Apple declines invite to EU hearing, cites appeal against EU tax clawback

“iPhone maker Apple has turned down an invitation to an EU lawmakers’ hearing, saying it does not want to prejudice its challenge to an EU order to pay up to 13 billion euros ($15 billion) in back taxes to Ireland,” Reuters reports. “A European Parliament committee is holding the hearing on tax evasion on June 21.”

“A European Parliament committee is holding the hearing on tax evasion on June 21.,” Reuters reports. “‘It is important to ensure public commentary does not prejudice those proceedings,’ Claire Thwaites, Apple’s senior director of European government affairs, wrote in the letter. ‘Since the appeal is ongoing and likely to be heard at the General Court in the near future we will not be able to participate in a public hearing on this topic as it could be detrimental to the proceedings at the Court and any potential appeals thereafter,’ Thwaites said.”

Reuters reports, “Ireland has also appealed against the European Commission’s August 2016 tax order, saying the tax deal was in line with EU and Irish laws.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Logical.

SEE ALSO:
Apple $1.8 billion tax arrears payment eases EU pressure on Ireland – May 18, 2018
Apple to fight EU Irish tax clawback without U.S. support role – May 17, 2018
Ireland, Apple appeal over EU tax clawback gets timeframe – April 24, 2018
EU says Ireland’s Apple complaint will only be dropped if it takes the full $16 billion in tax clawbacks – February 27, 2018
Ireland expects final disputed Apple bill remaining around $16 billion – February 22, 2018
EU court rejects U.S. government intervention in Apple’s Irish $15 billion tax case – December 15, 2017
EU sues Ireland over $15.3 billion tax clawback from Apple – October 4, 2017
Ireland opposes EU’s 13 billion euro Apple tax grab, calls it unjustified – August 17, 2017
Apple close to deal protecting Ireland in fight over EU tax grab – August 11, 2017
Ireland seeks custodian for Apple $15.2 billion in back taxes as collection nears – July 22, 2017
EU Commissioner Vestager: Ireland ‘taking too long’ to recover Apple tax – May 19, 2017
EU’s hypocritical Margrethe Vestager going after Apple while backing Madeira tax avoidance scheme – February 14, 2017
Apple has missed the deadline to pay $13.9 billion to Ireland in illegal tax benefits – January 31, 2017
Apple CFO Maestri: What the EC is doing here is a disgrace for European citizens, it should be ashamed’ – December 19, 2016
Apple’s EU tax nemesis Margrethe Vestager takes aim at other U.S. companies’ offshore profits – September 19, 2016
The ‘Brexit-Apple’ connection: What in the world was Margrethe Vestager thinking? – September 12, 2016
EU ministers line up to take tax bites out of Apple – September 12, 2016
Former EU competition commissioner: Vestager claim that Apple owes back taxes an incorrect use of EU law – September 2, 2016
Irish government to fight EU on Apple tax – September 2, 2016
Treasury accuses EU of trying to steal U.S. tax revenues with Apple decision – September 1, 2016
Irish residents opposed to EU’s tax demand of Apple – September 1, 2016
Apple Inc. pushes back against EU tax grab – September 1, 2016
Apple may repatriate billions of dollars next year after new U.S. President takes office – September 1, 2016
U.S. tax code allows for dramatic retaliation against EU overreach in Apple case – September 1, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook on EU tax demand: ‘No one did anything wrong here and Ireland is being picked on… It is total political crap’ – September 1, 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

37 Comments

  1. Since Apple has already announced they are paying $38B to the US Treasury on its overseas profits, I hardly see how tax evasion applies to them. Perhaps, if the topic was tax deferral, or maybe territorial tax systems, or tax allocation based upon IP creation, or harmonization of global tax rules and rates. That sort of thing might be interesting.

  2. AAPL was right not to go to this free-for-all. No matter what they would emerge having been tarred by the EU goons and their lackeys as the greedy cheating Americans

  3. It amazes me that cash strapped European governments, probably needing to pay for the open borders immigration wave, can go after the world’s richest company fully complying with ESTABLISHED LAW.

