Irish taxes: There is no possibility of a fine upon Apple whatsoever

“Several newspapers seem to have got themselves into a bit of a tizzy about an upcoming announcement from the European Commission over the tax affairs of Apple. Specifically, that the company will be accused of having accepted illegal state aid over its supposed deals with the Irish tax authorities,” Tim Worstall reports for Forbes. “This simply isn’t true and it’s not how public policy on such matters works over here anyway… It absolutely is not a finding of fact nor a finding of error on anyone’s part at all. It’s just a follow up from the June announcement of the investigation, outlining what the investigation is about and why. This makes the Financial Times’ headline a little excitable: ‘Apple hit by Brussels finding over illegal Irish tax deals.'”

“There is no possibility of a fine upon Apple whatsoever,” Worstall reports. “Again no: there’s simply no finding of fact coming up. This next report is simply a laying out of what the Commission is looking into. And in the case of Apple it’s not even about Irish tax rates, the Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich (or is it Double Dutch with an Irish?), that mysterious company with no tax domicile or any of those things that get bandied about. It is purely and simply about transfer pricing.”

“The major point is that The European Commission is not about to release a report of their findings in this case about Apple’s tax structure or state aid. It’s going to release the report that outlines what it is investigating and why. And even if it does, at some indeterminate point in the future, find illegal state aid there will be no fine imposed upon Apple,” Worstall writes. “As to quite why this story has been so garbled this morning, well, I can only speculate… If I were at the FT or WSJ today I’d be going back to my sources and asking just how their stock position in Apple was looking this morning. Are they short? Got a few short dated put options perhaps? Note, I’m talking about the sources, not the journalists. But that is very wild speculation on my part.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, are these erroneous, overblown reports from FT and WSJ and other media outlets FUD, stock manipulation, and/or just general stupidity?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Gk” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
EU watchdog to give reasons for inquiry into Ireland’s tax treatment of Apple – September 29, 2014
European Commission accuses Apple of prospering from illegal Irish tax deals – September 28, 2014
EU threatens expanded probe into Ireland’s tax practices regarding Apple, Googles, other companies – June 20, 2014
EU’s investigation of Apple’s taxes isn’t going to cause the company any problems – June 13, 2014
EU launches tax avoidance investigations on Apple, Starbucks, Fiat – June 11, 2014
Not in Taxes anymore: On site at Apple’s famous Irish ‘headquarters’ – November 2, 2013
Regan: U.S. tax code spurs loveless foreign corporate ‘marriages’ – May 13, 2014
Ireland to close Apple’s tax loophole, but leave bigger one open – October 15, 2013
G20 think tank OECD proposes blueprint for global crackdown on tax avoidance – July 19, 2013
Thomas Sowell on Apple, corporate taxes, and ‘the road to serfdom’ – May 28, 2013
Taxing Apple just taxes you – May 24, 2013
Don’t tax Apple, tax its shareholders – May 24, 2013
If Apple paid more tax, we might pay less or something – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook pounds another nail into the Keynesian coffin – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Cook makes no apology for company’s tax strategy – May 22, 2013


  1. Not so overblown when you take into account what Judge Denise Cote predetermined in the alleged unfair overpricing of eBooks case. Perhaps they are following the precedent set by her.

  2. Just another FUDtastic day to knock AAPL down before it runs away with another unprecedented bombastic iPhone 6 sales record and unbelievable quarterly resultsthat wil catapult it to envious new highs.

    Buying opportunity again!

  3. From the BBC story:

    Once the Commission has reached a judgement the EU has the right to recover illegally granted state aid from the company in question. This could amount to billions of euros if Apple is found to have received benefits it was not entitled to.

    Who to believe?

  4. There was a plot of interest in shorting Apple when BentGate was being pushed as a real problem. Now that the story has been shown to be overblown, the short sellers need a different way to get the stock down pretty quickly and this story looks ideal for the purpose.

    It’s especially telling that Forbes are suggesting that this a a FUD story being spread by short sellers.

    1. “It’s especially telling that Forbes are suggesting that this a a FUD story being spread by short sellers.”

      That was my thought, too. Putting his suspicions into print under the Forbes banner — regardless of the “Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.” caveat — is very interesting.

  5. Imagine you have 1M aapl shares in that you bought at $98 after few days back. Sold them at $101 on Friday. Thats $3M (3% gain) made very easily.
    Now imagine you need the stock to go down so you can buy some more. Just need to come out with another rumor.
    Yes I know this is the stock market. I just feel sorry for the poor joe who gets told to buy into a stock. Or worst, it is a fund that buys in the wrong direction so that their partners in creme can profit.

  6. They will find anything they want to, to charge Apple and take it’s money. Likewise the US, and it’s states, China, Russia, and any other nation wanting a piece of the pie. That is, if the Stock Market doesn’t get to it first.

    By observation only, they always attack the top dog. It’s better to be invisible. Or at least, appear to be poor. Heaven forbid if you have too much money.

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