Apple CEO Tim Cook calls EU tax ruling 'total political crap,' cites potential anti-US sentiment

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  • Reply 21 of 201
    hucom2000 said:
    Apple will only start to pay "proper" taxes in the US, if these tax heavens are eliminated. That's what the European Union is after. It just happens to be Apple (a US company) and it happens to be on a massive scale. Remember the billions in fines the Swiss banks had to pay in the US for tax evasion? It's all about trying to keep countries from gaining unfair advantages over other countries. The same way Switzerland had built it's financial system on bank secrecy, Ireland built it's economy on luring international companies with insanely low tax rates. It's not really about Apple or the US, this is about Ireland playing by the rules. Just like Switzerland a few years ago, Ireland is now paying the price for it's actions. And the companies that went along with it get punished. So they should. They knew all along that 1) it's not right, and 2) at some point it would come to light. 
    I think you've hit the bottom line beautifully here.  It's not right and sooner or later, it was going to be rectified.  Tim's tone is wrong / reactive.  It's gonna hurt.  
    jpolsterrune66austriacuslarryazimmermannronn
  • Reply 22 of 201
    kamilton said:
    hucom2000 said:
    Apple will only start to pay "proper" taxes in the US, if these tax heavens are eliminated. That's what the European Union is after. It just happens to be Apple (a US company) and it happens to be on a massive scale. Remember the billions in fines the Swiss banks had to pay in the US for tax evasion? It's all about trying to keep countries from gaining unfair advantages over other countries. The same way Switzerland had built it's financial system on bank secrecy, Ireland built it's economy on luring international companies with insanely low tax rates. It's not really about Apple or the US, this is about Ireland playing by the rules. Just like Switzerland a few years ago, Ireland is now paying the price for it's actions. And the companies that went along with it get punished. So they should. They knew all along that 1) it's not right, and 2) at some point it would come to light. 
    I think you've hit the bottom line beautifully here.  It's not right and sooner or later, it was going to be rectified.  Tim's tone is wrong / reactive.  It's gonna hurt.  
    Ver much agree
    austriacusronn
  • Reply 23 of 201
    apple ][ said:

    If Apple ever has to pay a penny towards this embezzlement scheme, then Apple should promptly raise the prices of virtually all Apple products sold in the EU zone by an appropriate amount, no matter how high the percentage is increased, to compensate for any loss.


    Considering most of Apple's EU sales are in the UK, which will be leaving soon, I don't think anyone would even notice a further 100% mark up on Apple products in the EU. People that especially wanted them would buy them from outside the EU and ironically the closest non-EU market would be the UK. Besides, Apple doesn't set prices like that, Amazon would buy their products centrally and charge what they like in each country.
    austriacus
  • Reply 24 of 201

    "They just picked a number from I don't know where," Cook said. "In the year that the Commission says we paid that tax figure, we actually paid $400m. We believe that makes us the highest taxpayer in Ireland that year."
    So Apple only made $3.2 billion in profit from Ireland and the EU in the whole of 2014?
    I didn't realise sales were that bad!
    Or is he being deliberately obfuscating by picking on one part of the structures in Ireland but not taking them as a whole? 

    austriacusgatorguycnocbuizimmermannronn
  • Reply 25 of 201
    You - Tim Cook - are a total pile of hypocrite crap. You try to defend the indefensible, and you should know. I guess power and money has gone to your head.
    edited September 2016 austriacus
  • Reply 26 of 201
    My understanding is Apple is accruing taxes as if it will repatriate that money back to the US.  That is why is reports a high overall tax rate of 26%  (vs Google at 16%)

    The EU is making a grab for same tax dollars that are earmarked for the US 

    Now, Apple IS holding off bringing it back to the US in the hope the rate will be lowered 
    latifbprevolution
  • Reply 27 of 201
    Wrote it already, TC is handling this dossier very badly.

    First, a poorly written open letter, making amalgams of everything
    Now this. "Apple pays its fair share of taxes". 0.005 to 1% fair? Really?

