Post-Brexit Britain could benefit greatly from EU’s tax attack on Apple and Ireland

“In taking a bite out of Apple Inc., the beleaguered bloc has gone where the U.S. feared to tread and demonstrated that it still has clout when it comes to taking on corporate giants,” Ian Wishart reports for Bloomberg. “The move is a powerful reminder to the U.K. that in patrolling the terms of access to its half a billion consumers, the EU punches its global weight.”

“There’s something else as well. By ordering the world’s richest company to pay Ireland a record 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes, it’s given the U.K. a chance to reinvent itself as a fiscal paradise for multinationals in a post-Brexit world,” Kennedy reports. “‘EU rules will not be binding in the U.K. and it’s interesting to see how it will affect firms,’ said Georgios Petropoulos, research fellow at the Brussels-based policy group Bruegel. ‘Will firms from Ireland prefer to move to the U.K. where the European Commission does not have any power to prosecute them there?'”

Kennedy reports, “‘This is another example of how the EU helps to stand up to massive international corporations,’ Susan Kramer, the economic spokesperson for the U.K.’s Liberal Democrats, said in a statement. ‘It’s perfectly possible for a company like Apple to bully Ireland, or even the U.K., into sweetheart deals — but the EU acts as a referee.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Poor Susie just doesn’t get it.

Kennedy reports, “Apple and the Irish government say they will appeal the EU ruling and the U.S. have complained that its companies are being unfairly targeted. The EU, if anything, is likely to double down.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote yesterday:

Anyone who decides to set up a business in a European Union member country today is insane.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary on Apple tax row: Irish government should tell EU to f**k off – August 31, 2016
U.S. taxpayers could end up paying Apple’s bill for back taxes in Ireland – August 30, 2016
Morningstar: Apple remains fundamentally undervalued after EU tax grab – August 30, 2016
Obama admin worries EU’s Apple decision will cost U.S. taxpayers; Bernie Sanders applauds EU tax demand – August 30, 2016
Ireland doesn’t want Apple’s $14.5 billion in so-called back taxes – August 30, 2016
U.S. Treasury: The European Commission’s retroactive tax demands on Apple are unfair – August 30, 2016
EU demands Apple pay massive $14.5 billion in taxes plus interest – August 30, 2016
Apple CFO Maestri: Despite EU tax ruling, we will continue to invest in Ireland – August 30, 2016
Apple CEO Cook blasts European Commission for ‘ignoring Ireland’s tax laws, upending the international tax system’ – August 30, 2016
European Commission to rule Ireland’s tax arrangement with Apple illegal – August 29, 2016
Ireland prepares for a fight with EU over Apple tax clawback – August 29, 2016
U.S. government warns EU: Do not hit Apple with a massive back tax bill – or else – August 25, 2016
European Commission denies anti-U.S. bias after U.S. Treasury intervention over Apple, Amazon tax probes – August 25, 2016


  1. All the EU has done is to create economic uncertainty for corporations until this case is settled and that is likely to take years. This uncertainty will likely hurt the economy in Europe.

  2. Apple I love you. But quit scamming Your home nation and its citizens.

    Quit scamming Ireland. And instead of having your upper lip quiver when a Carl Icahn want more money, instead listen to everyone else and bring your money back and pay your taxes. Regular Americans buy and enjoy your products, Carl Icahn just wants to scam you like you scam the taxman.

    Hopefully all nations get together and put an end to the rich so easily scamming their way from paying taxes.

    1. The repatriation corporation tax rate here in the U.S. is the highest and mot unfair in the world. Apple’s money won’t solve the problems of the world. Politician’s being fiscally responsible will. Don’t blame Apple for a recalcitrant do-nothing Congress. But I agree to the extent there should be fair tax rates to all and NO Double Jeopardy (It hit me once between Canada & The U.S. and it was awful.)

      1. No one is saying Apple paying their taxes will solve the problems of the world, just as me paying my taxes will not solve the problems in the world, but in aggregate will help fix bridges and roads and pay down the debt. That’s all.

        1. Fair tax rates is what it’s all about but companies are sneaky and ultimately you and I will probably pick up the tab anyway in the way of higher priced items. Personally I’d rather see companies innovate and put people to work with that money which will do more in the long run. Oh and add in the end of pork barrel projects, political fiscal responsibility, and rebuilding of infrastructure and this country might have a chance.

          1. You are putting your head in the sand. Throwing your hands in the air. This may be the push to get changes in the tax code that we need,. Dont coddle Apple. And as we have seen, they dont use that money to hire, they HIDE it. They go to places where they can get away with exploiting people, whether Ireland or China.

            And at the end of the quarter, the CEOs point to their profits margins and say “seeee! I earned my bonus. I screwed everyone over but admit our profits are up and I deserve a raise” And Wall Street nods in approval. And some like Carl Icahn in it to make out like a bandit says “where are our dividends? They get paid and run like hell.

            1. Apple already pays 27% tax rate in the U.S.. Pretty much what I pay. What do you want? 90%? It’s not our affair over what happens between Apple and the host countries it’s in. It’s up to them to change the rules if they are not to their liking and at the same time be willing to risk Apple moving on somewhere else. Apple is not unique in this regard. Every CEO is judged by how much they do and bring back into the company, or they are replaced. You’re not likely to change that basic business culture. Companies aren’t in it for social good (and take advantage of the fact that they don’t pay for people’s educations to make them employable) but accommodations can be made so everyone benefits. I agree to the extent a balance must be made. And corporations aren’t allowed to lobby and buy off politicians. Kind of defeat’s the purpose of what the U.S. was built on.

