European Commission takes Ireland to court for failing to collect taxes from Apple

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 63
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,294member
    steven n. said:
    shrek said:
    Every situation has many facets. In EU there are only 5 “sponsoring” members. They provide more funds to EU budget when receive from it. For other 23 members EU is “profitable” business. One of the biggest beneficiars of this system has been Ireland. And second largest sponsor is (soon: was) UK. 

    Regarding taxes and competition: EU has legislation in pipeline which introduces “virtual residency” for tax purposes. This will be quite groundbraking and from EU perspective will level playing field for companies regardless on their country of incorporation.
    And new tax legislation is how you solve it and not trying to change past laws after the fact.
    You are correct, but that's what causing this particular issue since the claim is that Apple along with certain Irish tax representatives did not follow the law. 
    edited October 2017 singularity
  • Reply 22 of 63
    bradipaobradipao Posts: 145member
    JWSC said:

    But attempting to collect taxes retroactively is terrible policy and is legally and ethically dodgy.

    If they demonstrate it was an illegal state aid, retroactive collection (without fines) is just the best case.
  • Reply 23 of 63
    If the European Commission keeps this up, it’ll generate a mood for Irexit (or whatever corny nickname the media conjures up for an Irsh departure from the EU). There is a subtle but real shift in opinion happening here. With just the right amount of annoyance (or perceived annoyance) coming from central European authorities, it might reach a critical tipping point. I’m just saying....
    Just let EU handle its own undoing.
    "Free" European Union started going after multiple small countries, like a dictator that did not get something it expected to get.
    Once they turn to dictatorship in order to hold EU, it is over for them. Autonomy WAS the key to alleviating the tensions between the countries and the elites controlling the EU, but what EU commission is doing now is the opposite - they put pressure and squeeze in order to get results. Good luck with that strategy, EU.
    edited October 2017 JWSC
  • Reply 24 of 63
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Like all anti-taxers, Ireland entices multi-nationals to share in the benefits of a stable, well run society but who don't want to pay their part when the bill comes.
    ...  Any waiter/waitress sees them on a regular basis.  The ones who order the expensive appetizer and dessert and glasses of wine and then says:  "How about we split the bill?"

    Ireland cheated.  And they got caught.  
    propodshrek
  • Reply 25 of 63
    Like all anti-taxers, Ireland entices multi-nationals to share in the benefits of a stable, well run society but who don't want to pay their part when the bill comes.
    ...  Any waiter/waitress sees them on a regular basis.  The ones who order the expensive appetizer and dessert and glasses of wine and then says:  "How about we split the bill?"

    Ireland cheated.  And they got caught.  


    They "got caught" therefore their punishment is to receive billions of dollars from Apple?  That makes zero sense.  If the EU determines that Ireland's tax incentives are illegal then they should compel Ireland to change those laws.  But the retroactive part of this is crazy.

    Imagine that the Federal government in the US decided that Maryland's property taxes were "unfair" and illegal because some people got tax breaks that others didn't get. The fix wouldn't be to force people--who complied 100% with the laws in Maryland at the time--to pay back taxes on 5 years of income.  If you really wanted to "punish" Maryland for this behavior, you should require them to refund taxes to others who should have been given these same breaks.  That would be more fair than the alternative.

    bshankanton zuykov
  • Reply 26 of 63
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,294member
    Like all anti-taxers, Ireland entices multi-nationals to share in the benefits of a stable, well run society but who don't want to pay their part when the bill comes.
    ...  Any waiter/waitress sees them on a regular basis.  The ones who order the expensive appetizer and dessert and glasses of wine and then says:  "How about we split the bill?"

    Ireland cheated.  And they got caught.  


    They "got caught" therefore their punishment is to receive billions of dollars from Apple?  That makes zero sense.  If the EU determines that Ireland's tax incentives are illegal then they should compel Ireland to change those laws.  But the retroactive part of this is crazy.

    Imagine that the Federal government in the US decided that Maryland's property taxes were "unfair" and illegal because some people got tax breaks that others didn't get. The fix wouldn't be to force people--who complied 100% with the laws in Maryland at the time--to pay back taxes on 5 years of income.  If you really wanted to "punish" Maryland for this behavior, you should require them to refund taxes to others who should have been given these same breaks.  That would be more fair than the alternative.

    This isn't an Irish law that you're arguing against. Assuming reports are accurate it was a carved out exception to Irish tax law. 
  • Reply 27 of 63
    spheric said:
    adm1 said:
    gatorguy said:
    This isn't just Ireland in the crosshairs. There's at least three other quite-similar "illegal state-aid" tax cases involving Luxembourg, the latest one being Amazon. They've just been dinged for about $300M.
    Holland is in their sights too, I read today that IKEA's back taxes could run into the billions from their dodgy deals over the past decade or so.
    What 'dodgy' deals? How do you know for a fact that's the case?
    Ikea’s tax-evading international construct is the stuff of legends and an oft-used prime example for how to confuse things to the point that nobody is owed anything. 
    I am afraid your post is about as informative -- i.e., not at all -- as the original post.