    This is a battle Apple cannot win.
    singularityrune66austriacusbig brother 84zimmermannronnpropod
  • Reply 28 of 201

    I listened to Tim Cook trying to defend Apple's pitifully low tax rate on the BBC news this morning and it just sounded bad. Very bad PR. Attacking the EU is very unwise. All the people whose businesses pay tax at 20% are looking at this and saying why should Apple pay tax at less than 1%.
    As a life-long Apple evangelist, even I find this Apple hard to swallow.
    Fuck the EU.
    Ireland set its tax laws and Apple abided by them and greatly benefitted the country in the process.
    The most Ireland can do now is change their law but asking for back taxes is pure bullshit

    Fuck the companies that choose to pay 20% when 12% and lower is available them in Ireland.
    If these companies are too stupid or too lazy to take advantage of it then I say fuck them.  This is a competitive global economy and the EU is clearly not ready for it.

    The US government and American companies should target the EU back, hit them hard enough to get them dissolved.  To hell with any consequences to be fixed later.
    The EU is an ill conceived organization managed by idiots that should not exist.  The world would be better without them.
    So, what's your game plan?

    BTW: the EU has been at peace for over 70 years, thanks to the EC/EU. That's a record.
    By all means, this fact alone has made the world a far better place.
    austriacusrune66crowleybig brother 84sensizimmermannronnpropod
  • Reply 29 of 201
    This ludicrous politically motivated and invasive ruling is why Brexit no longer has any opposition in Great Britain.  Ireland and the rest of Great Britain need to declare their sovereignty and independence from the socialist agenda of the rest of the European Union.  

    Next thing you know, the European commission will want Apple to subsidize Greece and Spain.

    The Department of Justice should punish Europe for this misadventure by prosecuting Volkswagen more aggressively - to the tune of a $75 BILLION fine.  Currently they are handing Volkswagen with kid gloves. But with this turn of events, this should greenlight a big stick punishment that would push Volkswagen to bankruptcy. Take that Europe.
    Volkswagen already had a big fine that was much more then any US company would have ever paid - how much did GM have to pay when they covered something up that actually killed a hundred people or so (ignition switch I think) - so talk about politically motivated. Same with fines for European banks which had to pay and no recourse. Americans always think that there are special rules only for them. If you want to read a balanced discussion of the tax issue than read: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/business/yesterday-outraged-by-apples-tax-dodge-today-by-its-tax-bill.html
    rune66cnocbuibig brother 84sensironn
  • Reply 30 of 201
    Tim, so sad to listen these words from you, the CEO of the company like Apple. Your words are a complete lack of respect for the Europeans like me who pay the taxes we owe even when we hardly make ends meet.
    austriacusrune66cnocbuibig brother 84sensizimmermann
  • Reply 31 of 201
    flabber said:
    Cook also agreed with comments made by U.S. Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, who said the tax ruling is a blatant grab at taxes owed to the U.S. government. "I think that's exactly what it is," Cook said. "I think it's a desire to reallocate taxes that should be paid in the U.S. to the EU."

    The above part is complete and utter BS. Yes, Apple and Ireland made agreements on the amount of tax that Apple would have to pay if they'd choose to use Ireland as their Eu-base of operations. But in no way is that tax owed to the US government. Technically it's not owed to anyone since there's an agreement. But even íf there's tax owed to anyone, then Ireland and Apple need to specify what amount of profit/income was made based on EU-sales. Because there's no way that áll of the taxes made in Ireland, are owed to the US government.

    Having said that: I despise the EU for charging outrageous taxes like that. Ireland made a deal with Apple to improve Ireland's economy. That was done befóre the EU made a vow to stop tax-deals in the EU. If the EU implements these plans after Ireland's deal with Apple, they need to take it up with Ireland. Apple shouldn't be involved or punished for political turbulence (in the EU in this case).

