European Commission seeking retroactive tax windfall from Apple Inc subsidiary in Ireland

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  • Reply 41 of 159
    Bunch a sour grapes that is all we got here. The EU is just want a cut of what Ireland has. As the article accurately points out the Apple Ireland Deals go back to 1980. What ever tax incentive Ireland put together for Apple pre-dates the EU authority and they know it so now they trying to change the playing field after the fact. I am glad the article pointed out the who Airbus thing, since they played this game to try and put Boeing out of business. The Airbus operations is the most inefficient operations for building planes Fly in parts from all over the EU was all as ship and trucking large part of the plane just to be assemble in the middle of nowhere and they somehow can make planes for less money than Boeing. Yeah that is not state aid.
  • Reply 42 of 159
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,302member
    sog35 wrote: »
    But a set tax rate is not an EU law.
    The EU does not have the power to force Ireland to charge a certain tax rate.

    Bottom line is Ireland can tell EU to GFY cause they have no jurisdiction to enforce tax rates.
    You should do a little more reading before being so certain the EU has no power to address special taxing agreements.
  • Reply 43 of 159
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,302member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Almost impossible to prove illegal state aid.  They would need to prove intent by the Irish tax agency.  Not going to happen.

    EU can GFY and GTFO

    This is like the IRS trying to force the State of Texas to charge Shell Gas a certain tax rate for State Sales tax.  Not going to happen.

    Not at all the same thing. Sales tax would be more akin to VAT. This is a potential EU antitrust issue.
  • Reply 44 of 159
    Besides of the outcome of this EU-Tax-Probe, why not take the chance for Apple to move after 35 years? Move the Sales and Financial HQ's for example to Switzerland, to Zurich or Geneva? And right away open up an "Apple Bank" and "Apple Watch Stores". That would give the Swiss Bankers and Watchmakers for sure a warm feeling.

    :p
  • Reply 45 of 159
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    of course its  not EXACTLY the same thing.

     

    I'm just saying the EU has no jurisdition to force Ireland to charge a specific tax rate.

     

    Bottom line is EU has no practical power what so ever in these issues.


    http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/city-news/apple-starbucks-sweetheart-tax-deals-3676922

     

    take a look here. the EU did not make them pay- but if they thought that they did not have to- then why did these companies pay?

  • Reply 46 of 159
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,615moderator
    ascii wrote: »
    I didn't know Michael Keaton worked for Apple.

    Hmm, he does look like Michael Keaton. I was thinking more the Joker:

    1000

    Perhaps the villain and the hero are not so unalike.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9426127/France-parliament-votes-down-MP-expenses-overhaul.html
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/10761548/MPs-expenses-A-scandal-that-will-not-die.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/italian-insider-threatens-europes-greatest-mps-expenses-scandal-2315899.html

    Ireland has half the population of London and about 1/20th the UK. Their tax requirements for supporting their people are going to be lower so they can offer better rates to large companies because a few huge companies funnelling all profits through them and paying under 5% would cover a significant amount of their tax requirements.

    This is being taken away from other European countries because if all the rates were the same, it wouldn't matter which country they were based in. It's also anti-competitive to other businesses paying higher rates.

    If they did backdate it, it would only be about $12b or so. It might not go to Ireland if Ireland is being punished for offering anti-competitive rates because they could say that if they hadn't been offering the rate, Apple might not be in Ireland. It could be divided between EU member states.
  • Reply 47 of 159
    Hilarious. When governments are broke it seems they'll stop at nothing to try and milk more money from successful corporations.

    Just like the senate hearings I predict this will go NOWHERE.

    And like after the senate hearings the losers/haters will claim Apple is "breaking the law" when all they're really doing is minimizing their taxes through any legal means necessary. They are no different then me when I use every possible deduction I can to lower my personal income tax.
  • Reply 48 of 159
    Before you go trashing the EU for what seems like a horrible injustice, it should be noted that the FT dropped the ball on this article.

    Forbes has completely debunked the article:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2014/09/29/the-european-commission-is-not-about-to-fine-apple-nor-even-to-accuse-the-company-of-anything/?partner=yahootix

    What the FT did amounts to either shoddy reporting.
  • Reply 49 of 159
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    huh? What companies paid?  I did not read about any companies paying MORE than the tax law said.




    I am sorry... in the article you said you read, it reads clearly: 

     

    Coffee giant Starbucks has been embroiled in a tax controversy for a number of years for paying royalties to a subsidiary in Holland. MPs have accused the firm of using the arrangement to “fiddle” its books and avoid paying tax. Under pressure, Starbucks last year agreed to hand an initial £5million to the Treasury.

     

    therefore the paid MORE than the tax law said. i am pointing out that they were not issued a fine by the EU, but why did the pay if they did not have to? 

     

  • Reply 50 of 159
    richl wrote: »
    Ireland won the race to the bottom on corporate tax and now it's paying the price.

    European nationalism on the rise against America. Time for us to fight back.
    Unfortunately they seem to have a problem with government revenue receipts, so they want contrive new laws to steal American companies. Here's a tit-bit start with Airbus!!!
  • Reply 51 of 159
    "The EU is particularly concerned about Apple after seeing its own domestic mobile industry crumble in the wake of the iPhone, particularly Nokia, Ericsson and the fledgeling Symbian Foundation. "

    And there you have it in a nutshell. Battle the successful competition through government action.
  • Reply 52 of 159
    croprcropr Posts: 1,053member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    EU can't do jack sheet to Apple.

