European Commission pleased with Apple's $14 billion tax bill payment progress, despite mi...

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in AAPL Investors
Apple has missed the deadline to pay the 13 billion euros ($14 billion) the iPhone producer was ordered to pay Ireland in back taxes, but the European Commission is noting that progress is still being made by Apple to comply with its ruling.




The original deadline for completion of tax payment was January 3, but EU Competition Commissioner Margarethe Vestager accepts that it is still happening, albeit at a slower rate.

"The recovery is not done yet," Vestager said in a statement to CNBC. "But, we have been working with the Irish authorities and we can see that they are moving forward to do the recovery of the unpaid taxes."

"It's a tricky thing to do because it's a large sum, so of course you have to figure out how to do that," Vestager added. "It's not as an escrow account in some of the other cases where it might be 25 or 30 million euros, and therefore I do respect that it's a complicated matter and it may take a little more time."

The Irish Ministry of Finance advises it is still "continuing to make progress" with the full cooperation of the company and the EU Commission.

"The Commission [is] satisfied with the progress we are making," said the Ministry. "We have committed to complying with the decision and we fully intend doing that."

The European Commission made the ruling that Apple must pay Ireland back taxes in August 2016, over "illegal tax benefits" granted by Ireland that charged Apple at a rate of 0.005 percent in 2014, and 1 percent in 2003. The Commission also ruled the tax deals were "reverse engineered" on the fly to guarantee a minimal tax bill to Apple over time.

Both Apple and Ireland are contesting the Commission's findings, with Apple claiming the European Union "took unilateral action and changed the rules, disregarding decades of Irish tax law, U.S. tax law, as well as global consensus on tax policy." The Irish government is also "fundamentally disagreeing" with the findings.

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan advised the appeal has been made, and will "go to a European ordinary court first and then whoever loses will probably appeal it to the European Court of Justice." Noonan suggests the entire appeals process could eventually complete within five years.

Earlier this month, Irish tax advisor Feargal O'Rourke suggested the European Commission's ruling to demand tax repayment was a "land grab" and beyond its remit, warning the regulator "Doing it by ignoring the law is not the way to do it." O'Rourke believes an appeal would overturn the Commission's order if it reaches the European Court of Justice, provided the ruling isn't politicized.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 447member
    "The recovery is not done yet," Vestager said in a statement to CNBC. "But, we have been working with the Irish authorities and we can see that they are moving forward to do the recovery of the unpaid taxes."

    Both Apple and Ireland are contesting the Commission's findings, with Apple claiming the European Union "took unilateral action and changed the rules, disregarding decades of Irish tax law, U.S. tax law, as well as global consensus on tax policy." The Irish government is also "fundamentally disagreeing" with the findings. 

    How can these two paragraphs be in the same story? 

    Which is it, they are writing the check or "We're gonna sue"  Hard to have it both ways unless there is someone in Ireland that is preparing to throw Apple under the bus - they hope anomalously...

    Apple has always said they would contest.

    edited January 2017 brakkenbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 2 of 17
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    More fake news or at least institutional dissembling extrordinaire. How is potentially five years of legal appeals and judgements 'progress' towards payment? Since when is money transfer such a long drawn out process that needs explaining?

  • Reply 3 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,893administrator
    buzdots said:
    "The recovery is not done yet," Vestager said in a statement to CNBC. "But, we have been working with the Irish authorities and we can see that they are moving forward to do the recovery of the unpaid taxes."

    Both Apple and Ireland are contesting the Commission's findings, with Apple claiming the European Union "took unilateral action and changed the rules, disregarding decades of Irish tax law, U.S. tax law, as well as global consensus on tax policy." The Irish government is also "fundamentally disagreeing" with the findings. 

    How can these two paragraphs be in the same story? 

    Which is it, they are writing the check or "We're gonna sue"  Hard to have it both ways unless there is someone in Ireland that is preparing to throw Apple under the bus - they hope anomalously...

    Apple has always said they would contest.

    They can be in the same story, because the parties differ. Even the Irish government is all over the place on the matter.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,893administrator

    frac said:
    More fake news or at least institutional dissembling extrordinaire. How is potentially five years of legal appeals and judgements 'progress' towards payment? Since when is money transfer such a long drawn out process that needs explaining?

    What makes this "fake news" to you?
  • Reply 5 of 17
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,345member
    Did Ireland need the EU Commission's permission to grant Apple such a low tax rate? If so, they are at fault, not Apple.

    I'm okay with them making changes going forward, but retroactively is just wrong. This strikes me as a major cash-grab the EU Commission, plain and simple.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 6 of 17
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,082member
    Did Ireland need the EU Commission's permission to grant Apple such a low tax rate? If so, they are at fault, not Apple.

    I'm okay with them making changes going forward, but retroactively is just wrong. This strikes me as a major cash-grab the EU Commission, plain and simple.
    Exactly. Given any company can (and has) gotten the same (or very similar deals), this should be fully between the EC and Ireland. This is just another (in a long line) example of the EC being completely out of control. About 1 in 10 rulings of this commission has any standing is existing law. Most of what they do is make it up as you go.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 8 of 17
    buzdots said:
    "The recovery is not done yet," Vestager said in a statement to CNBC. "But, we have been working with the Irish authorities and we can see that they are moving forward to do the recovery of the unpaid taxes."