    I despise the EU, even more so because of how they try to punish companies for deals made with countries. But I think Apple is completely missing the point here. Just because you paid 400mil in taxes doesn't mean you're paying a proper amount. 0,005% is still 0,005%, and not the norm for most other companies in Ireland. And the US government certainly doesn't have any right to taxes made by products sold to EU citizens.
    I generally agree except for the point you make regarding Ireland making a deal with Apple and the EU changing the rules afterwards. These was a rule in place that said that governments have their own tax authority BUT (Except) that they have to give exactly the same deal to everyone.
    singularitysensizimmermannronn
  • Reply 32 of 201
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    The EU is a beuacratic mess.
    anantksundaramrevolutionmonstrosity
  • Reply 33 of 201
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    crowley said:

    "I think that's exactly what it is," Cook said. "I think it's a desire to reallocate taxes that should be paid in the U.S. to the EU."
    Wow, that's rich. Set up a corporation with the express intention of avoiding paying taxes in the US or EU, then try and play them off against each other when you get caught.

    Sorry Tim, your hands are slick with red stuff.
    Get caught abiding by Irish tax laws in Ireland?
    The EU is not ready for the global economy and should be dissolved.
    What the fuck do they think this is?  A Socialist World?
    The union of the states comprising the United States should be dissolved, because I don't like they way it operates, from my jaundiced, ill informed, one-eyed, childish, naive, parochial point of view.
    singularitygatorguyrune66crowleyradarthekatsensizimmermannlogic2.6
  • Reply 34 of 201
    Cook is making the wrong argument here and his response was just painful to read.
    Why do you say that?
    JoeBanks
  • Reply 35 of 201
    I listened to Tim Cook trying to defend Apple's pitifully low tax rate on the BBC news this morning and it just sounded bad. Very bad PR. Attacking the EU is very unwise. All the people whose businesses pay tax at 20% are looking at this and saying why should Apple pay tax at less than 1%.
    As a life-long Apple evangelist, even I find this Apple hard to swallow.
    Fuck the EU.
    Ireland set its tax laws and Apple abided by them and greatly benefitted the country in the process.
    The most Ireland can do now is change their law but asking for back taxes is pure bullshit

    Fuck the companies that choose to pay 20% when 12% and lower is available them in Ireland.
    If these companies are too stupid or too lazy to take advantage of it then I say fuck them.  This is a competitive global economy and the EU is clearly not ready for it.

    The US government and American companies should target the EU back, hit them hard enough to get them dissolved.  To hell with any consequences to be fixed later.
    The EU is an ill conceived organization managed by idiots that should not exist.  The world would be better without them.
    Yes.  Exactly.   How many people on this board are over 40 and pay a blended tax rate of 50+ percent?  How many have seen the wonderfully prudent redistribution of funds by government up close. I'd wager many (not most) on this board are Millenials paying little tax and don't understand the economic damage massive taxation.  causes.  You will.  Apple has done more economic good around the world in the last decade than nearly all tech companies combined. Europe is a failing continent.  The US is not far behind. 
  • Reply 36 of 201
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,324member
    cnocbui said:
    crowley said:

    "I think that's exactly what it is," Cook said. "I think it's a desire to reallocate taxes that should be paid in the U.S. to the EU."
    Wow, that's rich. Set up a corporation with the express intention of avoiding paying taxes in the US or EU, then try and play them off against each other when you get caught.

    Sorry Tim, your hands are slick with red stuff.
    Get caught abiding by Irish tax laws in Ireland?
    The EU is not ready for the global economy and should be dissolved.
    What the fuck do they think this is?  A Socialist World?
    The union of the states comprising the United States should be dissolved, because I don't like they way it operates, from my jaundiced, ill informed, one-eyed, childish, naive, parochial point of view.
    I wish there were a Super Like button
    cnocbuigatorguyradarthekatsensisingularityzimmermannronn
  • Reply 37 of 201
    sricesrice Posts: 119member
    The EU has a VAT - value added tax system, where the taxes are allocated based on where the value to the product was added. 

    They do not have a sales tax based system.

