European Probe of Apple's Irish Tax Policies Extended to 2016

euflag.pngA decision in the European Commission probe of Ireland's alleged "sweetheart tax deal" with Apple will likely be delayed until after the Irish elections in early 2016, as Financial Times reports the executive cabinet has now requested supplementary questionnaires in the lengthy investigation.

The European Commission began Apple's Irish tax probe in June 2014, and the Brussels-based executive body formally accused the iPhone maker of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland in September 2014. A decision was originally expected earlier this year, but the additional information requested will likely cause further delays.

Apple's tax policies have been scrutinized on numerous occasions over the past three years, as the company is said to utilize multiple subsidiary companies located in the Irish city of Cork to move money around without significant tax penalties. Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing, and Ireland vows to take the European Commission to court over any negative ruling, according to the report.

Apple's Irish tax probe is part of a larger crackdown by the European Commission on possible corporate tax avoidance in EU countries. Earlier this month, the commission reportedly accused McDonald's of "benefiting from arrangements that allowed it to pay no tax on European royalties in Luxembourg," and Fiat and Starbucks were ordered in October to repay up to €30 million in back taxes.



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24 weeks ago
I don't know why this is so difficult to resolve. Companies know how much it costs to operate in each territory and the profit they make in them. Taxes should therefore be paid at the appropriate local rate, and it should be illegal to move it outside the territory. Simples :D
Rating: 4 Votes
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24 weeks ago

In all cases, whether apple or mcdonalds or whatever, the government extended a tax break to the company in order to have them stay in country. If it was illegal, isn't it the fault of the government for offering the tax break? I am no lawyer, so I may be missing something, but why is it always the fault of a company to accept an offer from a government that made the darn law in the first place. Why isnt the EU going after Ireland?

In the US, Delaware is a state that many companies incorporate because of the tax and documentation requirements (almost non-existent). Should the US go after the companies or the state? Actually they go after neither because there really is nothing wrong. It's called competition. If the EU blocks the tax break, what will likely happen is that Apple will move on to the next country that offers them a sweet deal. That's the reality of a company, they will go where the terms are most favorable.

Not sure why this is a problem.



The reason that it is a problem is that Ireland is in the EU and under EU law countries, states, etc are not allowed to give state aid. The reason is to allow fair competition within the EU. This is not happening and many many companies are paying ridiculously low tax or none at all. Facebook for example paid something like £4000 in corporation tax last year in the UK on revenues of £130m. I would agree that it is not really the companies fault but corrupt and incompetent tax departments that have allowed this to carry on with out clamping down on companies or changing the law. Many many corporations have just become to big and have more power than governments. Imagine the legal costs in trying to take Facebook to court over tax when they make £130m in revenue and have such tiny operating costs. Isn't it funny how most tech companies have their European head offices in Ireland or the Netherlands. It's not like Ireland is a large market with a population of only 6million compared to the EU that has a population of 500million
Rating: 2 Votes
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24 weeks ago

Yeah great. I get on the bus without a ticket and only if and when I’m caught I pay the fare I would have had to in the first place. How ethical.

So you're saying you don't take any deductions when you file your taxes? Why would you let the government take more money than the law allows?

Besides, your argument is flawed. Apple didn't get on the bus without paying. They took advantage of a discounted fair.

If you're going to get mad at someone, get mad at the governments for creating tax codes that aren't fair.
Rating: 2 Votes
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24 weeks ago
As an Apple fan and member of an Irish political party currently in power, this is going to be fun to watch.

Of course they’re being creative with their accounting. But they are no different from virtually any other company out there, (which doesn’t excuse any wrong doing). They are a focus because of their size, (financially). A successful prosecution would make the time spent worthwhile when fines are levied.


I find it funny how Apple takes 99% of the flack for bad working conditions in China when half the industry uses Foxconn too. It's just trendier to attack apple to show how unique you are.

