Hagens Berman investigating Apple Inc., others regarding tax-avoidance schemes; seeks whistleblower information

And so it begins. Just watch how the U.S.’s largest corporate taxpayer will be vilified for “not paying enough taxes.”

Here’s the press release, verbatim:

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, a law firm dedicated to protecting the interests of whistleblowers, today announced that particularly in light of recent news involving potential wrongdoing by Apple (AAPL), attorneys and accountants are available to address inquiries from insiders who have information about other illegal tax-avoidance schemes.

Hagens Berman invites individuals with firsthand knowledge of the use of such illegal dealings to contact the firm at IRSWhistleblowers@hbsslaw.com. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other agencies offer rewards for whistleblowers that provide original information regarding violations.

The awards provided to whistleblowers are based on the amount of the recovery, but have exceeded $100 million.

A U.S. Senate subcommittee recently reported that Apple took advantage of loopholes and technicalities of U.S. and Irish tax laws to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. The Senate report also notes that at least one of Apple’s international subsidiaries did not file a tax return in any country in 2011.

“We are interested in talking with anyone who has information about these schemes to avoid paying taxes,” says attorney Steve W. Berman, managing partner and co-founder of HBSS. “I am sure I join virtually every American who believes that companies have the right to be successful, but also have the duty to work within the laws and framework of our country’s tax code in doing so.”

Hagens Berman strongly urges those with inside knowledge to speak with one of its experienced whistleblower attorneys. “Whistleblowers who proceed without first speaking with an attorney can lose important rights, and an attorney can evaluate your claim, investigate further and give strategic advice on how to move forward,” Berman added.

Hagens Berman encourages individuals who believe they have information relating to the tax-avoidance activities of Apple and other major corporations to contact the firm for a free consultation by calling (206) 623-7292 or by emailing IRSWhistleblowers@hbsslaw.com.

More information about Hagens Berman’s whistleblower practice is also available at www.hb-whistleblower.com.

About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a whistleblower law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm represents whistleblowers under the False Claims Act as well as programs administered by the IRS, SEC, CFTC and other entities. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hb-whistleblower.com.

Source: Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

MacDailyNews Take: Unfsckingbelievable.

If this sort of crap is a sign of what’s to come, Apple Inc. should just move to Ireland and be done with it. Build the Mothership there. Hire those local construction firms. Move Jony closer to home. Let’s see how Cupertino and the surrounding areas looks 6 months after that. It’d make Tijuana look like Shangri La, but, oh, how Ireland would thrive!

Related articles:
Google whistleblower reveals massive tax avoidance scheme; ready to hand over 100,000 emails to UK authorities – May 19, 2013
UK lawmakers challenge Google’s ‘smoke and mirrors’ on tax – May 16, 2013