    How do they justify it and how do they sleep at night? Absolutely disgraceful …

    1. I am amazed, too, but for a different reason. For those suffering from memory impairment, I will explain this for at least the tenth time:

      This case has nothing to do with money grabbing by “cash strapped European governments.” If the European Commission wins its court case, the only government that stands to gain anything is the Republic of Ireland… which is supporting Apple’s position because it would rather establish that its tax incentive program is lawful than get the $15 billion.

      No other individual European government, tax strapped or otherwise, has a single dime directly at stake in this litigation. Zero. Zilch. Nada. None. To say otherwise is untrue. To say so after having been shown otherwise nine times is simply a lie. People who lie are liars. That isn’t an ad hominem insult, but a dictionary definition.

      The European Union as an institution does not have a direct financial stake in this, either. The mechanisms used to finance EU operations are completely unrelated to the income taxes collected by the member states. If Ireland loses, it will get all of the money and need not pay any of it to the EU, aside from reimbursing the costs of litigation.

      That being the case, the European Commission will be no better off financially if it wins than if it never brought the case. As with Ireland, their interest is to establish a legal principle—that the Irish incentive program (and programs like it) violate the treaty obligations under which the European Union and its predecessors have operated since the 1950s.

      I don’t know enough about the details of this extremely complicated litigation to express an opinion as to whether Apple is entitled to the $15 billion or Ireland is. If either side had undisputed “ESTABLISHED LAW” on their side, the other side would have surrendered a long time ago, rather than drag out litigation to an inevitable defeat in the General Court. Both sides “justify it and sleep at night” because they believe that the law is on their side.

      I do know enough to state absolutely that European lust for Apple’s billions has nothing to do with this litigation.

      1. “I do know enough to state absolutely that European lust for Apple’s billions has nothing to do with this litigation.”

        🐂💩! You want to talk about lies? Don’t confuse your liberal political OPINION for FACT. We got enough of that from the Clintons.

        Is Ireland not part of the EU? Does it really matter whether Ireland brought the suit, whether Germany, France, Mongolia, Outer Siberia or the entire EU socialist collective? Oh right, only to long winded tedious virtue signaling specialists.

        If Apple loses the EU benefits whether it is one nation or many. So what? I’m sure immigration exists everywhere that is a drain on host nation’s resources and I did not call out specific nations. Sheesh.

        Two BROAD points I was simply trying to make:

        1. Obviously somebody in the EU is going after the richest corporation for ONE THING — BIG BUCKS. And yes, you’re right, I don’t sweat the details that’s your specialty.
        2. It is either “settled law” and Apple followed it lawfully to the letter. Or, it is established illegal rogue law that needs to be corrected.

        Either way, Apple is not responsible for crafting European laws, they just follow them, hello?

        This is one of the biggest corporate shakedowns in history. The EU socialists are simply looking for a BIG FREE fat payday to fund utopia.

        Absolutely shameful to treat Apple this way! …

        1. I’ve been puzzling over this BROAD POINT all day:

          “Obviously somebody in the EU is going after the richest corporation for ONE THING — BIG BUCKS.”

          Who or what is this “somebody?”

          It can’t be Ireland, the other defendant in the case. They don’t want Apple’s money and are fighting not to get it.

          It can’t be the European Commission (essentially the Executive Branch of the EU administration), the plaintiff in the case. As I have pointed out 12 times already, they don’t stand to make even a single small buck, much less BIG BUCKS.

          It can’t be any of the other 27 EU member countries who are not parties to the lawsuit. Whether Apple wins or loses, they aren’t getting any of the $15 billion, and they have no reason to expect any significant windfall in the future. They would prefer that Ireland not be tilting the playing field (if it is), but that is a broad policy question not specific only to “the richest corporation.” Apple has a strong presence in Ireland and isn’t moving to another EU country that is subject to the same treaties. No other country is getting BIG bucks from Apple, no matter how the suit turns out.

          So, who is “somebody?” Being unable to name anybody isn’t just a case of “not sweating the details.” It is fundamental to your whole argument that this is a meritless lawsuit being brought to unjustly enrich “somebody.”

