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  • EU-imposed Apple Irish tax bill could exceed $21.2B if appeal process fails

    crowley said:
    ppietra said:
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    crowley said:
    Soli said:
    1)So you're saying the EU doesn't do its job and yet can back-charge companies for abiding by the laws and agreements it set up before the EU was even formed?

    2) Note, the double Irish arrangement didn't come to light in 2014 because of Lux Leaks. This is a well known tax loophole for corporations. If you clam that the EU only got wind of this in 2014 then the EU is much, much worse than I assumed.
    1) So now we're complaining that the EU isn't authoritarian or policing enough?  As soon as the law came into affect Ireland and Apple should have changed their arrangements.  Ignorance is no excuse, and I doubt ignorance had anything to do with it; it was a dodgy deal from the start.
    As opposed to being effective instead of being lackadaisical and then thinking it's fair to retroactively back charge corporations for the EU's shortcomings? Yes! If anyone is at fault, it's Ireland, but based on the evidence I don't think it's fair to charge them for the EU's shortcomings. Going forward, remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes—this goes for all governing entities.
    So if it's ok to break the rules if you're not likely to get caught for 10 years?  Give me a break.  The law was in place, and any company that thinks they can rationalise away paying next to 0% in corporate tax deserves everything coming to them.  Call it karma.

    Also, "remove ways companies can legally avoid paying taxes"?  How do you do that, other than passing laws, setting standards, and expecting the enforcement authorities (the national tax offices) to abide by them?  That's exactly what the EU has done, but battling tax avoidance is a massive international issue, and you've reduced it to a meanginless "well you just gotta do it".  Are you now suggesting adding in a large scale EU auditing capacity of every member's national tax authority?  You think that would result in fewer US companies being found lacking in their tax declarations and local arrangements?

    This just sounds like the passing the buck to everyone but Apple, the entity that has undeniably gained the most from the situation up to this point.  They were greedy, they got caught.
    You are assuming that rules were broken, but the Irish government, the entity that made the rules, says they weren’t. That is the real dilemma here, the EU says Ireland didn’t follow irish law correctly and gave Apple an advantage that others couldn’t have, while Ireland says it followed its own laws appropriately.
    The EU can’t change irish tax laws or declare them ilegal retroactively, they can only accuse the irish tax authority of not following the law correctly, they aren’t even accusing Apple directly.
    No, the EU is not saying what you think they're saying. Irish practice has to conform to EU law. If it doesn't then the practice is illegal. The EU laws have supremacy.  The EU are saying that the Irish deal with Apple broke EU law on state aid, not Irish law. 

    Again, the most obvious analogue is the US Federal and State laws or constitutions. The states can set whatever constitutions and law they want, but if there is a conflict with the federal then the federal is supreme, and the state has to back down.
    You are incorrect. First of all the EU is not a federal state, it doesn’t have a tax authority, it doesn’t collect taxes and each country has a lot leg room to establish their own local corporate tax laws because there is no EU wide framework for national corporate taxes only laws for cross border corporate activities.
    Secondly if there was a conflict with irish law, the only thing the EU could do would be to fine Ireland for not correctly transposing EU frameworks to national law, they would not be able to go after any irish tax arrangement.
    Last but not least... read carefully what the EU said.
    "selective tax treatment of Apple in Ireland is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it gives Apple a significant advantage over other businesses that are subject to the same national taxation rules"
    They are evoking an EU illegal state aid directive (competition law) because they believe Ireland gave Apple special treatment over others in Ireland that are subject to the same national taxation rules. It is about national tax law interpretation and if Ireland-Apple’s arrangement follows irish law, not if it follows EU laws. Notice that the ruling is over Ireland that is subject to that directive, not Apple directly.
    avon b7