U.S. Senate investigation found no evidence that Apple did anything illegal in avoiding taxes – May 20, 2013
Grandstanding U.S. Senate panel expected to castigate Apple CEO Tim Cook for leading U.S.’s largest corporate income taxpayer – May 20, 2013
Apple publishes full testimony to be given before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee – May 20, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook to propose ‘dramatic simplification’ of U.S. corporate tax laws – May 18, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook to propose U.S. tax reform for offshore cash – May 17, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook goes on offense in Washington D.C. over $100 billion offshore cache – May 16, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook at Senate Permanent Subcommittee over Apple’s offshore tax practices – May 15, 2013
Study: U.S. companies’ overseas earnings hit record $1.9 trillion – May 8, 2013
Unlike the US tax code, Apple is perfectly rational – May 7, 2013
Apple Inc.’s taxdodging ways – May 5, 2013
Apple, corporate taxes, and The New York Slimes – May 2, 2013
Apple avoids potential $9 billion U.S. tax bill – May 2, 2013
Debt-free Apple to take on debt to avoid huge U.S. repatriation tax hit – April 26, 2013
Apple’s massive $100 billion capital return program is a perfect tax arbitrage – April 26, 2013
Apple to tap a hungry debt market; strong demand likely from investors eager to get cash off sidelines – April 25, 2013
Debt-free Apple plans to borrow to finance massive capital-return program – April 23, 2013
Apple beats Street on EPS and revenue; ups quarterly dividend by 15%; ups buybacks to $60 billion – April 23, 2013
Apple paid $6 billion in U.S. federal income taxes, 1/40th of all corporate income taxes collected by U.S. government in 2012 – January 5, 2013
Google, Apple, eBay shouldn’t pay taxes – people should pay taxes – November 25, 2012
So how much did Apple really pay in taxes? – November 1, 2012
Apple’s showdown with the U.S. government over taxes on offshore cash – July 13, 2012
Apple‘s $74 billion tops list of U.S. tech companies’ overseas cash – July 9, 2012
Apple’s dividend move puts spotlight on foreign cash holdings, repatriation tax reform – March 20, 2012
Apple: Good start; and what about the overseas cash? – March 19, 2012
Apple’s foreign cash hoard piles up: $54 billion and rapidly growing – January 11, 2012
Senator John McCain eyes Apple’s $54 billion overseas cash pile – November 3, 2011
Google joins Apple in push for U.S. repatriation tax holiday – October 3, 2011
Apple lobbies Obama for tax holiday, wants to bring overseas bounty home – August 24, 2011
U.S Senate Democrat Schumer allies with Apple, other multinationals on repatriation tax talks – June 21, 2011
U.S. companies push for tax break on foreign cash – June 20, 2011
Apple, Oracle, Duke Energy, others organize lobbying blitz for tax holiday – February 17, 2011

55 Comments

  1. Ireland is not thriving, by the way in spite or likely because their taxes are too low. All low taxes to is attract companies that only care about money and nothing else.

      1. Apple is in Ireland and has been there for years you idiot. They funnel a large amount of their profits there. Apple seems to have arranged a 2% tax deal there and the EU might be pissed.

        1. @ sfgh
          Why are you here? Seriously.

          If you have any tiny iota of functioning rationality in which you actually wanting to persuade people to any of your ideas, you are failing utterly – and will do so forever. Your posts do nothing for the vast majority of readers on this site except piss them off and convince them that you are nothing but an emotionally damaged little shit.

          If you actually care about expressing ideas — as opposed to just vomiting negativity constantly — try posting with any swearing and without insulting anyone.

          1. Seamus:

            Offers nothing but personal attacks. Nothing in your post addresses any of the facts. The facts are that Apple has gotten out of paying taxes on $74 billion and has one of the most elaborate tax avoidance schemes in history.

            Yes you fucking morons chastise companies like Google for avoiding tax in a way that seems to pale in comparison to Apple. You’re delusional hypocrites.

            1. @sfgh
              I offered you a fairly long, logical post that was certainly not an attack. I suggested that given your stated goal, the only way to have any influence with anyone here would be to stop your insulting, swearing and name-calling.

              “Nothing in your post addresses any of the facts.”
              Facts can come after you stop the constant barrage of insult.

            2. The problem is how much people lie and how delusional they are. It’s constant. Wake up. Apple did not appear before the Senate to help them reform taxes. They were investigated and audited by the US Government over their elaborate tax avoidance scheme. I know of no other tax avoidance scheme that is this big, ever.

              Is it illegal? Maybe not. But stop calling out other companies for doing the same and thinking Apple is perfect. That because of all of your delusions Apple should therefore operate with impunity.

            3. @sfgh
              “The problem is how much people lie and how delusional they are. It’s constant.”

              Indeed.
              Here’s one last idea for now — you want people to take on this core idea, above. And then, within that, many specifics.

              Influencing others is marketing. Always. Whether one is selling a hard product or a service, or promoting a political idea, or trying to get someone to contribute to a worth cause, it’s ALL THE SAME. The essence is, in each case, that you are selling an idea.