      2. GeoB,

        If you were involved in a lawsuit, I think it would “really matter” whether you brought the suit or somebody else brought it against you. The EU filed this suit AGAINST Ireland, a suit which Ireland is vigorously defending.

        The plaintiff in the suit has no financial stake in the outcome, but if it wins, the DEFENDANT will get $15 billion that it did not ask for and does not think that it deserves. The Plaintiff will get nothing besides reimbursement of its legal costs. To any person other than a conspiracy theorist, that would prove that the litigation is about establishing a legal principle and not about the money.

        Obviously, Apple will lose $15 billion if it loses the suit. That is not remotely the same thing as saying that the European Union as an organization must be motivated by the desire to get the money. It won’t, no matter how the lawsuit turns out.

        To the extent that I can understand your argument, you think the EU stands to benefit because Ireland is a European country… like Mongolia (!). Are you suggesting that the US will also benefit because both the US and Ireland are NATO partners? If I sue you, and you lose, does it really benefit you because we are both Americans?

        The issue in controversy is clearly not settled law, or this litigation would never have reached this point. Whether Apple “just followed” European laws consistent with Ireland’s treaty obligations is what the suit is about. Deciding what European laws require is for the European courts to determine—not for me, an American company, or the consensus of Internet commentators.

        It is not up to you, or any other American, to decide that a treaty voluntarily signed by 28 sovereign nations is “illegal rogue law that needs to be corrected,” any more than a outsider got to draw the Polish border… even if he was “very good people.”

        1. Can you read?

          Yeah, only the arguments you love to nitpick and IGNORE the rest of my post that does NOT FIT your narrative. Just another day in your life.

          Let me go slow and say this again. Apple followed established law or rogue law, NOT of their doing, and the courts will decide. Simple as THAT.

          The rest is just another day for tedious paid lawyers to make their points for client profit.

          A EU leftist socialist Titan battle to go after the THE LARGEST American company for a big payday, nothing MORE.

          Obvious you don’t see it with your virtue signaling blinders on …

        2. Forgot, most definitely Mongolia and Siberia and Mongolia are in the EU. I hear Brazil and Mexico may be next. Now would that be something?

          See, you’re too busy nitpicking to discredit someone that sarcasm totally alludes you.

          The mark of a true leftist …

          1. Gawd! You a such a blithering git. Try just making a factual argument without the words leftist, socialist, liberal, etc. Go on… give it a shot. Just as an experiment. See if you can simply make a cogent argument.

          2. “established illegal rogue law”


            “I don’t sweat the details”

            It’s possible to deconstruct your whole shtick from these two statements…. the natural conclusion being that common sense, civility, factual veracity, legality, ‘political nous’, even a scintilla if self awareness… are all alien concepts you choose to ignore or are incapable of addressing.
            tldr: Blowhard.

            1. I read no such desconstructions. Just a rambling, incoherent litany of INSULTS. So who is the blowhard, again? Yeah, irony desert indeed …

  4. Well it doesn’t amaze me that one of MDN’s verbal diarrhoea sufferers manages to proclaim innocence before the court appeal case has even begun, indulges in casual unintelligent xenophobia and still manages the sleep of the vacuous-minded in an irony desert.
    So predictable.

  5. I always thought that a company or an individual pays tax to a jurisdiction where they derive an income from.

    By way of example:

    A person works for someone in country A and a certain amount of their income is paid in tax where the work is done. The company in turn pays tax in the country where they created the work.

    That being the case Apple should pay tax in a country based on where they sell a particular good or service.

    If as was the case with Apple it was attracted to Ireland for tax reasons and Ireland created a special tax zone to attract Apple and other companies to avoid tax, and that is against the rules that Ireland had agreed to as being a member of the EU then Apple then has to pay the difference, and that then creates a level playing field throughout the EU.

    Apple has been doing this around the world and in my neck of the woods (Australia) the company has been diverting profits to Singapore and paying tax at a much lower tax rate Because Singapore isn’t part of some mythical S.E. Asian/Pacific economic union the Australian government is quite rightly going after Apple (and Google, Facebook and Microsoft etc.) for tax avoidance.