    I'll let the question stand.
  • Reply 28 of 63
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,578member
    spheric said:
    adm1 said:
    gatorguy said:
    This isn't just Ireland in the crosshairs. There's at least three other quite-similar "illegal state-aid" tax cases involving Luxembourg, the latest one being Amazon. They've just been dinged for about $300M.
    Holland is in their sights too, I read today that IKEA's back taxes could run into the billions from their dodgy deals over the past decade or so.
    What 'dodgy' deals? How do you know for a fact that's the case?
    Ikea’s tax-evading international construct is the stuff of legends and an oft-used prime example for how to confuse things to the point that nobody is owed anything. 
    I am afraid your post is about as informative -- i.e., not at all -- as the original post.

    I'll let the question stand.
    It’s been in the (European) media a number of times. Search for “Ikea tax avoidance”. 

    But here’s a primer:
    https://youtu.be/8kHCLe1ZL7c
  • Reply 29 of 63
    gatorguy said:
    This isn't just Ireland in the crosshairs. There's at least three other quite-similar "illegal state-aid" tax cases involving Luxembourg, the latest one being Amazon. They've just been dinged for about $300M.
    And you seriously think that Jean-Claude Juncker will allow this to happen to Luxembourg? Think twice. Study EU methods as well.
  • Reply 30 of 63
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,294member
    gatorguy said:
    This isn't just Ireland in the crosshairs. There's at least three other quite-similar "illegal state-aid" tax cases involving Luxembourg, the latest one being Amazon. They've just been dinged for about $300M.
    And you seriously think that Jean-Claude Juncker will allow this to happen to Luxembourg? Think twice. Study EU methods as well.
    It already has. You are the one who will need to think twice considering it's happened despite your doubts. 
  • Reply 31 of 63
    Going back to the beginning - so often necessary to set the record straight tin convoluted and corrupt matters - which this definitely IS:

    1) Apple wanted to do business in Ireleand

    2) Ireland said "OK USA" (sorry. Bloodsport reference)

    3) Ireland set the tax rate (any problem here was between Ireland the the EU - not Apple)

    4) Apple agreed.

    5) Business was done that benefitted Apple and Ireland - and by extension, the EU.

    6) years later, the EU has an issue with this.

    7) EU goes after Ireland and Apple.

    8) Stupdity is on public display. 

    The EU is now trying to force people to pay for something they don't like - but which was never wrong.

    You can change the rate NOW, but there is no such thing as RECOVERY in this case, because NOTHING IS OWED. Apple has payed what they owed. period.

    time for a new strategy for the bad guys. Ireland can prosper without the EU.

    But cut off Ireland AND Britain? Shooting itself in the foot - some try to say they benefitted from the EU - but the reality is that they are contributors.

    the EU would suffer if this keeps up. 


    anton zuykovrandominternetperson
  • Reply 32 of 63
    This is nothing --Apple is being strong-armed to subsidize factories in states all over the world. Politicians see everyone walking around with their head stooped over a glowing screen and think it's an easy way to solve problems that only have politically incorrect solutions.
  • Reply 33 of 63
    adm1 said:
    gatorguy said:
    This isn't just Ireland in the crosshairs. There's at least three other quite-similar "illegal state-aid" tax cases involving Luxembourg, the latest one being Amazon. They've just been dinged for about $300M.
    Holland is in their sights too, I read today that IKEA's back taxes could run into the billions from their dodgy deals over the past decade or so.
    What 'dodgy' deals? How do you know for a fact that's the case?
    I don't, I said I just read about it so I can't verify the story's legitimacy personally but a quick search of the interwebs brings up some pretty respectable names running it; fortune, forbes, the guardian etc. It was based on a research group's finding from early last year on IKEA's taxation between 2009 and 2014.
  • Reply 34 of 63
    rob53 said:
    The ironic thing is the tax benefits Apple enjoys in Ireland happen all the time in the US. Why else would Apple and others locate in barren Nevada or built huge facilities in the South and Mid West? States are giving away everything to get them to build their including all sorts of deals much worse than what Ireland is accused of giving Apple. Ireland is not complaining because they reap a huge amount of benefits. It's the weird EU government that wants to get the spoils while doing absolutely nothing to justify them. This would be like Maryland demanding that Nevada not give Apple any kickbacks to locate there then demanding a cut in the money Apple would have to pay for past kickbacks. That ain't going to happen in the US.
    Not quite, replace "Maryland" with "US Govt".
  • Reply 35 of 63
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Like all anti-taxers, Ireland entices multi-nationals to share in the benefits of a stable, well run society but who don't want to pay their part when the bill comes.
    ...  Any waiter/waitress sees them on a regular basis.  The ones who order the expensive appetizer and dessert and glasses of wine and then says:  "How about we split the bill?"

