EU-imposed Apple Irish tax bill could exceed $21.2B if appeal process fails

13

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 63
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,270member
    Quoting for its own sake...
    urchin11 said:
    If the Irish tax code, doesn't meet EU requirements, this is an Irish tax problem.  The EU should insist they update them for compliance.  Changes to tax codes are not retro active.
    anantksundaram
  • Reply 42 of 63
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,791member
    urchin11 said:
    If the Irish tax code, doesn't meet EU requirements, this is an Irish tax problem.  
    I totally agree with this. 

    So Ireland decided to make their corporate tax really low to attract large corporations to headquarter there and bring thousands of jobs - that was their decision.

    What the EU is attempting to do is sort of like if the US government determined that Amazon was illegally selling ebooks below their cost to attract people to their store to hopefully buy other goods, the government doesn't retroactively go after all the people who purchased discounted ebooks from Amazon, they go after Amazon. Of course that hasn't happened yet but whatever.
    edited August 2016 h2p
  • Reply 43 of 63
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,076member
    Soli said:
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    If it was illegal a decade ago then why is only being enforced now? Why wasn't it illegal when Apple set this up with Ireland in the 1980s?
    Because it only became widely known when attention was drawn to arrangements with the Lux Leaks in 2014.

    Despite being painted as authoritarian busybodies by many around here, the EU does not vigorously audit the tax affairs of member nations, it mostly only investigates when a complaint is made or it becomes aware of potential infringement.
    1)So you're saying the EU doesn't do its job and yet can back-charge companies for abiding by the laws and agreements it set up before the EU was even formed?

    2) Note, the double Irish arrangement didn't come to light in 2014 because of Lux Leaks. This is a well known tax loophole for corporations. If you clam that the EU only got wind of this in 2014 then the EU is much, much worse than I assumed.
    The case is not about Double Irish
  • Reply 44 of 63
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,018member
    Soli said:
    crowley said:
    Because it only became widely known when attention was drawn to arrangements with the Lux Leaks in 2014.

    Despite being painted as authoritarian busybodies by many around here, the EU does not vigorously audit the tax affairs of member nations, it mostly only investigates when a complaint is made or it becomes aware of potential infringement.
    1)So you're saying the EU doesn't do its job and yet can back-charge companies for abiding by the laws and agreements it set up before the EU was even formed?

    2) Note, the double Irish arrangement didn't come to light in 2014 because of Lux Leaks. This is a well known tax loophole for corporations. If you clam that the EU only got wind of this in 2014 then the EU is much, much worse than I assumed.
    1) So now we're complaining that the EU isn't authoritarian or policing enough?  As soon as the law came into affect Ireland and Apple should have changed their arrangements.  Ignorance is no excuse, and I doubt ignorance had anything to do with it; it was a dodgy deal from the start.

    2) This judgement has nothing to do with the Double Irish arrangement (though Apple did indeed use that), which was to do with transfer pricing, it has to do with the particular base tax arrangement Apple had on top of the Double Irish.
    edited August 2016 singularity[Deleted User]
  • Reply 45 of 63
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,270member
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    1)So you're saying the EU doesn't do its job and yet can back-charge companies for abiding by the laws and agreements it set up before the EU was even formed?