    1. This has been done to death, but Apple has a real presence in Ireland, where they do in fact earn the revenue. It is NOT a PO Box, and the tax avoidance isn’t all about where IP is located, either…

      Apple has a physical Ireland location that is a very large operation employing thousands of locals. It is THE distribution center for all of Apple’s physical products to all of Europe, Africa and ME (I believe).

      Therefore any sales in that large region of the world go through Ireland. When I purchase at the online Apple store here in Netherlands, that isn’t a “Dutch” store, it is a local language representation of the Online Apple Store. My goods are dispatched from, yep, Ireland. Until recently, all products in the region went back there for service and refurbishment, too.

      The UK has most physical Apple Stores in Europe; some countries have only 1 or 2 physical Apple Stores, if any. Even so, the Ireland operation is THE WHOLESALE SUPPLIER for all the Apple Stores, and all other resellers throughout the region of Europe, Africa and ME. THAT is why the majority of the revenue and profits for all sales throughout the region are booked in Ireland.

      1. McBram,

        Which is why this is a suit that Apple and Ireland could win. I hope they do. This is a genuine dispute, not a shakedown where the law is well established and entirely on one side or the other. In civilized societies, we settle disputes like this in a courtroom. We do not turn them into political “war by other means,” pitting one hostile nation against another.

        The whole point of the European Union—as even Americans should realize—was and is to peacefully manage economic conflict between the member states because the 1914-45 period had proved that the alternative was intolerable. A vigorous, but regulated, free-market economy with some compromises to national sovereignty seemed preferable to a barter economy in a radioactive wasteland.

        To some of us—even Americans—it still does.

        1. Straightforward and factually correct as always. Thankyou.
          This court case will expose many of the ‘behind the scenes’ financial manoeuvres available to world corporations which coincidentally are mostly American owned. They use a range of IP investment transfer rules to set up blind headquarters that employ no-one. Apple had one in Ireland, using it to reduce its tax burden and to collect all its EU(and other territories) profits via various mechanisms which were set up to help with cross border payments when world trade was in its infancy. It’s not just the double Dutch sandwich, they used off-shore banking in the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar and Malta. Indeed, Apple has just moved all its IP from Ireland to the Channel Islands. The main aim seems to be keep it all moving around the globe until they can figure out what to do with their profits tied up in that IP. Is it a coincidence that they moved the IP after Trumps repatriation tax holiday?
          Many of these manoeuvres are legal, using official British offshore banking facilities – we seem to have created many of them. The problem seems to be in the interpretation of ‘the spirit of the law(s)’ regarding the $trillions that now flow through these mechanisms.
          I suspect most governments lack the legal expertise, financial muscle and the will to challenge the corporation’s power. Hence this case and yes, it had to be the biggest to have any credibility.
          It’s going to be interesting, very interesting. Governments will be called to explain their support for off-shore special arrangements, Apple will have to justify its ‘non-exclusive Irish tax deal’…no other similar has yet to surface, politicians on all sides will have to account for their own failures and even the EU will be called to account for it’s own special exemption deals – several have surfaced, in contravention of its own rules….to name a few.
          At the end of the long long process, many of the loopholes will have closed, the corporations will pay a bit more tax on their profits in the country where they were earned…much fairer by the way, Apple will make a nominal payment for ‘inconsistencies’ and the game will go on and moral responsibilities will be again on the back burner.
          Weirdness abounds for me too. I’m a conflicted shareholder – effectively my pension, but my own small company paid an effective tax rate proportionally 2000x greater than Apple’s Uk tax burden and yet I don’t blame Apple for using whatever is deemed within the law. What I deplore, is the ease with which Apple’s estimated $70B UK profits from the last decade, was transferred virtually untaxed to Eire and ultimately probably becoming part of a US tax holiday….with nary a murmur from my own country’s politicians or tax authorities. Again, all legal. Fair in a general or moral sense? not even remotely so.
          As far as I can tell, Apple lives and breathes the same business air as I do but I’ve no chance of reducing my taxation by 2000%.
          Why does it take so long to make totally justifiable changes? I have no answer given the present political worldwide ratfest.