    Ireland cheated.  And they got caught.  


    They "got caught" therefore their punishment is to receive billions of dollars from Apple?  That makes zero sense.  If the EU determines that Ireland's tax incentives are illegal then they should compel Ireland to change those laws.  But the retroactive part of this is crazy.

    Imagine that the Federal government in the US decided that Maryland's property taxes were "unfair" and illegal because some people got tax breaks that others didn't get. The fix wouldn't be to force people--who complied 100% with the laws in Maryland at the time--to pay back taxes on 5 years of income.  If you really wanted to "punish" Maryland for this behavior, you should require them to refund taxes to others who should have been given these same breaks.  That would be more fair than the alternative.

    Ireland got caught by the EU for breaking its laws in order to bring in Apple business.  Why is that hard to understand?

    And, I like your idea of penalizing a state that undermines interstate commerce in order to produce a level playing field for our country.   I've had it with corporations moving out of my state to take advantage of temporary incentives from another state and leaving their old state with empty hulks rusting away along with high unemployment rates.   Very foolish and wasteful way for us to manage our country.
    ... It's nothing more than an internal variation of Trump's war on international trade.
  • Reply 36 of 63
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Going back to the beginning - so often necessary to set the record straight tin convoluted and corrupt matters - which this definitely IS:

    1) Apple wanted to do business in Ireleand

    2) Ireland said "OK USA" (sorry. Bloodsport reference)

    3) Ireland set the tax rate (any problem here was between Ireland the the EU - not Apple)

    4) Apple agreed.

    5) Business was done that benefitted Apple and Ireland - and by extension, the EU.

    6) years later, the EU has an issue with this.

    7) EU goes after Ireland and Apple.

    8) Stupdity is on public display. 

    The EU is now trying to force people to pay for something they don't like - but which was never wrong.

    You can change the rate NOW, but there is no such thing as RECOVERY in this case, because NOTHING IS OWED. Apple has payed what they owed. period.

    time for a new strategy for the bad guys. Ireland can prosper without the EU.

    But cut off Ireland AND Britain? Shooting itself in the foot - some try to say they benefitted from the EU - but the reality is that they are contributors.

    the EU would suffer if this keeps up. 


    A good analysis -- until it got to the point that the EU benefited from the Apple deal rather than being harmed.   The rest of your case is then negated because it rests on a false premise...
  • Reply 37 of 63
    Like all anti-taxers, Ireland entices multi-nationals to share in the benefits of a stable, well run society but who don't want to pay their part when the bill comes.
    ...  Any waiter/waitress sees them on a regular basis.  The ones who order the expensive appetizer and dessert and glasses of wine and then says:  "How about we split the bill?"

    Ireland cheated.  And they got caught.  


    They "got caught" therefore their punishment is to receive billions of dollars from Apple?  That makes zero sense.  If the EU determines that Ireland's tax incentives are illegal then they should compel Ireland to change those laws.  But the retroactive part of this is crazy.

    Imagine that the Federal government in the US decided that Maryland's property taxes were "unfair" and illegal because some people got tax breaks that others didn't get. The fix wouldn't be to force people--who complied 100% with the laws in Maryland at the time--to pay back taxes on 5 years of income.  If you really wanted to "punish" Maryland for this behavior, you should require them to refund taxes to others who should have been given these same breaks.  That would be more fair than the alternative.

    Ireland got caught by the EU for breaking its laws in order to bring in Apple business.  Why is that hard to understand?
    How can you BREAK your own law, if there is an exception passed in that law? Would it be legal then, because of that exception/correction, and therefore no "law breaking" had happened.
    Also, who decides if Ireland follows its own laws -  Ireland or EU?
    SpamSandwichrandominternetperson
  • Reply 38 of 63
    Going back to the beginning - so often necessary to set the record straight tin convoluted and corrupt matters - which this definitely IS:

    1) Apple wanted to do business in Ireleand

    2) Ireland said "OK USA" (sorry. Bloodsport reference)

    3) Ireland set the tax rate (any problem here was between Ireland the the EU - not Apple)

    4) Apple agreed.

    5) Business was done that benefitted Apple and Ireland - and by extension, the EU.

    6) years later, the EU has an issue with this.

    7) EU goes after Ireland and Apple.

    8) Stupdity is on public display. 

    The EU is now trying to force people to pay for something they don't like - but which was never wrong.

