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Debates Forum

  1. 31 Aug '16 08:36 / 5 edits
    Its long been a source of contention not only to ordinary working people but to other large business how the American multinationals avoid taxation through so called sweetheart deals, The usual rate of Corporation tax in Ireland is 12.5% and yet Apple paid a maximum of 1% and a mere 0.005% in 2014. It seems that finally the EU has had enough and slapped the Tech giants with a 13 billion Euro retrospective tax demand.

    Now I am not a cynical man but I somehow doubt that Ireland will ever see a single Euro of this money, political power will be brought to bear, the ruling will be overturned or a Golden eagle will swoop down and carry off the billions to some offshore tax haven. Apple of course are threatening the usual, 'investment will be affected in Europe' (they employ about 6000 people in Ireland), 'this will be overturned'. 'we thought we were obeying the law', 'its unfair ' etc etc. Does anyone have any opinions on whether the Irish will ever see the money or whether the tax can be made to stick? or does nobody care?

    I wish Rank Outsider was here, he knows about these things!

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/aug/30/apple-pay-back-taxes-eu-ruling-ireland-state-aid
  2. Standard member sbacat
    Eddie's Dad
    31 Aug '16 11:24
    When I read about this yesterday, I was puzzled as to why people would think Ireland deserved to get any part of the multibillion dollar penalty. Didn't Ireland enter into what amounted to a scheme to defraud other countries around the world from legitimate tax revenue? I agree with you that American-birthed multinationals play fast and loose with the laws, but don't the countries who participate in these favorable deals bear any responsibility?
  3. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    31 Aug '16 11:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sbacat
    When I read about this yesterday, I was puzzled as to why people would think Ireland deserved to get any part of the multibillion dollar penalty. Didn't Ireland enter into what amounted to a scheme to defraud other countries around the world from legitimate tax revenue? I agree with you that American-birthed multinationals play fast and loose with the laws, but don't the countries who participate in these favorable deals bear any responsibility?
    Apples CEO

    "Thirty-six years ago, long before introducing iPhone, iPod or even the Mac, Steve Jobs established Apple’s first operations in Europe. At the time, the company knew that in order to serve customers in Europe, it would need a base there. So, in October 1980, Apple opened a factory in Cork, Ireland with 60 employees.

    At the time, Cork was suffering from high unemployment and extremely low economic investment. But Apple’s leaders saw a community rich with talent, and one they believed could accommodate growth if the company was fortunate enough to succeed.

    We have operated continuously in Cork ever since, even through periods of uncertainty about our own business, and today we employ nearly 6,000 people across Ireland. The vast majority are still in Cork — including some of the very first employees — now performing a wide variety of functions as part of Apple’s global footprint. Countless multinational companies followed Apple by investing in Cork, and today the local economy is stronger than ever.

    The success which has propelled Apple’s growth in Cork comes from innovative products that delight our customers. It has helped create and sustain more than 1.5 million jobs across Europe — jobs at Apple, jobs for hundreds of thousands of creative app developers who thrive on the App Store, and jobs with manufacturers and other suppliers. Countless small and medium-size companies depend on Apple, and we are proud to support them.

    As responsible corporate citizens, we are also proud of our contributions to local economies across Europe, and to communities everywhere. As our business has grown over the years, we have become the largest taxpayer in Ireland, the largest taxpayer in the United States, and the largest taxpayer in the world.

    Over the years, we received guidance from Irish tax authorities on how to comply correctly with Irish tax law — the same kind of guidance available to any company doing business there. In Ireland and in every country where we operate, Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe.

    The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process. The opinion issued on August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our taxes. This claim has no basis in fact or in law. We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals. We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don’t owe them any more than we’ve already paid.

    The Commission’s move is unprecedented and it has serious, wide-reaching implications. It is effectively proposing to replace Irish tax laws with a view of what the Commission thinks the law should have been. This would strike a devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states over their own tax matters, and to the principle of certainty of law in Europe. Ireland has said they plan to appeal the Commission’s ruling and Apple will do the same. We are confident that the Commission’s order will be reversed.

    At its root, the Commission’s case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes. It is about which government collects the money.

    Taxes for multinational companies are complex, yet a fundamental principle is recognized around the world: A company’s profits should be taxed in the country where the value is created. Apple, Ireland and the United States all agree on this principle.

    In Apple’s case, nearly all of our research and development takes place in California, so the vast majority of our profits are taxed in the United States. European companies doing business in the U.S. are taxed according to the same principle. But the Commission is now calling to retroactively change those rules.

    Beyond the obvious targeting of Apple, the most profound and harmful effect of this ruling will be on investment and job creation in Europe. Using the Commission’s theory, every company in Ireland and across Europe is suddenly at risk of being subjected to taxes under laws that never existed.

    Apple has long supported international tax reform with the objectives of simplicity and clarity. We believe these changes should come about through the proper legislative process, in which proposals are discussed among the leaders and citizens of the affected countries. And as with any new laws, they should be applied going forward — not retroactively.

    We are committed to Ireland and we plan to continue investing there, growing and serving our customers with the same level of passion and commitment. We firmly believe that the facts and the established legal principles upon which the EU was founded will ultimately prevail."

    Tim Cook
  4. 31 Aug '16 11:43 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    Apples CEO

    "Thirty-six years ago, long before introducing iPhone, iPod or even the Mac, Steve Jobs established Apple’s first operations in Europe. At the time, the company knew that in order to serve customers in Europe, it would need a base there. So, in October 1980, Apple opened a factory in Cork, Ireland with 60 employees.

    At the time, Co ...[text shortened]... hed legal principles upon which the EU was founded will ultimately prevail."