          1. I agree completely. We need a rational international tax system so that companies can make important business decisions based on non-tax business reasons. Us free-market folks think that leads to the least wasteful allocation of resources. The current regime actually encourages game playing, and gives the richest players special advantages.

            However, we do not seem to be living in a time when international agreements, however mutually advantageous, are politically possible.

            1. “I agree completely. We need a rational international tax system so that companies can make important business decisions based on non-tax business reasons.”

              Finally! Exactly what I have been waiting for in all your hidden agenda arguments. As a liberal global socialist you advocate “international” control of taxation ignoring the laws and customs of sovereign nations. Maybe the stellar record of the United Nations can get it done.

              You made my day, thank you for finally admitting your hidden agenda …

            2. Thank you for admitting that you prefer international conflict to cooperation, GeoB. Do you ultra-nationalists just want to go back to 1939, to 1930 and Smoot-Hawley, or all the way to 1914 so we can replay the Great War, but with nuclear weapons?

              We, or most of us, live in a modern world where multinational companies do business in multiple countries. They should be regulated primarily by free-market forces. Free markets and the efficient movement of goods, capital, and labor are threatened by a patchwork of conflicting national tax schemes and other mandates that benefit nobody. It is in everybody’s interest to reduce the conflicts… but perhaps free-market capitalism is too socialist for you.

              Signing a treaty and—Gasp!—not breaking it isn’t an affront to “the laws and customs of sovereign nations.” It is an exercise of national sovereignty. That is why Article VI, clause 2 of the US Constitution provides:

              “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

              Be honest now. Do you think the Constitution was written by “global socialists” and should be replaced by a series of 280-character decrees from an ultra-nationalist in Washington? For my part, I don’t call xenophobia in a world with nuclear weapons “patriotic.” True patriots aren’t stupid or insane.

            3. “Thank you for admitting that you prefer international conflict to cooperation, GeoB.”

              There you go again putting thoughts in my head and words in my mouth! SHOW ME MY WORDS WHERE I SAID THAT.

              I’m not surprised, it is the snide know-it-all liberal globalist way. The MO: Tell me what to think, what words to use, what food to eat, what products to buy, what books to read, what media to watch, who to vote for, what to do in my spare time, where to go and where not to go and on and on. In your case TXuser, tell me what to think about international taxation. BTW, after you lied about me the rest of your post does not DESERVE the dignity of a reading.

              While now repeatedly pimping post after post on this topic, I can see how important it is to you. Use this lawsuit as a springboard to create another globalist boondoggle like the Paris Climate Accord and how is the United Nations working out?

              Formed in 1945 after World War II for “A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations” to prevent war, right. Billions wasted for meager results and the problems never get solved. Same parallel construction to the climate accord and now international taxation. Throw money at it, and voila!

              As the multiple N.Y. Times bestseller Dr. Michael Savage advocates on his radio show all the time, “borders, language, culture.” NOTHING BETTER.

              Let me guess, I do know you’ve read all his books. Here, I’ll help you out this time /s …

            4. I haven’t read Dr. Savage’s book about “borders, language, culture.” I have read an even more famous book about “blood and soil,” however. Didn’t agree with that one.

            5. There you go again. This is what I wrote verbatim:

              “As the multiple N.Y. Times bestseller Dr. Michael Savage advocates on his radio show all the time, “borders, language, culture.” NOTHING BETTER.”

              Where exactly did I say the good doctor wrote a book called “Borders, language, culture?” He may have, I honestly don’t know.

              This is what I’m trying to tell you but you don’t listen. I mention bestselling author early in the quote and later what he talks about on his radio show in quotes. You CONFLATE the two different statements and think it’s a book. Seriously?

              Quite obvious your “truths” are highly selective …

    2. “That being the case Apple should pay tax in a country based on where they sell a particular good or service.”
      And they already pay sales taxes, and VA Taxes, and GS Taxes, etc., in the countries they sell a particular good or service.

