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News EC ruling puts Apple on the hook for €13 billion tax bill

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 30 Aug 2016.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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  2. Dedlite

    Dedlite Member

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    Well dodgy. Suck it up, Apple.
     
  3. Hustler

    Hustler Well-Known Member

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    Don't get mad at Apple, get mad at the Irish for having an economy built off the back of a race to the bottom tax policy.

    Apple are just taking advantage of the legalised theft put in place by the Irish.

    Their whole business strategy for Ireland has been to pimp off other countries by making corporation tax a fishing line stuffed with tax avoidance bait.

    If this means Apple and many other companies now find Ireland of no more benefit to themselves than any other EU member, it may finally encourage them to build a real economy based on something other than riding off others backs.

    You only have to look at the way they reported GDP growth of 26%, yes 26%!!!, last year, to see what a dodgy accounting trick house of cards the whole thing is.
     
    Last edited: 30 Aug 2016
  4. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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    It would have been illegal for Apple to not have done this. They have a fiduciary responsibility to make as much profit as possible. It is the role of the governments to protect against such actions rather than encourage it however, so it is the Irish government to blame for selling out their people to the corporations, an act in which Ireland is not alone.

    I bet Apple will wait until Obama pushes TPP though before November before they pay, then they will just sue either the Irish or American government for loss of present and future profits from such a move.
     
  5. impar

    impar Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: 30 Aug 2016
  6. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    IDK about the legality side of things but i totally agree Apple aren't to blame, i guess Ireland considered 0.005% of billions was worth more than 0% of billions, and who can blame them.

    They're going to have a hard time pushing it through in two months, there's wide spread disdain for TTIP across the EU, TTIP is all but dead in the water.
     
  7. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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    TTP and TTIP, whilst similar, effect two different regions. My initial post was wrong in saying that the Irish government could be sued under TPP but the US government may still be on the hook if some lawyer can figure out a way to do it, which I doubt would be too hard.
     
  8. John_T

    John_T Member

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    I see that idea being quoted again and again - it's simply not true.

    The fiduciary responsibilities of corporate boards are (roughly) split into two types: A duty of care and a duty of loyalty, (there's some obvious overlap of the two).

    The duty of care is basically that they have to look after the company in a reasonable manner, ie, not sell a million pound asset (say a boat) for fifty quid because they didn't know or care it was worth a million pounds.

    The duty of loyalty is that they have to be loyal to the company, ie, they can't personally unduly profit from it. So take that same million pound boat, they can't sell it to themselves, (or their friends of families) for fifty quid. Likewise, they can't take a fifty quid asset they personally own and sell it to the company for a million quid.

    So, do your reasonable best and don't be dishonest. That, in a nutshell, is fiduciary responsibility.

    Beyond those basic principals, there is no legal requirement to do anything. There may be a corporate culture to do something, but that's not the same as a legal duty.

    For years, (decades) Microsoft didn't pay dividends - Bill Gates felt it was better for the company to reinvest its money rather than pay it to shareholders. That was his decision to make, there was no law to force him to maximise profits and pay dividends.

    Ireland are totally at fault, but Apple and companies like them are equally at fault too. They're not obliged by law to screw people over as much as physically possible, that's just a myth peddled to justify what they do.

    The more profit they make the more they are able to justify ever higher wages, bonuses, share deals and dividends for themselves. That's all it boils down to.

    In fact it could be argued that by doing these sweetheart deals they are breaking their fiduciary duties to their companies - by damaging their reputations and so damaging their long-term profitability. Look at all the fuss over Starbucks not paying reasonable amounts of tax, followed by calls to boycott them and a slump in their sales.

    Plenty of companies rely heavily on the promotion of themselves as ethical businesses: Building societies, mutuals, partnerships, co-ops, companies that give a percentage of their profits to charitable causes - or just by adopting practises which would lower their potential profit margins over 'less' ethical practises, (food companies preferring to use 'fair trade' goods for example). They wouldn't be able to do this if there was a legal duty to squeeze as much profit as humanly possible from their business.