            2. You’re making excuses. Apple is is in the wrong got busted and hopefully get penalized here too unless they stop scamming on their taxes.
              All this is going to do is piss a lot of Americans and force the issue.
              There will be a compromise and i hope that’s what you ant, something fair, but all you sound like is an apologist.

              When all is said and done, Apple and every American hiding and hoarding their money oversees needs to be nicely convinced with jail time is they keep it up. No doubt we need better tax laws, and that should involve heavy penalties and jail time for these types of shenanigans. Close the loopholes, make changes to the tx code and send those that habitually hack the laws to prison.

              End of story.

            3. Apple is not in the wrong and you have not read properly. Ireland offered this deal to Apple, Apple didn’t ask for it. Why should they get penalized in the states for having already properly payed what they owe here?

              You’re pretty vindictive. There is no issue to be forced here in the States. There is not a chance in Hades corporations will start being overtaxed here in the U.S.. You’re dreaming. Equally clueless about legal sheltering of money off shore. As long as it’s legal you haven’t got a prayer or a stand. If it’s illegal yeah, they should be prosecuted. And I believe are.

              So far Apple has done nothing illegal either here or internationally. It’s up to these other countries to change their rules going forward and Apple will either have to comply or move on. It’s simple and not as emotional and fantasy scenario as you try to make it.

              You are right in that until rules are changed, company’s will continue acting in their own best legal interests. Congress is woefully behind on such tax code legislation and changing of repatriation taxes for overseas profits. What do we pay these do-nothing jerk-offs for?

            4. You seem to have trouble with the concept of right and wrong. Yeah justify it however you like. You still can’t change the moral argument and where Apple is in the wrong.
              Make no mistake, this isn’t going away and Apple will pay there here and with moral outrage here and home.
              They best say mia culpa, ask forgiveness and hope it goes away faster that way. Drag it out and the anger among Americans and around the world will overflow.

              And this coming from someone who loves Apple and their products. But shady is shady, wrong is wrong and with all their billions it only speaks of greed of monumental proportions.

            5. It has nothing to do with what’s right and wrong and that’s a problem YOU have trying to apply it. It’s all about dispassionate tax rates and regulations executed by a lazy in-the-pocket Congress. There is no moral argument you can make against Apple. They were offered a tax rate by Ireland and accepted like any other company would. Apple also doesn’t need “forgiveness” seeing as they did nothing wrong by all the existing legal standards at the time. The issue at hand is between Ireland and the EU Commission and if anyone did wrong it’s Ireland. Companies won’t offer up more of their cash just on the basis of largesse.

              Trying to find morality in business, well, hah!, good luck with that! You are tilting at windmills.

              I appreciate your frustration and we agree more than disagree but you need to apply a judicious amount of reality to what governments and businesses might do.

            6. No, Apple is not, you are. Apple did nothing wrong. If anyone did it’s Ireland by making the offer to begin with. You should step away from your blinding Apple dislike and just look at the facts. The facts of the case make your stand completely erroneous. Say it all you like but you’re still wrong.

            7. The EU and common sense say yes. 14 BILLION worth of wrong to be exact.
              Let’s remember that through even recent past a lot of repulsive things have been”legal” slavery for example, but that doesn’t make it right.
              Expect big changes with these elevations. Expect Spple and others to repatriate their tax avoidance and I seriously doubt the EU will let this just slide.
              Don’t have to believe me, just sit back and enjoy the show. Learn about right and wrong along the way. You seem to have a a problem understanding the concept.

            8. Wrong! That does not make what Apple did wrong, it would make what Ireland did wrong. And in fact it hasn’t even been appealed yet and rejected yet so frankly you got nothin’ except an early verdict.

              Using slavery as a comparison is a Straw Man argument. It bears no resemblance to this which is about taxes, not enslavery.

              Expect little ripples in the big pond over this. In fact expect lower rate repatriation taxes for Apple and other companies as a reward.

              The EU is crumbling apart, don’t get them more credit than they deserve.

              You have a problem understanding it’s not a right or wrong issue. But I agree sit back and watch the show. I look forward to your crestfallen face when events turn out not as you expect.

            9. “The EU’s involvement makes this a weird case. Normally, tax evasion is pretty cut-and-dry: a country has rules on tax, a corporation breaks them, and then the company is found out and has to pay up. But in this case, Apple was in compliance with Ireland’s rules. It was Ireland’s rules that were out of line with the EU’s taxation policies, which don’t allow member states to act as tax havens.”

    1. The buybacks are smart. The quivering lip Carl Icahn gave Tim to fall for the crazy dividends is where the fail is. Icahn grinned took his dividends and ran. Instead of dividends, pay your taxes and bring the money your hiding home. Sad Apple is more scared of an Icahn than care about the American people.

    2. I disagree. First, let look at this from a simple math problem. Let’s suppose that Apple currently has $200 Billion (I know it’s more than this, but humor me for a bit). If Apple brings this back to the US, it will be taxed at a rate of 35%. That’s $70 Billion dollars going back to Uncle Sam. Now, imagine yourself working overseas and making $200,000. Not only will you be taxed by the country that you are working in, but also, by the IRS. How would you like to pay that $70K to Uncle Sam?

      Now ask yourself this question: Would Apple be remised in their fiduciary duties to the share holders to bring this $200B back to the US and be taxed at a rate of 35%?

      1. The analogy is nice but the reality is that as an individual of U.S. Citizenship you will probably already have paid taxes on your income that will adjust any repatriation taxes you need to pay if any. Oddly, Corporations, though treated as legal ‘individuals’, are not subject to the same tax method.

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