              If you truly want to influence people, you have to market/sell your idea like you would sell any product, service, or worthy cause.

              No-one – ever – took on any idea because somebody said, “Take on my superior and correct idea, you stupid pea-brained fucktard.”

            4. Seamus:

              I agree. But the people on this site and many posters on the Internet are fucktards. Fanboys are the most delusional sort. Apple really doesn’t want anything from you but your money. They are no different than any other company. Their shit stinks like everyone else’s. The amount of delusional thinking that goes on here is infuriating because I can’t believe other human beings can be so stupid as to think the way that fanboys do. And even more generally people in the tech industry. They have some kind of bipolar disorder I’m convinced of it.

              Google is evil. Apple is great. MS sucks and should die. It’s the most inane bullshit. Android fanboys are fuckchops too. Why is this stuff so pervasive in the tech industry? Because it’s full of geeks with zero social perspective. Pedantic fuckchops sitting in a basement somewhere.

              It doesn’t have to be this way. We can all share and win. It doesn’t have to be so destructive. I just want people to stop fucking lying and stop being so delusional. It’s an epidemic.

              Stop lying. That’s it. Part of stopping is realizing that Apple is just as greasy as other companies.

              This Senate hearing was a part of a massive government investigation on Apple, but people thought it was Tim Cook being nice helping the government. Their tax avoidance is likely the largest out of any company in history. Would any of you fucking morons condone this if it were Google? Microsoft? Texaco? GE?

              As much as we like Apple, Apple needs corporate governance and needs to be held accountable like any other company. And the reason is that they are no different than any other company simply because their sole mission is to seek a profit.

            5. @sfgh
              After several replies, the Reply link disappears. So this is a reply to your post below that starts…

              “Seamus:
              I agree. But the people on this site and many posters on the Internet are fucktards.”

              I think if you and I sat down for a coffee, we’d agree on a lot about the state of society. I don’t agree that all companies operate at the same level — e.g. the tobacco company execs knowing they were killing people. But we’d agree on much about the pervasiveness of lying, greed, manipulation and stupidity.

              My big issues with you are simply:

              1. That I don’t like to be insulted. It doesn’t matter if I’m wrong. If you wouldn’t say it to my face (pretending for the moment that I’m 300 pounds of muscle), then you should be writing it to me. (or, of course, to anyone else).

              2. That NO-ONE ever, ever, ever will be affected by what you say if you are going to call them fucktards, idiots, etc. As I wrote, one of the most famous speeches of all time was NOT, “I have a dream, you bunch of clusterfuck dipshits. Listen up you friggin’ assholes.”

            6. Seamus:

              I feel like I have to swear to get to the point. It’s like the character David Lynch played on Twin Peaks… when he yelled when he spoke. Because people don’t listen. You have to literally scare people out of their delusion. For instance, lots of people start dieting only when they find out they have heart disease or diabetes. But until then, they ignore all warnings.

              People must wake up and stop this insanity of being brainwashed by brands. Most of the stuff we buy we don’t need. We’ve finally got ourselves off of sugar and it was hell for 2 weeks. We don’t even really go near the center isles of the grocery store anymore. It’s a marketers wet dream. Now everything is “Organic”. The best thing is to just ignore brands because they’re full of greedy shit. And that’s what sucks. It’s become so competitive.

              And Apple is right up there. They’re so aggressive with their marketing. And use what are essentially sweatshops in China. They funnel money into tax havens. They lie, steal, and cheat. Like every other brand. So we can call it what it is.

              Do I like Apple? Sure. I love Apple. I love them because I love their products. But as a company they’re full of shit like every other company.

