France & Netherlands among EU countries considering pursuing share of Apple taxes

Posted:
in General Discussion
In the wake of the European Commission's ruling against tax deals between Apple and Ireland, the finance ministers of several other European countries are reportedly considering a share of the iPhone maker's back taxes.




Austria, Italy, France, and the Netherlands are among the countries following the outcome of the Commission's ruling, which is set to be appealed by both Apple and Ireland, according to Deutsche Welle. Companies like Apple "have an obligation to pay taxes in a fair way," said Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, adding that "international tax loopholes are a thing of the past."

"If it's legally accurate, you can be sure that as minister of finance I will take it," said Austria's Hans Joerg Schelling. "We Austrians are looking at it intensively."

Britain's Philip Hammond commented that the European Union is eager "to make sure that international corporations pay the right tax at the right place."

The Commission has accused Ireland of extending illegal state aid to Apple for years in the form of preferential tax treatment, such that in 2014, it paid just 0.005 percent on its European profits -- the company uses Ireland to funnel billions in international revenue. Although Ireland might nominally benefit from collecting more taxes, the country has used loopholes to attract multinational corporations and jobs that might otherwise go to other nations.

Ireland has been ordered to collect at least 13 billion euros ($14.6 billion) from Apple, though the final tally could reach 19 billion euros (over $21 billion) after interest. The Commission's ruling reflects growing sentiment against tax havens in Europe and abroad, fueled by crunches on government budgets, and April's release of the Panama Papers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 282member
    Proud to be Dutch, not proud of Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem...
    buckalecequality72521
  • Reply 2 of 53
    I like the fact the US government was the on who told the EU about this whole situation. First the US government tries going after Apple only to be embarrassed when APple pointed out they are only following the rules which congress put in place. So they turn around and tell the EU to look closely at Apple, then the US turns around and claims the EU is making a money grab for taxes owed to the US. Now we have other countries claiming they are owed money. Yeah this is not political at all. I bet the US thought they were going to forces Apple hand and make them bring the money back and let the US tax them verse some other country.
    ceek74SpamSandwichmwhiteequality72521jony0
  • Reply 3 of 53
    This just in: increasingly corrupt national governments continue to engage in corruption. More at 11. 
    SpamSandwichjbdragonequality72521watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 53
    Doesn't take long after there's blood in the water for the sharks to start circling.
    SpamSandwichuraharaai46jbdragonequality72521
  • Reply 5 of 53
    irelandireland Posts: 17,671member
    This is so so so so surprising.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 6 of 53
    This just in: increasingly corrupt national governments continue to engage in corruption. More at 11. 
    As opposed to corrupt corporations not paying tax, anywhere
    singularitycropr
  • Reply 7 of 53
    Was going to say the vultures are circling, but maybe they're more like hyenas?
    SpamSandwichequality72521viclauyyc
  • Reply 8 of 53
    This just in: increasingly corrupt national governments continue to engage in corruption. More at 11. 
    As opposed to corrupt corporations not paying tax, anywhere
    You mean companies other than Apple, of course, franklinjackcon, since the company is consistently among top payers of U.S. corporate tax.
    SpamSandwichuraharaai46jbdragontdknoxequality72521jony0viclauyyc
  • Reply 9 of 53
    jannl said:
    Proud to be Dutch, not proud of Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem...
    Ha! I'm German/Dutch (Knauff/Reinike on maternal side) -- as you well know... we're stubborn!

    edited September 2016 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 10 of 53
    This just in: increasingly corrupt national governments continue to engage in corruption. More at 11. 
    As opposed to corrupt corporations not paying tax, anywhere
    Morals don't come into it, Apple is not outside the law they are paying taxes agreed on by all parties. If this is not good enough then the law needs to be changed. People or companies that pay more tax than they are legally required to do you can count on the fingers of one hand.
    SpamSandwichuraharajbdragonequality72521planetary pauljony0
  • Reply 11 of 53

    Now the US Govt says  you foreigners can't claim those Apple taxes -- those are our Apple taxes...

    Battle royal to follow -- with the US Govt issuing another one-tine-only tax repatriation at low rates.


    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 12 of 53
    smiffy31 said:
    This just in: increasingly corrupt national governments continue to engage in corruption. More at 11. 
    As opposed to corrupt corporations not paying tax, anywhere
    Morals don't come into it, Apple is not outside the law they are paying taxes agreed on by all parties. If this is not good enough then the law needs to be changed. People or companies that pay more tax than they are legally required to do you can count on the fingers of one hand.
    Because sticking to the letter of the law is always the best thing for corporations to do? By that logic, Apple should be pillaging the environment because it makes financial sense. Or do you think their green policies are just good marketing?
  • Reply 13 of 53
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,117member

    PatentlyApple has a much more thorough article on this.

    "When the Irish Government hesitated in calling for a vote to support Apple's appeal over the EU tax decision Apple's CEO warned "that if the Dublin government did not join it in appealing, this would send the wrong message to business in a country whose economic model depends in part on companies like his." The next day the vote was called and passed. The EU Commissioner's response to Ireland's decision was that it's a "strange decision." He made his comments when European finance ministers gathered in Bratislava Slovakia for the first time since the commission's ruling.

     Specifically, the Commissioner stated that "It is a strange decision, in a way, to say 'I don't want your €13 billion' when you could have some social programmes or economic programmes in a country that has been damaged by a crisis, but that's their own will."