    Definitely blame Ireland, just blame Apple and the like every bit as much.
     
    impar likes this.
  9. John_T

    John_T Member

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    Sorry, that was a bit of a rant wasn't it! :)
     
  10. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    You can hardly excuse apple for acting in a capatalistic fashion and instead focus blame solely on the government for also acting in a capitalistic fashion. Apple are cooking the books and the government are more than happy to let them. Both parties are avoiding their social obligations. They're both as bad as each other.

    The worst part is it is left to the workers of Ireland to shoulder the tax burden left by these companies as they quite happily use the infrastructure and educated work force that we have paid for, without even contributing as much as the steam off of their piss.
     
  11. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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    Then may I refer you to the case of eBay v. Newmark. So while there may be no statute there is case law, how this would be upheld by a shareholder however is very case dependent and there are a ton of other issues around it.

    Also your argument on the fair trade idea doesn't hold, as the best way to maximize profits is speculative. If there is a genuine belief that the market being sold to responds better to something such as free trade, then they are in essence still attempting to maximize profits. Whether they do or not is not the issue, it is the intention.

    On the Microsoft issue, what is done with those profits is also not the question. This was also done at a time, in legal reality, that is irrelevant to today's law as it stands, or at least as it is being interpreted. (Also wasn't Gates the biggest shareholder at the time? Therefore how the money was circulated is of importance before we can jump to any conclusion as to how it relates to the point at hand).

    Finally, any CEO who doesn't maximize profits would be swiftly replaced. I know this isn't a legal thing but it is what often happens. And with what is to all intents and purposes a bought US Senate, House and administration (not to mention how money buys justice) there is little in the way repercussions for any actions performed by large corporations.
     
    Last edited: 30 Aug 2016
  12. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Hands up who reckons if/when Apple do have to pay up it won't be anything remotely close to the €13bn quoted.

    *raises hand*
     
  13. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Question to you guys because I don't know the situation. Ireland doesn't want Apple to pay.
    rish finance minister Michael Noonan said:

    That sounds very fishy to me... corruption much?
     
  14. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Ireland is heavily dependent on foreign investment for jobs. The corporate tax rate is kept incredibly low to attract business and so large corporations don't pay any significant amount of tax.

    In return the corporations provide jobs. The country has suffered from mass emigration and high unemployment off of the back of the recession and getting jobs in the country is a priority.

    Being seen to defend business intrests is important to ensure the viability of future investment and to assure current multinationals that they won't suddenly be taxed.

    Noonan's position is more about damage control and maintaining the current low tax rate stance rather than simple corruption.
     
  15. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Ah ok! Thanks!
     
  16. Hustler

    Hustler Well-Known Member

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    Once Brexit is complete, without the UK backing Ireland up on this issue, as it has in council meetings, Ireland will find it difficult/impossible to maintain this policy.
     
  17. Isitari

    Isitari Active Member

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    This isn't about Ireland's tax rate. It's that it organised an incredibly low effective tax rate just for Apple, well under the 12.5% corporation tax it normally levies which is perfectly legal under EU rules.

    Sent from my SM-N915FY using Tapatalk
     
  18. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    The problem for me is a government isn't meant to act in a capitalistic manner, for me a government is there to represent the people, as a whole, they're meant to protect people from the worst excesses of capitalism.

    From what I've read i wouldn't be to worried about that, by all accounts Apple's Ireland office is nothing more than a name plate above a door.
     
  19. Isitari

    Isitari Active Member

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    A lot of people seem to be misinterpreting this ruling from the EU commission.

    IT IS NOT OVER IRELAND's NORMAL CORPORATE TAX RATE

    To quote from The Register:

    'Member States cannot give tax benefits to selected companies – this is illegal under EU state aid rules. The Commission's investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years. In fact, this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014.'

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/30/eu_commission_rules_on_apple_ireland_tax_sweetheart_deal/
     
  20. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    The registered offices for iTunes/the app store are a glorified po box [in Luxembourg], but the Apple HQ in Cork is actually pretty big [according to former colleagues who've been there].
     

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