              And what ircks me is that with my company, I have to stand in front of people and basically lie to them. Instead of telling them that only 10% of the people who use our platform will make any money and the 90% will lose, I tell them that “What an incredible platform! X, Y, and Z have been so successful!” It makes my stomach turn because I have to reduce myself down to the similar marketing like the competition to attract people. Sound familiar? Like Apple, 800,000 Apps of which a hair are making money and the rest make nothing.

              I wish it wasn’t like this. But it is because people are delusional. A big part of this is they expect something from nothing. They’re lazy. They expect things to magically happen. But everything takes hard work. But that’s not what people want to hear. If they were truly in touch with reality, they’d ignore most of the bullshit that companies vomit up in marketing because they’d immediately say, “Bullshit it’s easy. Bullshit it’s fun. Bullshit I need this. I don’t actually need this.”

            7. “I feel like I have to swear to get to the point.”
              I understand the mind-blistering frustration. But – my broken record – swearing and insulting people doesn’t work.

              “For instance, lots of people start dieting only when they find out they have heart disease or diabetes. But until then, they ignore all warnings.”
              Absolutely!
              BUT – it’s the FACT that finally gets through. Sometimes the fact has to be life-threatening, sometimes not. But NO-ONE ever started dieting because the doctor snarkily said, “Listen, you stupid fat fuck, stop stuffing your fucktard face or you’re going to have a heart attack.”

              “People must wake up and stop this insanity of being brainwashed by brands.”
              Yes!

              “Most of the stuff we buy we don’t need.”
              Yes!

              “I wish it wasn’t like this. But it is because people are delusional.”
              Yes! No kidding!

              “If they were truly in touch with reality, they’d ignore most of the bullshit that companies vomit up in marketing because they’d immediately say, ‘Bullshit it’s easy. Bullshit it’s fun. Bullshit I need this. I don’t actually need this’.”
              Yes!

              See – I agree with a lot of where you are coming from!

              Swearing and name-calling are simply disrespectful and potentially hurtful, and NO-ONE LISTENS WHEN THEY ARE BEING DISRESPECTED OR HURT. They’ll either ignore you, or tell you to fuck off, as I was doing.

              And, of course, that is why I broke from being reactive to offering you an unemotional, respectful rationally laid out idea of what might be more useful. Thought I might as well give it a shot. I think some people on here are just poisonous little shits and will be forever, but, if I may say so, it is now clear that your intensity comes out of a desire for things to be better. I would just suggest that what builds something better is clear information and a positive attitude.

              Yes, if might seem like flogging a dead horse, year after year. But you can only do what you can do. Slipping into negativity will never speed up the process of making something better.

          1. Again. Answer the question. And give facts and numbers not post links to nebulous schemes — and the article you point to does not imply anything illegal or improper, just a appearance of a conflict of interest. Besides, the article is over 2 years old. You have to reach that far back to find something bad about GE and the U.S. President? GE must be doing things right lately!

          2. That article is the typical right wing hogwash Obamam bashing. The government wants less US dependency on foreign oil, so they give incentives and loans to companies developing alternate energy approaches. Some work, some fail, but the net result is positive. The right latches onto any single failure and claims that failure to be the typical and that Obama is to blame.

  2. This is what happens when you don’t pay off enough congre . . . er . . . I mean voluntarily contribute enough campaign money to the highly principled servants of the public.

  3. I think Apple will rise to the top. I’m glad all this negativity is surfacing because it paints a picture of what’s wrong with this country. No one is saying, “thank you Apple for being such a great company”. Instead, they are trying to demonize what is working right. What is their motivation?> Greed.

    If anything, Apple is showing how to do things right in corporate America. Many should be learning from what Apple has pioneered, including the government.

    Thank you, Steve Jobs, Wozniak, Tim Cook, and Apple.

    The rest of you scum (Hagens Burman, et al), go back down to your bottom-dwelling residence.

    You can also email them and tell them to go to hell,
    IRSWhistleblowers@hbsslaw.com

  4. Time to bust all your fanboy asses.

    Google is evil… because they have money abroad. MS is evil because they have money abroad.