    2) Note, the double Irish arrangement didn't come to light in 2014 because of Lux Leaks. This is a well known tax loophole for corporations. If you clam that the EU only got wind of this in 2014 then the EU is much, much worse than I assumed.
    1) So now we're complaining that the EU isn't authoritarian or policing enough?  As soon as the law came into affect Ireland and Apple should have changed their arrangements.  Ignorance is no excuse, and I doubt ignorance had anything to do with it; it was a dodgy deal from the start.
    As opposed to being effective instead of being lackadaisical and then thinking it's fair to retroactively back charge corporations for the EU's shortcomings? Yes! If anyone is at fault, it's Ireland, but based on the evidence I don't think it's fair to charge them for the EU's shortcomings. Going forward, remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes—this goes for all governing entities.
    edited August 2016 h2p
  • Reply 46 of 63
    ppietrappietra Posts: 171member
    gwydion said:
    Soli said:
    This is BS for any company. If the EU wants to change close the loophole that companies are exploiting then they have the right to do so, but to retroactively charge them for taxes they weren't legally required to pay only after finally getting their collective bureaucratic heads out of their asses, is ridiculous. They're going after the world's most valuable company first because they think they can guilt them into paying by painting Apple as being a shyster, which is easy to fool the plebs that assume that if you have accumulated wealth it means you must have committed heinous crimes, while also claiming it will help the people when the money will only go to make the rich richer.
    No, they were legally required to pay the, And Apple is not the first one, 35 EU companies has been compelled to pay back taxes for the same thing in Belgium last month.

    It is not EU vs US or EU vs Apple, is EU vs illegal state aids from countries in the EU to a lot of companies
    That is correct in principle but in this case there might some very strong differences from the cases in Belgium and Luxembourg.
    The irish had some laws that made this kind arrangement possible and if they can demonstrate that they applied correctly their own law then the case is void because others could use the same laws if they wished and the EU cannot invalidate irish tax law retroactively.
  • Reply 47 of 63
    Soli said:
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    1)So you're saying the EU doesn't do its job and yet can back-charge companies for abiding by the laws and agreements it set up before the EU was even formed?

    2) Note, the double Irish arrangement didn't come to light in 2014 because of Lux Leaks. This is a well known tax loophole for corporations. If you clam that the EU only got wind of this in 2014 then the EU is much, much worse than I assumed.
    1) So now we're complaining that the EU isn't authoritarian or policing enough?  As soon as the law came into affect Ireland and Apple should have changed their arrangements.  Ignorance is no excuse, and I doubt ignorance had anything to do with it; it was a dodgy deal from the start.
    As opposed to being effective instead of being lackadaisical and then thinking it's fair to retroactively back charge corporations for the EU's shortcomings? Yes! If anyone is at fault, it's Ireland, but based on the evidence I don't think it's fair to charge them for the EU's shortcomings. Going forward, remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes—this goes for all governing entities.
    This is the key point that the tax protagonists miss. Change the laws, change it so that it applies equally and fairly to every corporation doing business in the EU and every country in the EU, and change it going forward. Few people would have complaints (although I think it would adversely impact investment and employment in the EU, but that's the type of tradeoff that all governments make).

    Instead what do they do? They finger one company, in one country (yes, yes, there were a couple of others, but those were ridiculously minor by comparison), and apply it retroactively. Additionally, the money essentially come out of tax payments that the US Treasury would have received, if/when repatriated. Apple's long-term liability on this is exactly zero. They will -- some day in the future -- owe it to either the EU or the US. They could care less.

    The EU's move here is completely dunderheaded, risks a trade war, risks alienating member states (when that's the last thing they need immediately post-Brexit), and is not much more than an ill-advised, immoral money-grab. Why? Because they are tone-deaf, and they think they can do it.

    Incidentally, it also reeks of cowardice. Why wouldn't they apply it equally and fairly for every corporation doing business in the EU and every country in the EU? Because it would be laughed off, thrown out on its butt, and be DOA.
    Soli
  • Reply 48 of 63
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,018member
    Soli said:
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    1)So you're saying the EU doesn't do its job and yet can back-charge companies for abiding by the laws and agreements it set up before the EU was even formed?