    Tim Cook
    This is nothing more than a propaganda piece. No one is disputing Apples history in Ireland, what they resent is other businesses having to pay a Corporation tax of 12.5% while Apple paid as little as 0.005% because of a separate agreement to everyone else, a so called, 'sweetheart' deal. If you can state why that should be considered legal then please do so. I personally do not believe the investment rhetoric. If they paid their fair share of taxes then the money would have come into Ireland, but they did not and it did not. Europe is far too lucrative a market and if Apple don't want to play by the same rules as everyone else then let them get out. Finally the EU is taking action.
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    31 Aug '16 11:44
    Serves Apple right for building a factory in Ireland in the first place.

    Don't outsource jobs and economy-stimulating infrastructure building and then kvetch when you don't like the results. I hope the Chinese start doing the same.
  6. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    31 Aug '16 11:46
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    This is nothing more than a propaganda piece. No one is disputing Apples history in Ireland, what they resent is other businesses having to pay a Corporation tax of 12.5% while Apple paid as little as 0.005% because of a separate agreement to everyone else, a so called, 'sweetheart' deal. If you can state why that should be considered legal then please do so.
    You'd sure know about propaganda. Did you read more than a paragraph.
  7. 31 Aug '16 11:48
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    You'd sure know about propaganda. Did you read more than a paragraph.
    Tell us why they should have a separate tax deal to everyone else, second time asking.
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    31 Aug '16 11:51
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Tell us why they should have a separate tax deal to everyone else, second time asking.
    Because they cut a specific deal with the applicable taxing authority.

    Duh.

    The EU reversing these tax deals made by countries clearly amounts to bad faith and should serve as an abject warning to any company wanting to to business in the EU.
  9. 31 Aug '16 11:53
    Irelands largest employers as of 2014,

    1. CRH : CRH plc is a building materials group. CRH employs approximately 76,000 people at 3,600 operating locations in 36 countries.

    2. Smurfit Kappa are producers of paper-based packaging and they have around 41,000 employees across 32 countries

    3. Kerry Group provides food, food ingredients and flavours to the Irish and UK markets. 24,492 Employees

    4. Tesco Ireland employs 14,925 people at 142 stores, distribution depots and its head office in Ireland

    5. Dunnes Stores Ireland – another massive retailer with 156 stores in the group. They have 14,000 Employees

    6. Boston Scientific is one of the world’s largest medical device companies with a portfolio of more than 13,000 products amd 11,800 Employees .

    7. Allied Irish Bank has 11,384 Employees

    8.Bank of Ireland has 11,255

    9. Icon Plc is a provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries . 10,300 Employees

    10. Perrigo is a global healthcare supplier that develops, manufactures and distributes over-the-counter and generic prescription pharmaceutics,They have 10,220 Employees

    and Apple are trying to get leverage from a measly 6000?
  10. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    31 Aug '16 11:55
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Irelands largest employers as of 2014,

    1. CRH : CRH plc is a building materials group. CRH employs approximately 76,000 people at 3,600 operating locations in 36 countries.

    2. Smurfit Kappa are producers of paper-based packaging and they have around 41,000 employees across 32 countries

    3. Kerry Group provides food, food ingredients a ...[text shortened]... maceutics,They have 10,220 Employees

    and Apple are trying to get leverage from a measly 6000?
    If you were one of those 6000?
  11. 31 Aug '16 11:55 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    Because they cut a specific deal with the applicable taxing authority.

    Duh.

    The EU reversing these tax deals made by countries clearly amounts to bad faith and should serve as an abject warning to any company wanting to to business in the EU.
    Yes but that does not answer the question, please note the use of the term why, its usually demands a reason, you have simply stated the obvious and have not produced a reason. duh.

    Lets ask you again, Why should Apple have a different rate of Corporation tax to everyone else.
  12. 31 Aug '16 11:56
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    If you were one of those 6000?
    I'd ask for my share of the 13 billion Euros owed to the government of Ireland.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    31 Aug '16 11:57
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Irelands largest employers as of 2014,

    1. CRH : CRH plc is a building materials group. CRH employs approximately 76,000 people at 3,600 operating locations in 36 countries.

    2. Smurfit Kappa are producers of paper-based packaging and they have around 41,000 employees across 32 countries

    3. Kerry Group provides food, food ingredients a ...[text shortened]... maceutics,They have 10,220 Employees

    and Apple are trying to get leverage from a measly 6000?
    Who gives a damn about all of that?

    Did Ireland make an agreement with Apple?

    Retroactively reversing it means that the word of any EU state is worthless.

    I hope all American companies take notice.

    Next time build the factory in Allentown or Flint or Buffalo or any of the myriads of depressed American cities that could use it.

    Say what you like about US tax law; at least it won't welsh on an agreement.
  14. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    31 Aug '16 11:58
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Yes but that does not answer the question, please note the use of the term why, its usually demands a reason, you have simply stated the obvious and have not produced a reason. duh.

    Lets ask you again, Why should Apple have a different rate of Corporation tax to everyone else.
    Because they AGREED TO DO IT. What other possible reason do you need than that?

  15. 31 Aug '16 12:00
    Originally posted by sh76
    Who gives a damn about all of that?

    Did Ireland make an agreement with Apple?

    Retroactively reversing it means that the word of any EU state is worthless.

    I hope all American companies take notice.

    Next time build the factory in Allentown or Flint or Buffalo or any of the myriads of depressed American cities that could use it.

    Say what you like about US tax law; at least it won't welsh on an agreement.
    It has been used to illustrate the point that Apple by comparison are a fairly small employer and to demonstrate that any leverage they try to make on the basis of the number of employees might not be as powerful as they think.