    You delusional fscking idiots defend Apple but they have done and continue to do the very same thing. You are all so delusional and easily manipulated.

    Read the information. Apple has most of its money abroad using the same tax schemes as Google, MS, and others. And the NYT did a large story on how Apple pioneered the very tax schemes these companies are using today.

    Fscking idiots.

    “Apple, for instance, was among the first tech companies to designate overseas salespeople in high-tax countries in a manner that allowed them to sell on behalf of low-tax subsidiaries on other continents, sidestepping income taxes, according to former executives. Apple was a pioneer of an accounting technique known as the “Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich,” which reduces taxes by routing profits through Irish subsidiaries and the Netherlands and then to the Caribbean. Today, that tactic is used by hundreds of other corporations — some of which directly imitated Apple’s methods, say accountants at those companies.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/business/apples-tax-strategy-aims-at-low-tax-states-and-nations.html?_r=0

    1. The New York Times? In that vein, what did The National Inquirer say?

      Apple Inc. is legally executing its fiduciary responsibility to me and millions of other shareholders. Nothing more, nothing less, knee-jerker.

      Google, on the other hand, has a whistleblower armed with what sounds to be incriminating evidence. We’ll see if anything comes of it in the U.S. where GOOG has been spreading money around D.C. like crazy.

      1. I never once said Apple was doing anything illegal. But all you idiots believe and eat up Tim Cook saying they don’t use Tax Gimmicks but they do! And that Apple doesn’t engage in the same tax schemes as Google, others.

        THEY DO. APPLE ENGAGES IN TAX AVOIDANCE ON AN ORDER LIKELY BEYOND ANY OTHER AMERICAN COMPANY.

        It is a fact. From their SEC filing, you can see where they funnel their money and where that money is taxed. It’s an elaborate overseas tax scheme that saves them billions of dollars in not paying taxes each year.

        Apple does this by setting up shell subsidiaries in low-to-no tax areas and funnels earnings to these places.

        “Apple’s domestic tax bill has piqued particular curiosity among corporate tax experts because although the company is based in the United States, its profits — on paper, at least — are largely foreign.”

        “However, Apple’s accountants have found legal ways to allocate about 70 percent of its profits overseas, where tax rates are often much lower, according to corporate filings.”

        “The Double Irish

        In the late 1980s, Apple was among the pioneers in creating a tax structure — known as the Double Irish — that allowed the company to move profits into tax havens around the world, said Tim Jenkins, who helped set up the system as an Apple European finance manager until 1994.

        Apple created two Irish subsidiaries — today named Apple Operations International and Apple Sales International”

        And:

        “Moreover, the second Irish subsidiary — the “Double” — allowed other profits to flow to tax-free companies in the Caribbean. Apple has assigned partial ownership of its Irish subsidiaries to Baldwin Holdings Unlimited in the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven, according to documents filed there and in Ireland. Baldwin Holdings has no listed offices or telephone number, and its only listed director is Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer, who lives and works in Cupertino. Baldwin apples are known for their hardiness while traveling.”

        “…one of Apple’s subsidiaries in Luxembourg, named iTunes S.à r.l., has just a few dozen employees, according to corporate documents filed in that nation and a current executive. The only indication of the subsidiary’s presence outside is a letterbox with a lopsided slip of paper reading “ITUNES SARL.”

        1. sfgh:

          Man, you’re not going to get anywhere here. It’s fanboy central. You could have TimCook telling people they have a bigger tax avoidance scheme than Google or Microsoft and these fanboy idiots wouldn’t believe it. But don’t bother asking anyone here to read SEC filings from Apple because they can’t read.

          It’s common knowledge Apple has been avoiding taxes through foreign shell subsidiaries for years. Many former execs have come out and worked at other firms and implemented what they did at Apple.