    2) Note, the double Irish arrangement didn't come to light in 2014 because of Lux Leaks. This is a well known tax loophole for corporations. If you clam that the EU only got wind of this in 2014 then the EU is much, much worse than I assumed.
    1) So now we're complaining that the EU isn't authoritarian or policing enough?  As soon as the law came into affect Ireland and Apple should have changed their arrangements.  Ignorance is no excuse, and I doubt ignorance had anything to do with it; it was a dodgy deal from the start.
    As opposed to being effective instead of being lackadaisical and then thinking it's fair to retroactively back charge corporations for the EU's shortcomings? Yes! If anyone is at fault, it's Ireland, but based on the evidence I don't think it's fair to charge them for the EU's shortcomings. Going forward, remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes—this goes for all governing entities.
    So if it's ok to break the rules if you're not likely to get caught for 10 years?  Give me a break.  The law was in place, and any company that thinks they can rationalise away paying next to 0% in corporate tax deserves everything coming to them.  Call it karma.

    Also, "remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes"?  How do you do that, other than passing laws, setting standards, and expecting the enforcement authorities (the national tax offices) to abide by them?  That's exactly what the EU has done, but battling tax avoidance is a massive international issue, and you've reduced it to a meanginless "well you just gotta do it".  Are you now suggesting adding in a large scale EU auditing capacity of every member's national tax authority?  You think that would result in fewer US companies being found lacking in their tax declarations and local arrangements?

    This just sounds like the passing the buck to everyone but Apple, the entity that has undeniably gained the most from the situation up to this point.  They were greedy, they got caught.
    singularityxixo
  • Reply 49 of 63
    pigybankpigybank Posts: 165member
    A bunch of unelected officials decides for Ireland that Ireland's taxes are too low, and then implements higher taxes on their behalf on a single company, retroactively, to a pay to government of a country that says they don't want the money? Seems legit... errrr maybe not. Apple should fight this tooth and nail, and if they lose, rather than pay, they should refuse and remove as many European jobs as they can. No company should ever fold to such tyranny. And for those who though Brexit was dumb... here's a prime example of why that happened.
    Capriguy
  • Reply 50 of 63
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,022member
    spacekid said:
    The thing you guys don't realise is that all the US corporations set up in Ireland because it's a way for them to avoid paying their due taxes in other European countries. It's not just Apple, it's Google, Facebook, Starbucks etc. It's absolutely disgraceful the amount of tax they get away with. You should do some research into it before saying it's a money grab from other EU states. Stackbucks for example paid just £8.6m over 14 years to the UK with £3billion in sales during that period. They're able to do this because of dodgy tax systems that Ireland has set up. It's not right and none of us should be supporting Apple or any other company that does this. Americans might be allergic to tax, hence the reason your public services are non-existent, but even you should be able to recognise this is messed up.
    A more sensible response would have been to require Ireland (and all EU countries) to collect some minimum tax from this point forward. I'm not aware that Ireland's tax rate was a secret. Making retroactive changes for legal laws the EU doesn't like doesn't seem like the best thing to do.
    Is it really retroactive? If the agreement/ruling which set up apple/Google/Starbucks in Ireland was illegal there was never a valid agreement in the first place (void ab initio) so the state is being asked to recover whatever should have been paid from the outset. 

    These ridiculous and Byzantine tax structures are clear for what they are and deprive states of revenue for giving companies access to customers. Maybe a 30% cut on the transaction value might actually make sense, reducible for ongoing subscriptions. 

    These companies are taking the piss and they know it. They hide behind black letter law in claiming compliance which they know isn't untruthful but it's certainly deceptive. 
    gatorguy
  • Reply 51 of 63
    Apple should fracking sue the Irish government since ultimately THEY are responsible for what happened.

    Why should anyone trust those people from now on.
    Capriguy
  • Reply 52 of 63
    Up to 52 comments and only a few actually understand what is going on here.
    giles
  • Reply 53 of 63
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    1)So you're saying the EU doesn't do its job and yet can back-charge companies for abiding by the laws and agreements it set up before the EU was even formed?