    No value is added in the EU, they are just a consumer.  So the taxes should rightfully be applied upstream - either to the US, where the product was designed and developed, or in China where the product was built. (or Ireland where the R&D is performed *cough*). 

    edited September 2016 anantksundaramjony0
  • Reply 38 of 201
    BTW: the EU did not ask Apple to pay taxes. The EU told Ireland (not Apple) to recover taxes they failed to get paid from Apple. It is quite a difference.

    Moreover, Apple surely followed the tax law and whatever the Irish tax office applies to them. Cook should be angry at the EU using Apple as a scapegoat for fixing EUs lack of "union" in fiscal matters (among other very important topics), and having allowed Ireland many years of "freedom" and not legal practices.

    Then there is the matter of following the law and being ethical. Apple surely was following the law, like all other companies using loopholes to pay less taxes. And could not be otherwise when e.g. in the EU, apart 4 countries (including Ireland) the taxes on companies are well beyond 40%. 
    Is Apple being ethical doing that - I raise an eyebrow - not at all. But is it Apple's job to be ethical in how taxation is ruled and managed in an European Union, that is not a Union on the things that matter, and becomes a Union very late and only when there is need to this or that reason, mostly political rather than helpful for EU citizens?

    The example of VW is not really fitting, as VW has a huge value chain that influences a LOT of companies in the EU. VW goes down, half of the EU does. Being also VW number 2 (or 1 this year?) in building cars and a good chunk of them in Germany/Spain. Apple produces ZERO in the EU, so "attacking" it, really a piece of cake. Worst case, they leave Ireland, but you can still buy your iPhone, can you?

    That all being said, the EU should have simply forced Ireland to get its taxes starting from today, and not involve Apple at all, which has nothing to do in how Ireland manages its taxes and its relationship with the EU.
  • Reply 39 of 201
    All arguments presuppose taxation as such is moral, of course.
    radarthekatdesignrtoddzrx
  • Reply 40 of 201
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Margrethe Vestage walks into a bar.

    She notices some people over in the corner who all seem attentive to what is happening at a table where this tall guy with a shit-eating grin is sitting, like he's just swallowed some countries economy or something.

    She walks over and realizes the face is familiar;  Tim something... she thinks.  There are five large identical paper cups upended on the table and in a row. She thinks she knows what's going on.

    'Hi', says the Tim man.  'Want to play?'

    'Maybe. How does it work?'

    'Well I need some money to show you.'

    Margrethe hands over a stack of 1000 €1000 notes.  Tim's grin does the impossible and get's a lot bigger.  He peels off 100 of the notes, puts them on the table and puts the rest in a bag on the floor that is next to him.  There's a big bruiser standing next to it she thinks might be his Uncle, Sam.  Tim frowns at the remaining bunch of large bills.

    'Damn, these are big.'  He leans to the left and his right hand delves into the pocket of his jeans and struggles to remove a very fat, bulging wallet.   He opens the coin compartment and two tweezer like fingers extract a single €1 coin then deposits it on the table next to the stack of €1000 notes.  Tim covers the stack with one of the cups and the coin with another.  'You have to try and keep your eye on the cup with the coin under it, and if you pick right, you get what's under the cup.'

    The Tim man's hands are a blur, four of the cups dart and weave across the table so fast, a faint wisp of smoke and smell of pine rises from the table top.  Margrethe has never seen anyone slicker or more skilled at this game.  The hands stop, the cups stop - the grin doesn't.

    She reaches and upends the leftmost cup, three cups away from the one that didn't move.  A stack of 100 notes is revealed.  She picks them up; The grin vanishes.

    'That's not fair!'  Wails the Tim man.  'You can't do that.  It's not supposed to work like that.  It's against the rules!'

    Margrethe smiles.

    'This is my bar, this is my room you are sitting in, that is my table you are using and my chair you are sitting on.  You play by my rules here and they haven't changed in 20 years and have always been posted on that notice board over there.' she says, pointing at it.

    'But a leprechaun told me...'

    'Not my problem.' she replies, interrupting. 'Now if you will excuse me, there are some other tables I need to visit.'




    crowleygoodbyeranchjpolstersingularityrune66ronn
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