Apple agrees to pay French government $571M in back taxes

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 5
Apple has made an agreement with the French government to make a payment reported to be around 500 million euros ($571 million), to cover back taxes owed by the iPhone producer to the country, following the completion of a lengthy audit.

Protestors in an Apple Store in France campaigning for Apple to pay more tax
Protestors in an Apple Store in France campaigning for Apple to pay more tax


In what seems to be a continuation of a crackdown on tax manipulation and minimization by governments around the world, the deal reached by Apple will see it make a payment towards its back taxes. While local reports do not indicate whether it is for the full amount believed to be owed to France, the 500 million euros is likely to have made a considerable dent in the figure.

Apple's regional operation in France confirmed to Reuters there is a tax agreement in place, but declined to state how much it would be paying.

"As a multinational company, Apple is regularly audited by fiscal authorities around the world," a statement from Apple reads. "The French tax administration recently concluded a multi-year audit on the company's French accounts, and those details will be published in our public accounts."

Apple's payment is likely to be welcomed by critics such as Attac (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Citizen's Action), which have protested against Apple's tax-related activities in stores over the last few years.

The European Commission ruled in 2016 that Ireland had provided preferential tax treatment to Apple for multiple years, and demanded Apple pay back billions in taxes. Apple has since paid the entire 13.1 billion euro balance ($15 billion), including 1.2 billion euro in interest, into an escrow account controlled by the Irish government, while the ruling is being appealed by both Apple and Ireland itself.

The Commission has also outlined proposals to force digital media companies to pay fairer taxes in the European Union, based on where revenue is generated rather than the country of its European headquarters, in order to close loopholes where firms shift money to areas with lower levels of tax. Individual countries, including the UK, have made proposals to enact their own tax rules to perform a similar function, until a potential Europe-wide version is enacted.

France is also implementing another tax against the biggest tech companies, with the "GAFA" tax believed to haul in an estimated 500 million euro in 2019 alone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    I wish some of these European countries would build big companies that we could tax. But, they never seem to. I wonder why?
    LordeHawksteven n.SpamSandwichjbdragonequality72521bshank
  • Reply 2 of 83
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,236member
    This tax case predates by several years the EU's investigation of Apple's Irish tax schemes. Believe it or not it had been going on for 10, and finally some resolution reached after Mr Cook "secretly" met with French President Macron to discuss it during an announced October visit to France according to publications in that country. 
    edited February 5 GeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 83
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    The blue collar worker pays their due taxes, and so should the biggest corporations.
    GeorgeBMacspice-boymuthuk_vanalingampropodbaconstangdasanman69
  • Reply 4 of 83
    hexclock said:
    I wish some of these European countries would build big companies that we could tax. But, they never seem to. I wonder why?
    The US could crack down heavily on the German Beyer (Monsanto)... might lessen the spread of Liberty Link grain and GMOs, resulting in better food for the masses.
  • Reply 5 of 83
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,055member
    hexclock said:
    I wish some of these European countries would build big companies that we could tax. But, they never seem to. I wonder why?
    Your president has never threatened to tax European car companies, for sure.
    edited February 5 spice-boybaconstangdasanman69
  • Reply 6 of 83
    ireland said:
    The blue collar worker pays their due taxes, and so should the biggest corporations.
    In the end, the customer pays for everything.  That includes the blue collar workers enjoying Apple products. I'm not saying corporations shouldn't pay what they owe,  I am saying that when you go after corporations as if they're golden geese, the money will come from somewhere - a corporation doesn't just suck it up.
    lkruppbshank
  • Reply 7 of 83
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,055member
    williamh said:
    ireland said:
    The blue collar worker pays their due taxes, and so should the biggest corporations.
    In the end, the customer pays for everything.  That includes the blue collar workers enjoying Apple products. I'm not saying corporations shouldn't pay what they owe,  I am saying that when you go after corporations as if they're golden geese, the money will come from somewhere - a corporation doesn't just suck it up.
    If the market won’t bear a price hike and there is profit margin that can be sacrificed to maintain sales, then sure they will.
    GeorgeBMacpropodbaconstang
  • Reply 8 of 83
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,236member
    williamh said:
    ireland said:
    The blue collar worker pays their due taxes, and so should the biggest corporations.
    In the end, the customer pays for everything.  That includes the blue collar workers enjoying Apple products. I'm not saying corporations shouldn't pay what they owe,  I am saying that when you go after corporations as if they're golden geese, the money will come from somewhere - a corporation doesn't just suck it up.
    If you aren't using Google services are you happy to be paying more taxes yourself to cover what they they should rightfully been paying if not for some very creative tax avoidance scheme teetering on the edge of a tax dodge? Same would apply to those not purchasing Apple gear right? 
    GeorgeBMacbaconstang
  • Reply 9 of 83
    crowley said:
    williamh said:
    ireland said:
    The blue collar worker pays their due taxes, and so should the biggest corporations.
    In the end, the customer pays for everything.  That includes the blue collar workers enjoying Apple products. I'm not saying corporations shouldn't pay what they owe,  I am saying that when you go after corporations as if they're golden geese, the money will come from somewhere - a corporation doesn't just suck it up.
    If the market won’t bear a price hike and there is profit margin that can be sacrificed to maintain sales, then sure they will.
    To a point. That looks to be Apple's approach in China right now.
    edited February 5 GeorgeBMacpropod
  • Reply 10 of 83
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,290member
    hexclock said:
    I wish some of these European countries would build big companies that we could tax. But, they never seem to. I wonder why?
    There are plenty of big EU companies operating in the US. However, I believe they pay their taxes.

    On top of that they have to comply with US FATCA reporting from the within the EU.