    2) Note, the double Irish arrangement didn't come to light in 2014 because of Lux Leaks. This is a well known tax loophole for corporations. If you clam that the EU only got wind of this in 2014 then the EU is much, much worse than I assumed.
    1) So now we're complaining that the EU isn't authoritarian or policing enough?  As soon as the law came into affect Ireland and Apple should have changed their arrangements.  Ignorance is no excuse, and I doubt ignorance had anything to do with it; it was a dodgy deal from the start.
    As opposed to being effective instead of being lackadaisical and then thinking it's fair to retroactively back charge corporations for the EU's shortcomings? Yes! If anyone is at fault, it's Ireland, but based on the evidence I don't think it's fair to charge them for the EU's shortcomings. Going forward, remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes—this goes for all governing entities.
    So if it's ok to break the rules if you're not likely to get caught for 10 years?  Give me a break.  The law was in place, and any company that thinks they can rationalise away paying next to 0% in corporate tax deserves everything coming to them.  Call it karma.

    Also, "remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes"?  How do you do that, other than passing laws, setting standards, and expecting the enforcement authorities (the national tax offices) to abide by them?  That's exactly what the EU has done, but battling tax avoidance is a massive international issue, and you've reduced it to a meanginless "well you just gotta do it".  Are you now suggesting adding in a large scale EU auditing capacity of every member's national tax authority?  You think that would result in fewer US companies being found lacking in their tax declarations and local arrangements?

    This just sounds like the passing the buck to everyone but Apple, the entity that has undeniably gained the most from the situation up to this point.  They were greedy, they got caught.
    You are assuming that rules were broken, but the Irish government, the entity that made the rules, says they weren’t. That is the real dilemma here, the EU says Ireland didn’t follow irish law correctly and gave Apple an advantage that others couldn’t have, while Ireland says it followed its own laws appropriately.
    The EU can’t change irish tax laws or declare them ilegal retroactively, they can only accuse the irish tax authority of not following the law correctly, they aren’t even accusing Apple directly.
  • Reply 54 of 63
    croprcropr Posts: 961member
    volcan said:
    urchin11 said:
    If the Irish tax code, doesn't meet EU requirements, this is an Irish tax problem.  
    I totally agree with this. 

    So Ireland decided to make their corporate tax really low to attract large corporations to headquarter there and bring thousands of jobs - that was their decision.

    What the EU is attempting to do is sort of like if the US government determined that Amazon was illegally selling ebooks below their cost to attract people to their store to hopefully buy other goods, the government doesn't retroactively go after all the people who purchased discounted ebooks from Amazon, they go after Amazon. Of course that hasn't happened yet but whatever.
    The issue is not that Ireland has a very low corporate tax rate.  The issue is that there was an agreement between Apple and Ireland, that only a very small portion of the profits of Apple Ireland were taxed at this low rate.  The non taxed profits were transferred to Apple Sales International, which was not taxed at all, not in the US, not in Ireland.  Apple Sales International is an empty box with zero employees, just created for tax purposes.  If these non taxed profits would have been transferred to the US and taxed there at 35%, the EC would not have a case.

    See http://ec.europa.eu/competition/publications/infographics/2016_07_en.pdf

    The non taxation of a large part of the Apple Ireland profits is, according to the EC, illegal state aid.  This state aid must be paid back.  If the EC prevails in appeal and illegal state aid is confirmed, Apple could make a claim against the Irish government that it handled in good faith


    edited September 2016
  • Reply 55 of 63
    cropr said:
    volcan said:
    urchin11 said:
    If the Irish tax code, doesn't meet EU requirements, this is an Irish tax problem.  
    I totally agree with this. 

    So Ireland decided to make their corporate tax really low to attract large corporations to headquarter there and bring thousands of jobs - that was their decision.