     The Commissioner was playing politics as expected by customizing his argument to fit those held by the Irish government's opposition party Sinn Fein who stated before the vote that "It is important that Irish taxpayers are represented. The Independent Alliance have an opportunity to do that. They should oppose any appeal and insist that the correct tax bill is paid by Apple."

     The Irish Times report further noted that "opinion on the government's stance was split on the streets of Dublin where some were stunned that they would give up a potential 13 billion euro tax windfall."

     To Tim Cook's statement about the decision being political crap, the EU Commissioner fired back by stating that "We are not a politicized commission we are a political commission with a political will, and this political will is clearly to fight tax evasion, tax fraud and aggressive tax planning." He added that "We are going to go further, with proposals such as a relaunch of the CCCTB (common corporate tax base) and the establishment of a European black-list of tax havens."

     Asked if the Apple judgment sent out the wrong message to companies that want to invest in Europe at a time when the EU is facing a serious challenge due to the British vote to leave the bloc, Mr Moscovici said: "We are an open economy. We need to have free trade. We need to have investment from abroad, but we also need to have common rules. The message must be heard – no more tax evasion, no more tax fraud, no more tax avoidance, no more aggressive tax planning."

     It was interesting to read that Moscovici pointed out that Ireland had already phased out the idea of a stateless company and the so-called double Irish system, the system that Apple has used, he said that in terms of the present position Ireland is one of the "leading countries in terms of reform of tax."

     ... it was a very interesting admission/statement because it's as if he's making it publicly known that companies coming to Ireland now could no longer use the same 'double Irish' tax avoidance system as Apple used, as they have eliminated it, and so they'll play the bad cop in public and help Ireland get back the taxes owed by Apple while Ireland gets to pretend they're the good guys. If the EU ultimately wins this case, then this statement will have been the admission of their game plan all along. Of course others may see that statement differently."

    "...Should the EU win their case, it could spill over to Australia who have voiced similar disdain for Apple's tax avoidance system."

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2016/09/this-weekend-the-eu-commission-other-eu-finance-ministers-met-to-sharpen-their-knives-against-apple.html

  • Reply 14 of 53
    ceek74 said:
    Doesn't take long after there's blood in the water for the sharks to start circling.
    Which is funny considering that Apple hasn't and is unlikely to pay a sent of any of that $21bln I mean all these tax departments of all these countries are drooling pointlessly that dough behind safety glass, Tim will never let Apple just loose $21 bln with out a long blooded fight to the end, and more to the point Apple wouldn't be involved is such a fiendish scheme just to illegally bypass taxes, I'm aware business is business and shirt's strictly financial but IMO that's a little beneath Apple they are just too successes full to need such underhandedness.
    mwhite
  • Reply 15 of 53

    Now the US Govt says  you foreigners can't claim those Apple taxes -- those are our Apple taxes...

    Battle royal to follow -- with the US Govt issuing another one-tine-only tax repatriation at low rates.


    I guess Trump will be doing that with a Republican held Congress. Hillary promised to increase the punitive taxation of American companies. With any luck, her pneumonia will extend through November.
    mwhiteapple ][
  • Reply 16 of 53
    This just in: increasingly corrupt national governments continue to engage in corruption. More at 11. 
    As opposed to corrupt corporations not paying tax, anywhere
    And when Apple didn't pay the taxes asked and set by the irish goverment?
    uraharaai46
  • Reply 17 of 53
    This just in: increasingly corrupt national governments continue to engage in corruption. More at 11. 
    As opposed to corrupt corporations not paying tax, anywhere
    And when Apple didn't pay the taxes asked and set by the irish goverment?
    The trouble is Apple barely pays taxes anywhere. Forget Ireland, it's a US company, it should be paying tax there but instead it sets up an obscure corporate structure in multiple countries and non countries to dodge contributing to the society it functions in. Ignore for a second that it's Apple - do you believe corporations should be paying tax and therefore contributing to education, healthcare, the police, infrastructure, and the social system?
  • Reply 18 of 53
    It's just political greed. Apple isn't breaking any tax laws doing this. Ireland has traded jobs and economic growth in exchange for extending a lower tax rate to corporations like apple. When you stop and think about it, what are these countries gonna do with the billions of taxes that Apple supposedly owes. And just because Apple has accrued billions of dollars, doesn't mean that they won't look for loopholes in taxes to save billions more.  As said above. Apple and Ireland are agreeing to do this together.  See, Ireland could have said pay the 13b, but they know that will cost jobs and hurt there overall economy.  
    I'm surprised that uk hasn't gone after Apple and Ireland for this. Ironically it's in apples interest for pm May to trigger the article 50 lol  After all what will happen when Ireland is no longer part of the Eu? 
    mwhite
  • Reply 19 of 53
    This just in: increasingly corrupt national governments continue to engage in corruption. More at 11. 
    As opposed to corrupt corporations not paying tax, anywhere
    franklinjackcon do you pay more taxes than the government requires?? I am sure you don't so why don't you SHUT UP!!!
    uraharaai46equality72521SpamSandwich
  • Reply 20 of 53
    mwhite said:
    This just in: increasingly corrupt national governments continue to engage in corruption. More at 11. 
    As opposed to corrupt corporations not paying tax, anywhere
    franklinjackcon do you pay more taxes than the government requires?? I am sure you don't so why don't you SHUT UP!!!
    I can assure you that i have not set up subsidiaries around the world to reduce my tax bill in the country I work/live/enjoy social services and if I had, and the tax man came knocking, I wouldn't be trying to claim it's an acceptable business practice. 
    zimmermann
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