    This is 100% politics.

     

    read this article to see how empty these threats are

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2014/09/29/the-european-commission-is-not-about-to-fine-apple-nor-even-to-accuse-the-company-of-anything/?partner=yahootix

     

    "This simply isn’t so. And over and above the error concerning the content of the reports there is no possibility of a fine upon Apple whatsoever. For in cases of illegal state aid there never is a fine levied upon the company or recipient of such aid. The government that allowed or paid out the aid must recover it, that’s true, but there’s no fines over and above that even if there’s a finding of said illegal aid. Again, this just isn’t how the Commission undertakes its public policy on these matters. Yes, abuse of a monopoly (for example, or creating a cartel) can and will lead to fines on the companies that perpetrate these abuses. That’s probably just and righteous: it is the companies doing the illegal thing after all. But if anyone is in error about illegal state aid then it’s the state making the aid: so the recipient, the company, doesn’t get fined at all."


     

    The EU can't indeed do nothing to make Apple pay. 

     

    The story in Forbes is correct to state that the EU will not be fining Apple.  The transfer price policy mentioned in the article is indeed the major reason for the investigation.  But the article is not correct in the consequences if the transfer prices are found to be artificially manipulated.

     

    If the European commission finds that the transfer price rules in Ireland are indeed anti-competitive wrt to other member states, the EU will force Ireland to obey to the rules of Eurpean treaty.   It can force Ireland to take action and to retroactiveley change its tax legislation.   In such a case Apple (and other companies like Fiat) will be forced to pay additional taxes retroactively, but is Ireland and not the EU who would make Apple pay these additional taxes.   In any case Apple will not be fined, as it complied to the rules, even if the rules are considered as anti-competitive.

  • Reply 53 of 159
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,302member
    sog35 wrote: »
    EU can't force Ireland to do jack sheet.

    gatorguy wrote: »
    ??
    If the explanation of EU law is correct the Irish government can be held accountable (fined) for illegal state aid in promoting anti-competitive practices, and going back up to 10 years.

    A plain English explanation can be read here:
    http://euobserver.com/news/123083

    gatorguy wrote: »
    You should do a little more reading before being so certain the EU has no power to address special taxing agreements.

    sog35 wrote: »
    They have the power only in principle.  In practical matters?  Hell no.

    The EU is a toothless tiger.

    Show me a case where a HUGE Company like Apple got a huge tax penalty imposed on it by the EU?  There is none.

    Ah, move the goalposts until you get it right. So you switched from the EU having no power over special Irish taxing agreements to having no power to fine Apple for making use of them. We all already knew the EU isn't after Apple but instead Ireland. Congrats on figuring out a way to be correct finally.
  • Reply 54 of 159
    Short story: the EU is broke; Apple isn't.

    They want Apple's money by fair means or foul.

    I usually don't agree with your assessments, but I think you are right on the money with that one.
  • Reply 55 of 159
    croprcropr Posts: 1,053member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dennis Webb View Post



    "The EU is particularly concerned about Apple after seeing its own domestic mobile industry crumble in the wake of the iPhone, particularly Nokia, Ericsson and the fledgeling Symbian Foundation. "



    And there you have it in a nutshell. Battle the successful competition through government action.



    This is totally irrelevant. The main issue is the hole in the Irish tax system. So the EU action is against the tax legislation in Ireland, who is suspected to be anti competitive.

     

    Apple and Fiat happen to be the 2 biggest companies who make use the Irish tax hole, and are by consequence most in the picture for paying additional taxes.  But if the EU commission gets its way, Ireland will be forced to retroactively change its tax legislation, and all companies who made use of the hole, will pay additional taxes.

  • Reply 56 of 159

    We should all give the EU a big FU and tell them to get lost.

  • Reply 57 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jguther View Post



    If the EU is broke, what is the US?

     

    per capita debt:

     

    US: 39k€

    Italy: 33k€

    France: 29k€ 

    Greece: 27k€

    Germany: 26k€

    UK: 26k€

    Portugal: 19k€

    Spain: 19k€


    What 'debt'? Public? All public? Public + private?

     

    Source?

  • Reply 58 of 159
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,302member
    sog35 wrote: »
    nope.

    The companies will not need to pay additional back taxes. That is absolutely FALSE.

    They won't pay a penalty. They won't be fined. They MAY have to pay some taxes on previous years income if the agreements are found to be illegal. What convinced you they could not be required to?
  • Reply 59 of 159

    Competition is a good thing.  Punishing the successful is never a good idea, as it disincentivises progress and innovation and ends up hurting consumers.  If setting up favorable tax laws is wrong, then all countries in the EU who do so should be punished likewise.  If trying to entice corporations by setting up favorable tax laws is wrong, any country offering any type of tax breaks, subsidies, credits, etc. is also wrong, just maybe not to the same extent as Ireland.  From what I understand any company could also have taken advantage of Ireland's pro-business attitude in the same way.

     

    On another note, the thing that really bothers me is that the EC is claiming Ireland is at fault, but wants to punish Apple who was just seeking to play by the laws in place.

     

    No ex post facto is a thing in the US for which I'm thankful.  

  • Reply 60 of 159
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,302member

    On another note, the thing that really bothers me is that the EC is claiming Ireland is at fault, but wants to punish Apple who was just seeking to play by the laws in place.

    No ex post facto is a thing in the US for which I'm thankful.  
    Where did the EU say they wanted to punish Apple specifically?
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