    What the EU is attempting to do is sort of like if the US government determined that Amazon was illegally selling ebooks below their cost to attract people to their store to hopefully buy other goods, the government doesn't retroactively go after all the people who purchased discounted ebooks from Amazon, they go after Amazon. Of course that hasn't happened yet but whatever.
    The issue is not that Ireland has a very low corporate tax rate.  The issue is that there was an agreement between Apple and Ireland, that only a very small portion of the profits of Apple Ireland were taxed at this low rate.  The non taxed profits were transferred to Apple Sales International, which was not taxed at all, not in the US, not in Ireland.  Apple Sales International is an empty box with zero employees, just created for tax purposes.  If these non taxed profits would have been transferred to the US and taxed there at 35%, the EC would not have a case.

    See http://ec.europa.eu/competition/publications/infographics/2016_07_en.pdf

    The non taxation of a large part of the Apple Ireland profits is, according to the EC, illegal state aid.  This state aid must be paid back.  If the EC prevails in appeal and illegal state aid is confirmed, Apple could make a claim against the Irish government that it handled in good faith


    That will be quite an interesting legal discussion in the courts since the irish law actually allowed that sort of things, a non-resident company with residence in nowhere which doesn’t have to pay full tax. 
  • Reply 56 of 63
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,018member
    ppietra said:
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    1)So you're saying the EU doesn't do its job and yet can back-charge companies for abiding by the laws and agreements it set up before the EU was even formed?

    2) Note, the double Irish arrangement didn't come to light in 2014 because of Lux Leaks. This is a well known tax loophole for corporations. If you clam that the EU only got wind of this in 2014 then the EU is much, much worse than I assumed.
    1) So now we're complaining that the EU isn't authoritarian or policing enough?  As soon as the law came into affect Ireland and Apple should have changed their arrangements.  Ignorance is no excuse, and I doubt ignorance had anything to do with it; it was a dodgy deal from the start.
    As opposed to being effective instead of being lackadaisical and then thinking it's fair to retroactively back charge corporations for the EU's shortcomings? Yes! If anyone is at fault, it's Ireland, but based on the evidence I don't think it's fair to charge them for the EU's shortcomings. Going forward, remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes—this goes for all governing entities.
    So if it's ok to break the rules if you're not likely to get caught for 10 years?  Give me a break.  The law was in place, and any company that thinks they can rationalise away paying next to 0% in corporate tax deserves everything coming to them.  Call it karma.

    Also, "remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes"?  How do you do that, other than passing laws, setting standards, and expecting the enforcement authorities (the national tax offices) to abide by them?  That's exactly what the EU has done, but battling tax avoidance is a massive international issue, and you've reduced it to a meanginless "well you just gotta do it".  Are you now suggesting adding in a large scale EU auditing capacity of every member's national tax authority?  You think that would result in fewer US companies being found lacking in their tax declarations and local arrangements?

    This just sounds like the passing the buck to everyone but Apple, the entity that has undeniably gained the most from the situation up to this point.  They were greedy, they got caught.
    You are assuming that rules were broken, but the Irish government, the entity that made the rules, says they weren’t. That is the real dilemma here, the EU says Ireland didn’t follow irish law correctly and gave Apple an advantage that others couldn’t have, while Ireland says it followed its own laws appropriately.
    The EU can’t change irish tax laws or declare them ilegal retroactively, they can only accuse the irish tax authority of not following the law correctly, they aren’t even accusing Apple directly.
    No, the EU is not saying what you think they're saying. Irish practice has to conform to EU law. If it doesn't then the practice is illegal. The EU laws have supremacy.  The EU are saying that the Irish deal with Apple broke EU law on state aid, not Irish law. 

    Again, the most obvious analogue is the US Federal and State laws or constitutions. The states can set whatever constitutions and law they want, but if there is a conflict with the federal then the federal is supreme, and the state has to back down.
    [Deleted User]
  • Reply 57 of 63
    crowley said:
    ppietra said:
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    1)So you're saying the EU doesn't do its job and yet can back-charge companies for abiding by the laws and agreements it set up before the EU was even formed?