    Both Apple and Ireland are contesting the Commission's findings, with Apple claiming the European Union "took unilateral action and changed the rules, disregarding decades of Irish tax law, U.S. tax law, as well as global consensus on tax policy." The Irish government is also "fundamentally disagreeing" with the findings. 

    How can these two paragraphs be in the same story? 

    Which is it, they are writing the check or "We're gonna sue"  Hard to have it both ways unless there is someone in Ireland that is preparing to throw Apple under the bus - they hope anomalously...

    Apple has always said they would contest.

    They can be in the same story, because the parties differ. Even the Irish government is all over the place on the matter.
    One can "write a check" and "sue" at the same time.  For example, they could be putting the money in escrow.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    fracfrac Posts: 480member

    frac said:
    More fake news or at least institutional dissembling extrordinaire. How is potentially five years of legal appeals and judgements 'progress' towards payment? Since when is money transfer such a long drawn out process that needs explaining?

    What makes this "fake news" to you?
    Just being jocular. 
  • Reply 10 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,893administrator
    frac said:

    frac said:
    More fake news or at least institutional dissembling extrordinaire. How is potentially five years of legal appeals and judgements 'progress' towards payment? Since when is money transfer such a long drawn out process that needs explaining?

    What makes this "fake news" to you?
    Just being jocular. 
    Jocularity! Fantastic.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,341member
    I believe this is what Tim Cook has in mind for the European Commission... :)


    patchythepiratejbdragon
  • Reply 12 of 17
    Timer for an IREXIT -- i.e. get OUT of the EU -- too much nonsense and strings for an unaccountable body!
  • Reply 13 of 17

    frac said:
    More fake news or at least institutional dissembling extrordinaire. How is potentially five years of legal appeals and judgements 'progress' towards payment? Since when is money transfer such a long drawn out process that needs explaining?

    What makes this "fake news" to you?
    I think they were referring to the comments out of the EU, not the reporting.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 676member
    [u] In the latest update, Ireland has announced plans to leave the EU, and become the first country in history to be officially be a corporate identity. Unlike such countries as TUSA, which are driven from behind the curtain of fake democracy, this move sets a precedent. Irish officials have embraced this move enthusiastically, and plans are already underway to develop both training and infrustructure specifically tailored to Apple's multifluous needs, from management to software development to IP protection. Naturally, industry analysts have downgraded Apple stock, and Wired has already begun a spate of hate-blogs to foment the ignorant public. Tim Cook has only expressed enthusiasm, yet refuses to say whether the county's name will be changed to iReland or not.
    spheric
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Did Ireland need the EU Commission's permission to grant Apple such a low tax rate? If so, they are at fault, not Apple.
    The EU requires for member nations to use the same set of rules on all companies within their country. Ireland is free to set a rate but it has to be applied to all. It is not allowed to use one tax rate for just one company without giving to all. It would make it impossible for other companies to compete, and even though we're Pro-Apple the tax rules have to be the same for all. Otherwise it is anti-competitive.

    EU spent 3 years looking at 19 companies having a similiar structure in Ireland to the one used by Apple, and they got taxed at a very different rate. 

    So please stop all of the "we hate EU" stuff or use a political forum for that. If Ireland won't treat companies within Ireland on equal footing they are absolutely free to leave - but part of being member of a club is to follow the rules.
    gatorguysingularity
  • Reply 16 of 17
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,614member
    Did Ireland need the EU Commission's permission to grant Apple such a low tax rate? If so, they are at fault, not Apple.

    I'm okay with them making changes going forward, but retroactively is just wrong. This strikes me as a major cash-grab the EU Commission, plain and simple.
    Being ignorant of a deal being illegal is tough cheese; if you benefit from it then you pay it back.  If I don't realise that the iPhone I bought from Jimmy Lightfinger is stolen then that doesn't mean I get to keep it when Dave Originalowner comes calling.

    Apple may have a case against Ireland if they can prove some kind of deception (very doubtful), but they haven't got a leg to stand on against the EU.

    But the longer they can delay the payment the better it'll be for them, so they may as well make some noise.
    edited February 2017
  • Reply 17 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,711member
    steven n. said:
    Did Ireland need the EU Commission's permission to grant Apple such a low tax rate? If so, they are at fault, not Apple.

    I'm okay with them making changes going forward, but retroactively is just wrong. This strikes me as a major cash-grab the EU Commission, plain and simple.
    Exactly. Given any company can (and has) gotten the same (or very similar deals), this should be fully between the EC and Ireland. This is just another (in a long line) example of the EC being completely out of control. 
    I don't think so Steven. Other than from random anonymous internet visitors no one else has made that claim as far as I know. Not the Irish government, not the EU Commission, not any tax authority. not any expert in tax matters, not even Apple themselves. The deal Apple had going with Ireland was pretty unique, at the least a very special and rare exception arrived at thru private meetings. Certainly not available to "any company".
    nubus
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