Not that Apple is a saint, but I'm just saying if you actually care about workers and taxes, then don't focus weirdly on one purportrator.
Rating: 2 Votes
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24 weeks ago
I don't know why it's taken so long for the EU to act on this. Ireland's preferential tax rate for Apple is a clear breach of EU rules. I sure hope somebody is going to get a large multi-billion dollar tax bill for this. Apple can afford it.
Rating: 1 Votes
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24 weeks ago

The reason that it is a problem is that Ireland is in the EU and under EU law countries, states, etc are not allowed to give state aid. The reason is to allow fair competition within the EU. This is not happening and many many companies are paying ridiculously low tax or none at all. Facebook for example paid something like £4000 in corporation tax last year in the UK on revenues of £130m. I would agree that it is not really the companies fault but corrupt and incompetent tax departments that have allowed this to carry on with out clamping down on companies or changing the law. Many many corporations have just become to big and have more power than governments. Imagine the legal costs in trying to take Facebook to court over tax when they make £130m in revenue and have such tiny operating costs. Isn't it funny how most tech companies have their European head offices in Ireland or the Netherlands. It's not like Ireland is a large market with a population of only 6million compared to the EU that has a population of 500million

Funny things is, if this were you or I we’d stand in the dock and be told that no matter from whom/or where the assistance was provided, ignorance of the law is no defence.
Rating: 1 Votes
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24 weeks ago

So you're saying you don't take any deductions when you file your taxes? Why would you let the government take more money than the law allows?

These threads always attract a lot of people who claim "Apple should pay their fair share of tax!" or the like. The thing is, though, that Apple is doing just that: they pay what the law requires--as do you, me, our neighbours, anyone!

If one thinks that Apple, or anyone else, should be paying a higher tax rate or have fewer deductions, then one should contact their governmental representatives and lobby for a change to tax law.
Rating: 1 Votes
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24 weeks ago

Exactly, it's not much to them so one has to wonder why they fight so hard to keep it.


A million here, a million there, and soon it adds up to real money!

Would anyone here turn away a chance at $30 million because "it's not worth the bother?" No. The sum only seems insignificant when compared to the tens of billions in profits some companies earn, or trillion-dollar government budgets. "I just saved 1,200 $25,000/year jobs!"

This isn't the CEO or Finance Minister devoting all his/her time to $30 million. It's a bunch of soldiers in the trenches doing it, at a far lower cost.

Everyone needs to justify their pay check, and saving the company/earning the government $30 million is a pretty good justification (whether for finding a tax loophole, defending the loophole, or closing the loophole). At the least, if you succeed, you can dodge being downsized for another year.
Rating: 1 Votes
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24 weeks ago
Of course they’re being creative with their accounting. But they are no different from virtually any other company out there, (which doesn’t excuse any wrong doing). They are a focus because of their size, (financially). A successful prosecution would make the time spent worthwhile when fines are levied.
Rating: 1 Votes
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24 weeks ago
The problem with Europe is the Euro currency. Complete failure! Most countries have been in recession and Austerity for almost 8 years, and it was only introduced in 2002. It was better with different currencies. Exchange rates were much easier to manage. Lower exchange rates = sell more goods. Recessions didn’t last too long.

The idea of the United States of Europe is nothing but a pipe dream now. Dead in the water. European technocrats (unelected with no mandate) are hell bent on getting ride of what nationality means to the ordinary citizen. Just stick an EU flag in the front garden and they will be happy. Throw your national flag in the bin. They might start to spread some crumbs to the ordinary EU citizen then.

They are fooling no one. The mask slipped during the so called negotiations (dictate) with Greece. The way they were disgracefully treated shows that the EU is not about solidarity - more like it is all about the markets and money. 50,000 + died by suicide around the EU during the last few years, directly attributable to Austerity policies. Nobody cares about it though.

It’s bad enough trying to keep an eye on our local Governments - without having to worry about the unelected technocrats who are answerable to no one it seems - dreaming up crazy new rules that suit the 1% and multinationals but leave everyone else behind.

The European Court of Justice is about the only good thing. It keeps our own Governments from running riot on us.
Rating: 1 Votes
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