    2) Note, the double Irish arrangement didn't come to light in 2014 because of Lux Leaks. This is a well known tax loophole for corporations. If you clam that the EU only got wind of this in 2014 then the EU is much, much worse than I assumed.
    1) So now we're complaining that the EU isn't authoritarian or policing enough?  As soon as the law came into affect Ireland and Apple should have changed their arrangements.  Ignorance is no excuse, and I doubt ignorance had anything to do with it; it was a dodgy deal from the start.
    As opposed to being effective instead of being lackadaisical and then thinking it's fair to retroactively back charge corporations for the EU's shortcomings? Yes! If anyone is at fault, it's Ireland, but based on the evidence I don't think it's fair to charge them for the EU's shortcomings. Going forward, remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes—this goes for all governing entities.
    So if it's ok to break the rules if you're not likely to get caught for 10 years?  Give me a break.  The law was in place, and any company that thinks they can rationalise away paying next to 0% in corporate tax deserves everything coming to them.  Call it karma.

    Also, "remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes"?  How do you do that, other than passing laws, setting standards, and expecting the enforcement authorities (the national tax offices) to abide by them?  That's exactly what the EU has done, but battling tax avoidance is a massive international issue, and you've reduced it to a meanginless "well you just gotta do it".  Are you now suggesting adding in a large scale EU auditing capacity of every member's national tax authority?  You think that would result in fewer US companies being found lacking in their tax declarations and local arrangements?

    This just sounds like the passing the buck to everyone but Apple, the entity that has undeniably gained the most from the situation up to this point.  They were greedy, they got caught.
    You are assuming that rules were broken, but the Irish government, the entity that made the rules, says they weren’t. That is the real dilemma here, the EU says Ireland didn’t follow irish law correctly and gave Apple an advantage that others couldn’t have, while Ireland says it followed its own laws appropriately.
    The EU can’t change irish tax laws or declare them ilegal retroactively, they can only accuse the irish tax authority of not following the law correctly, they aren’t even accusing Apple directly.
    No, the EU is not saying what you think they're saying. Irish practice has to conform to EU law. If it doesn't then the practice is illegal. The EU laws have supremacy.  The EU are saying that the Irish deal with Apple broke EU law on state aid, not Irish law. 

    Again, the most obvious analogue is the US Federal and State laws or constitutions. The states can set whatever constitutions and law they want, but if there is a conflict with the federal then the federal is supreme, and the state has to back down.
    You are incorrect. First of all the EU is not a federal state, it doesn’t have a tax authority, it doesn’t collect taxes and each country has a lot leg room to establish their own local corporate tax laws because there is no EU wide framework for national corporate taxes only laws for cross border corporate activities.
    Secondly if there was a conflict with irish law, the only thing the EU could do would be to fine Ireland for not correctly transposing EU frameworks to national law, they would not be able to go after any irish tax arrangement.
    Last but not least... read carefully what the EU said.
    "selective tax treatment of Apple in Ireland is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it gives Apple a significant advantage over other businesses that are subject to the same national taxation rules"
    They are evoking an EU illegal state aid directive (competition law) because they believe Ireland gave Apple special treatment over others in Ireland that are subject to the same national taxation rules. It is about national tax law interpretation and if Ireland-Apple’s arrangement follows irish law, not if it follows EU laws. Notice that the ruling is over Ireland that is subject to that directive, not Apple directly.
    avon b7
  • Reply 58 of 63

    ppietra
    said:
    Apple could never owe that much money to other European countries because no one would ever be able to demonstrate that Apple’s creation of value, that comes from intellectual property, is created or is resident solely in those countries, they would only be able to tax the profits generated from distribution and part of the services.
    Ireland is the only european country where Apple could be taxed that much money, but it seems they don’t agree with that because of their laws.