          I guess Apple’s innovation doesn’t end at computers…

          1. Tax deferral is not tax avoidance. Apple has recognized its tax obligations on its books. If congress wants the money, it can change the kaw and sunset the provisions that permit tax deferrals such as all 401Ks, pension plans, Charitable Trusts, etc. Apple has followed the law and there has to my knowledge been a challenge by IRS to their methods. This is a witch hunt. Wonder how many on the Senate staff tipped their buddies to short Apple at end of market today. Ifso, I hope TC has the buyers their to rip them a new one.

            1. Apple engages in tax avoidance. Period. It’s a fact. It’s a matter of public record.

              They have shell holdings in tax havens, Ireland, and other places. They save billions a year in taxes by doing this. 70% of their earnings are funnelled overseas.

              There’re former finance officers for Apple who have spoke to media about setting up these tax avoidance schemes for Apple, and then doing it for other companies.

              Stop making excuses for them you delusional fuckchop.

              But focus on the fact that I never said they’re going anything illegal. I don’t give a fuck about Apple avoiding taxes. I give a shit about people I have to live with daily who are delusional and stupid, blinded by brands and suckers for anything a company shoves down their throats.

            2. @sfgh
              Have you got nothing better to do with your life than come here where you are not wanted to insult people you don’t like? Go watch tv or something… get drunk… ride a mountain bike… eat some chocolate… have a coffee with some friends — so many things to do in life. How sad that you spend it like this. You REALLY have a problem.

            3. And so what if Apple does “engage in tax avoidance?”

              That’s entirely legal. Tax EVASION – that is, not paying the taxes legally due – is illegal. Tax AVOIDANCE is taking advantage of the laws in place which permit less payment of tax.

              If you object to this, you really have two choices:

              (A) Make your tax return publicly available, highlighting the sections where you PURPOSELY paid more taxes than the law requires of you; or

              (B) Shut up.

          2. @Carl

            “You’re not going to get anywhere here.”
            So stop wasting your time. Go away.

            “It’s fanboy central.”
            So what? All the more reason to go away.

      1. You have zero credibility. That article was written well over a year ago. It cites individual names of former finance workers that have worked for Apple. These people have identities and can be verified. There is legal paperwork that is a matter of public record that shows. That is without a doubt… showing that Apple funnels profits overseas. And those overseas holdings are verified by registration papers in those areas that show shell holding companies.

        Apple themselves have made public statements admitting why they do these things because it saves them on taxes.

        You are a fucking incredulous idiot.

  5. I don’t really understand MDN’s take. Move to Ireland because of a law firm? What?

    Let’s see how tomorrow goes before getting too angry.

    I’m all for taxing those that can afford it more than those that cannot, but the reality with corporations is that it isn’t always quite that simple. No, I’m not a “corporations are people” type nor do I believe that business interests trump the national interest. Sure , GE can some year pays 0 net taxes, but that is because of incentives that help the US economy, which is an effective use of tax code (something all the “flat tax” nuts don’t care about). Apple provides plenty of jobs and tax revenue here in the US and, while they could certainly afford to pay $5 billion more in taxes in a given year, if they didn’t earn the money here or bring it here, I don’t see a legit claim by the US gov (believe me, I am not anti-tax or afraid of paying my fair share).

    Yes, Apple outsources a lot if manufacturing, but they do a very large amount of business in the US and employ technically skilled labor, ie what the US is/should be moving towards. So it still seems to be a net positive win for the US.

    Let’s hope a bunch of grandstanding hacks from both parties do not dominate the show tomorrow.

  6. Dear Hagens Berman,
    Everybody in the US hates IRS, be it republican, democrat or anarchist, christian, Jew, muslim or atheist, black, white or blue, straight, gay or eunuch. Everybody is united in one universal feeling of contempt and disgust. As recent events proved the IRS should be decoded as Integrity Reversal Services. So good luck finding someone who would like to help with such noble cause of helping this institution waste even more money.

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