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

by

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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
63 months 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
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
63 months 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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
63 months 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
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
63 months 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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
63 months 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.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
63 months 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.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 mini' and iPhone 12 Storage Capacities Start at 64GB, Pro Models at 128GB

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's iPhone 12 launch event will be held on October 13, with the more affordable 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices set to ship out ahead of the more expensive 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro devices, and this morning hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has further committed to that date by providing alleged details on Apple's first shipment of finalized iPhone 12 units. Prosser claims the...

Hands-On With iOS 14.2's New Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center

Monday September 28, 2020 2:35 pm PDT by
Shortly after launching iOS 14, Apple introduced an upcoming iOS 14.2 update, which is now available to developers and public beta testers ahead of a public release that could come at some point in October. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iOS 14.2 update mainly focuses on the Control Center, introducing a new Music Recognition toggle that deepens the Shazam...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

DigiTimes: 12.9-inch Mini-LED iPad Pro Arriving Early 2021, Mini-LED MacBook Coming Later

Tuesday September 29, 2020 4:18 am PDT by
Apple will launch a 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021 and a mini LED-backlit MacBook in the second-half of next year, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwan-based industry publication claims Epistar will supply the over-10,000 mini LEDs used in each iPad Pro tablet. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to recruit Osram Opto as another supplier of mini LEDs for use in a new "high-end"...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Epic Games Unlikely to Win Injunction in Ongoing Fortnite Battle With Apple, Jury Trial Possible

Monday September 28, 2020 1:14 pm PDT by
The ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games continued on today, with a preliminary injunction hearing taking place this morning. We're still waiting to hear the judge's official ruling, but it looks like Epic is not going to be granted an injunction to allow Fortnite back into the App Store as the case unfolds. Many of the arguments that lawyers for Apple and Epic Games made were...

iPhone 12 Production Lines at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Factory in China Running '24 Hours a Day'

Tuesday September 29, 2020 3:38 am PDT by
Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn is running its massive Zhengzhou factory in China 24 hours a day to produce the new iPhone 12, according to Chinese media reports. Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in China is said to be cancelling workers' holidays and introducing mandatory overtime with additional bonuses for longer-serving staff, according to information garnered from employees,...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...