    just because Tim Cook said you should be taxed where you "create value", doesn't mean that's the law. That's just his opinion. Current law states you pay tax where you operate and sell products, nothing to do with where your R&D offices are. If that was the case, everyone would open an R&D office in the Cayman Islands or Panama and stick a local in there to staff it - boom, zero tax.
  • Reply 59 of 63
    urchin11 said:
    The thing you guys don't realise is that all the US corporations set up in Ireland because it's a way for them to avoid paying their due taxes in other European countries. It's not just Apple, it's Google, Facebook, Starbucks etc. It's absolutely disgraceful the amount of tax they get away with. You should do some research into it before saying it's a money grab from other EU states. Stackbucks for example paid just £8.6m over 14 years to the UK with £3billion in sales during that period. They're able to do this because of dodgy tax systems that Ireland has set up. It's not right and none of us should be supporting Apple or any other company that does this. Americans might be allergic to tax, hence the reason your public services are non-existent, but even you should be able to recognise this is messed up.

    We do think everyone should pay their taxes as specified in each country, which Apple has.   If the Irish tax code, doesn't meet EU requirements, this is an Irish tax problem.  The EU should insist they update them for compliance.  Changes to tax codes are not retro active.



    maybe in 'merica. If you've been paying the wrong tax whether too much or too little in the UK for example, you will either get a back dated rebate or a threatening letter to pay up the backdated tax immediately. Americans should really learn about the world outside their borders; customs, cultures, laws and ethics are very different around the globe.
  • Reply 60 of 63
    Soli said:
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    1)So you're saying the EU doesn't do its job and yet can back-charge companies for abiding by the laws and agreements it set up before the EU was even formed?

    2) Note, the double Irish arrangement didn't come to light in 2014 because of Lux Leaks. This is a well known tax loophole for corporations. If you clam that the EU only got wind of this in 2014 then the EU is much, much worse than I assumed.
    1) So now we're complaining that the EU isn't authoritarian or policing enough?  As soon as the law came into affect Ireland and Apple should have changed their arrangements.  Ignorance is no excuse, and I doubt ignorance had anything to do with it; it was a dodgy deal from the start.
    As opposed to being effective instead of being lackadaisical and then thinking it's fair to retroactively back charge corporations for the EU's shortcomings? Yes! If anyone is at fault, it's Ireland, but based on the evidence I don't think it's fair to charge them for the EU's shortcomings. Going forward, remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes—this goes for all governing entities.
    This is the key point that the tax protagonists miss. Change the laws, change it so that it applies equally and fairly to every corporation doing business in the EU and every country in the EU, and change it going forward. Few people would have complaints (although I think it would adversely impact investment and employment in the EU, but that's the type of tradeoff that all governments make).

    Instead what do they do? They finger one company, in one country (yes, yes, there were a couple of others, but those were ridiculously minor by comparison), and apply it retroactively. Additionally, the money essentially come out of tax payments that the US Treasury would have received, if/when repatriated. Apple's long-term liability on this is exactly zero. They will -- some day in the future -- owe it to either the EU or the US. They could care less.

    The EU's move here is completely dunderheaded, risks a trade war, risks alienating member states (when that's the last thing they need immediately post-Brexit), and is not much more than an ill-advised, immoral money-grab. Why? Because they are tone-deaf, and they think they can do it.

    Incidentally, it also reeks of cowardice. Why wouldn't they apply it equally and fairly for every corporation doing business in the EU and every country in the EU? Because it would be laughed off, thrown out on its butt, and be DOA.
    1. They don't HAVE to change the laws - it's already illegal which is why they investigated in the first place.
    2. They don't go after 1 company from 1 country - the others were only minor because their earnings and profits are minor in comparison. Apple's vast earnings had no bearing on this case, it was treated the same as the others, only the resulting totals had a few extra zeros.
    3. Repatriating the cash would have zero effect as Apple would still be due taxes in the countries they sold/operated in, the cash itself is moot here, it's the tax ON that cash that's in question.
    4. As for being an ill-advised, immoral cash-grab, I would say Apple's tax deal was ill-advised and immoral in the first place.
    5. I wish people would learn facts and be open minded before spouting biased, xenophobic shite online.
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