    You can change the rate NOW, but there is no such thing as RECOVERY in this case, because NOTHING IS OWED. Apple has payed what they owed. period.

    time for a new strategy for the bad guys. Ireland can prosper without the EU.

    But cut off Ireland AND Britain? Shooting itself in the foot - some try to say they benefitted from the EU - but the reality is that they are contributors.

    the EU would suffer if this keeps up. 


    A good analysis -- until it got to the point that the EU benefited from the Apple deal rather than being harmed.   The rest of your case is then negated because it rests on a false premise...
    Why? Did EU not get part of the taxes Apple paid, through Ireland? If so, then is it considered harmful?
    Or do you mean, "being harmed" equals to "not getting enough money, according to EU wishes and attempts to apply law backwards in time passed the date it was signed into law?"

    Of course now, EU is losing one if its key members, so they have to replace that income that Britain paid, with some other means of extracting money in order to continue running their little sh+tshow. Hence, all of a sudden, everyone is agitates and scrambling to find new sources of "income". That includes fining Google for "monopoly" even if they are not a monopoly in search engines, fining Apple for "underpaying taxes" in Ireland, even thought Apple followed the law of that country.
  • Reply 39 of 63
    Like all anti-taxers, Ireland entices multi-nationals to share in the benefits of a stable, well run society but who don't want to pay their part when the bill comes.
    ...  Any waiter/waitress sees them on a regular basis.  The ones who order the expensive appetizer and dessert and glasses of wine and then says:  "How about we split the bill?"

    Ireland cheated.  And they got caught.  


    They "got caught" therefore their punishment is to receive billions of dollars from Apple?  That makes zero sense.  If the EU determines that Ireland's tax incentives are illegal then they should compel Ireland to change those laws.  But the retroactive part of this is crazy.

    Imagine that the Federal government in the US decided that Maryland's property taxes were "unfair" and illegal because some people got tax breaks that others didn't get. The fix wouldn't be to force people--who complied 100% with the laws in Maryland at the time--to pay back taxes on 5 years of income.  If you really wanted to "punish" Maryland for this behavior, you should require them to refund taxes to others who should have been given these same breaks.  That would be more fair than the alternative.

    Ireland got caught by the EU for breaking its laws in order to bring in Apple business.  Why is that hard to understand?

    And, I like your idea of penalizing a state that undermines interstate commerce in order to produce a level playing field for our country.   I've had it with corporations moving out of my state to take advantage of temporary incentives from another state and leaving their old state with empty hulks rusting away along with high unemployment rates.   Very foolish and wasteful way for us to manage our country.
    ... It's nothing more than an internal variation of Trump's war on international trade.
    I'm not an international lawyer (or any kind of lawyer) so I don't know if Ireland broke EU law or not.  But I'm perfectly willing to concede that it's possible that Ireland violated some EU law regarding tax preference (although Ireland insists it didn't and the rules that applied to Apple also applied to other companies).

    My point is, if Ireland broke the law (for the sake of argument), WTF is Apple paying the price and Ireland getting the benefit?  If Ireland broke EU law, fine Ireland and compel them to fix their tax code.  But going after entities that acted in good faith years ago for Ireland's screw up (hypothetically), is insane.  What this would tell me as a businessman is "be careful about doing business in the EU because they can retroactively change the rules of the game with catastrophic consequences for your business."  That's not good for the EU.
    JWSCSpamSandwich
  • Reply 40 of 63
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Like all anti-taxers, Ireland entices multi-nationals to share in the benefits of a stable, well run society but who don't want to pay their part when the bill comes.
    ...  Any waiter/waitress sees them on a regular basis.  The ones who order the expensive appetizer and dessert and glasses of wine and then says:  "How about we split the bill?"

    Ireland cheated.  And they got caught.  


    They "got caught" therefore their punishment is to receive billions of dollars from Apple?  That makes zero sense.  If the EU determines that Ireland's tax incentives are illegal then they should compel Ireland to change those laws.  But the retroactive part of this is crazy.

    Imagine that the Federal government in the US decided that Maryland's property taxes were "unfair" and illegal because some people got tax breaks that others didn't get. The fix wouldn't be to force people--who complied 100% with the laws in Maryland at the time--to pay back taxes on 5 years of income.  If you really wanted to "punish" Maryland for this behavior, you should require them to refund taxes to others who should have been given these same breaks.  That would be more fair than the alternative.

    Ireland got caught by the EU for breaking its laws in order to bring in Apple business.  Why is that hard to understand?
    How can you BREAK your own law, if there is an exception passed in that law? Would it be legal then, because of that exception/correction, and therefore no "law breaking" had happened.
    Also, who decides if Ireland follows its own laws -  Ireland or EU?
    Good one!  
    ... Try that one on the cop next time you get stopped for speeding...
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