

    The EU is contending that Apple and Ireland colluded to form an illegal partnership, against EU tax law.  So why is Ireland not being penalized as well? Why just Apple?
    Because usually the party that did not pay the taxes is the one that has the issues. Also, as far as I know Apple is (not yet) being penalized. The amount mentioned is the amount they should have payed more. So there is no financial penalty (as of yet)
    I am curious: do you pay any taxes that you are not asked to? Or does that only apply other people?
    We all know (or should) that bad advice from our accountant doesn't absolve us from a tax obligation. Did you also know that if the IRS offers you bad advice it doesn't mean you won't have to pay, even penalized with interest, for tax obligations they later say you do owe despite what they told you? 
    Dixon v. United States
    Schuster v. Commissioner
    David Michael Maser v Commissioner

    I'd be shocked if Apple's tax folks weren't always aware that there was at least a remote possibility they received bad advice. 

    In any event I think there's a distinct chance that Ireland may not appeal despite their Finance Ministers statements. IMHO it may depend on citizen reactions. 
    Have you called the IRS or any government agency recently, they will not provide any advise, they tell you to read the rules/laws and if you do not understand you need to hire a profession. The real issue is when the rules and laws are open to interruption the IRS wins if they say the advise you hired was wrong. You either pay up or fight and pay more to prove your point. The US tax code keeps lawyers and accounts in a job. Now a good Accountant or lawyer will pay the fines and interest if they are proven wrong, you still owe the tax.
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