    That compliance has been a headache and extra cost for many.
    baconstang
  • Reply 11 of 83
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,055member
    williamh said:
    crowley said:
    williamh said:
    ireland said:
    The blue collar worker pays their due taxes, and so should the biggest corporations.
    In the end, the customer pays for everything.  That includes the blue collar workers enjoying Apple products. I'm not saying corporations shouldn't pay what they owe,  I am saying that when you go after corporations as if they're golden geese, the money will come from somewhere - a corporation doesn't just suck it up.
    If the market won’t bear a price hike and there is profit margin that can be sacrificed to maintain sales, then sure they will.
    To a point. That looks to be Apple's approach in China right now.
    Not sure what you mean by “to a point”. Maximised profits will of course be a balance between sales numbers and profit margin. Applying additional tax rates without a price hike will eat into your profit, while hiking prices to preserve margin will eat into your sales. Your original comment suggested Apple would only consider raising prices. Economics says otherwise. 
    propod
  • Reply 12 of 83
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,438member
    ireland said:
    The blue collar worker pays their due taxes, and so should the biggest corporations.
    Typical simplistic response. Apple DOES pay its taxes, just not enough in the opinion of some. It’s the tired old argument about “fair share”. Apple negotiated a tax agreement with Ireland for example, but the EU wants Ireland to back out of it to get more money out of Apple. When’s the last time you voluntarily sent some extra money to your government just because you wanted to be fair?
    edited February 5 steven n.
  • Reply 13 of 83
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,262member
    I love the reality-free ideology based arguments any time the "T" word comes up in these forums.   Always good for a chuckle or two.
  • Reply 14 of 83
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,017member
    hexclock said:
    I wish some of these European countries would build big companies that we could tax. But, they never seem to. I wonder why?
    You know very little about Europe my friend. You think only the USA has big corporations? 
    baconstangmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 83
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,055member
    lkrupp said:
    ireland said:
    The blue collar worker pays their due taxes, and so should the biggest corporations.
    Typical simplistic response. Apple DOES pay its taxes, just not enough in the opinion of some. It’s the tired old argument about “fair share”. Apple negotiated a tax agreement with Ireland for example, but the EU wants Ireland to back out of it to get more money out of Apple. When’s the last time you voluntarily sent some extra money to your government just because you wanted to be fair?
    I fail to see how Apple making a shady arrangement in Ireland has any bearing on their owing back taxes in France.  Equally so “voluntary” payments to the government, since Apple paying back taxes is most certainly not voluntary, it is obligatory.

    Please stop interjecting this repetitive, ignorant anti-tax nonsense into unrelated (i.e. all) threads
    gatorguypropodbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 83
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,017member

    lkrupp said:
    ireland said:
    The blue collar worker pays their due taxes, and so should the biggest corporations.
    Typical simplistic response. Apple DOES pay its taxes, just not enough in the opinion of some. It’s the tired old argument about “fair share”. Apple negotiated a tax agreement with Ireland for example, but the EU wants Ireland to back out of it to get more money out of Apple. When’s the last time you voluntarily sent some extra money to your government just because you wanted to be fair?
     "Apple DOES pay its taxes, just not enough in the opinion of some" you are right except those "some" are the Democratic government's in Europe which have more balanced tax laws, it the US. which has got it backwards.  
    baconstangmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 83
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,017member
    What are you folks so obsessed about how much tax Apple has to pay? You should be concerned that you get almost nothing for the taxes you pay if you live in the US. Apple is in the top 3 richest corporations in the world, they must obey the laws of the countries they operate in. 
    baconstangmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 83
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,290member
    lkrupp said:
    ireland said:
    The blue collar worker pays their due taxes, and so should the biggest corporations.
    Typical simplistic response. Apple DOES pay its taxes, just not enough in the opinion of some. It’s the tired old argument about “fair share”. Apple negotiated a tax agreement with Ireland for example, but the EU wants Ireland to back out of it to get more money out of Apple. When’s the last time you voluntarily sent some extra money to your government just because you wanted to be fair?
    Well, to be absolutely fair, according to a three year investigation by the EU into the Irish agreement, Apple not only decided how much it would make available for taxation but when it did, it paid less than 1%.

    We'll see how things play out but you should at least see that doesn't look very fair at all.
    baconstangmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 83
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,017member
    williamh said:
    ireland said:
    The blue collar worker pays their due taxes, and so should the biggest corporations.
    In the end, the customer pays for everything.  That includes the blue collar workers enjoying Apple products. I'm not saying corporations shouldn't pay what they owe,  I am saying that when you go after corporations as if they're golden geese, the money will come from somewhere - a corporation doesn't just suck it up.
    The cool aid too many Americans drink is that endless consuming and low  prices is the most important thing in life. Affordable healthcare, affordable higher eduction, paid time for new parents, low rate loans, the important stuff which really makes for a better life don't exist in the USA but cheap meaningless consumer products are everywhere. 

    I know this is an Apple centric website but guess what Apple products are used in Europe as well and those people have governments which provide the things I mentioned. How those governments accomplish this is with their tax laws. Corporations as well as individuals pay their fair share unlike the upside down tax laws here in the US. Some 30 years later American's still believe that by not taxing the rich we all benefit sooner or later. Guess what trickle down economics don't work. We have returned to the era of the Robber Barons circa 1900. Carnegie = Bezos, Frick = Gates and so on. Why do so many Americans take pride in huge corporations which only benefit the wealthiest? 
    sphericpropodStrangeDaysbaconstangdasanman69muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 20 of 83
    spice-boy said:
    What are you folks so obsessed about how much tax Apple has to pay? You should be concerned that you get almost nothing for the taxes you pay if you live in the US. Apple is in the top 3 richest corporations in the world, they must obey the laws of the countries they operate in. 
    Perhaps because this isn't PublicSectorEfficientUseOfTaxDollarsInsider?
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