      Apple entered Ireland before there was an EU, and the choice of locating a business, has a whole variety of reasons, including taxes. Having a plentiful, qualified labor source is as important, if not more important. Having a stable gov’t. Having infrastructure. All are important, and one cannot just conclude that Apple or any country was attracted to Ireland solely for tax reasons.

      The EU has already ruled the Ireland tax rate is lawful. The EU has special tax zones that it also considers lawful. Look up the Portuguese island of Madeira. The same EU competition committee chairperson has supported Madeira’s tax rate until 2027. Your idea of a tax level-playing field as some sort of EU rule, is a myth.

      While to many the idea of where you make the sale seems to be where you made the income and where you should pay the tax, apparently, after having read some tax papers, I have come to the conclusion that that’s not actually the case. Most tax experts believe that a majority portion of the income generated should be allocated to the country of origin of invention. That’s the whole IP argument.

      Look it up. Apple hasn’t avoided tax. It’s paying $38B on all that foreign-income earned, not counting the foreign-paid tax it has already paid. The issue seems to be that it is paying it to the US Treasury, when the EU wants Apple to pay a large portion to the Irish Treasury. Obviously, Aussies would like Apple to pay more to the Australian Treasury. For Apple, it’s a wash, since any taxes paid to Ireland or Australia or any other foreign country would be credits on taxes to the US Treasury. The issue is where do those taxes belong. That’s a matter between gov’t treasuries, and tax accountants and lawyers, etc.

      1. Where the taxes belong is not purely an issue for tax accountants and lawyers. Businesses, like individuals, are asked to pay taxes because there are certain essential services (like the military, police, fire service, courts, etc.) that the taxpayer requires and the government needs to pay for.

        If an Apple-owned building in Cork catches fire, local Irish firefighters (and not the US Treasury) will be asked to put it out. If one of the 6000 Apple employees in Cork falls ill, the US Treasury will not be reimbursing the Irish Health Service Executive for providing care. If the traffic headed to the Apple plant requires that the streets be widened, nobody in America is going to pay for it.

        A rational international tax system would allocate the money to the jurisdictions that need it for providing the company (and its dependents) with adequate services and infrastructure.

      2. I learned more from your post here than any other. Clear, concise and easy to understand. If this deal was cut and laws passed before the EU was formed, well we know what the plaintiffs are after …

      3. A somewhat quixotic post, some right, some wrong. This…
        “While to many the idea of where you make the sale seems to be where you made the income and where you should pay the tax, apparently, after having read some tax papers, I have come to the conclusion that that’s not actually the case. Most tax experts believe that a majority portion of the income generated should be allocated to the country of origin of invention. That’s the whole IP argument.”
        Yes, I am aware of that argument, but answer me this.
        How can my business survive when my profits are taxed and Apple’s are not? The UK Treasury runs the country, the infrestructure, defense…well, you know it yourself…everything and it’s paid for by taxation. My taxation and all the other tens of thousands of companies throughout the land because we all benefit from improved services, stable trading conditions, employees general health and so on. Apple too benefits here in the UK from those self same stable trading conditions, probably more so than I do because I live in the country where nowhere near as much money is available from the government and services are poorer. Yet my company paid 2000x Apple’s profits taxation rate. Looked at another way, I am subsidizing Apple. How is that supposed to work?
        As for the ‘Apple already pays sales tax in one form or another…$32B worth’. Well yes, they do along with everyone else in business including me…it’s the cost of doing business and is part of a products sale price and is thus already accounted for. But my profits are taxed too.
        In your scenario, the major corporations become entitled overlords where the less fortunate pay all the corporations ‘infrastructure’ taxes who then remove large amounts of money from those economy’s where they operate. That way leads to ruination.

        1. “How can my business survive when my profits are taxed and Apple’s are not?”

          @Gotcha. Apple’s income is also taxed; they paid some to foreign Treasuries, and the majority of it to the US Treasury. Your company pays taxes and Apple pays taxes, the debate is where those taxes should go. For years, Apple paid about 25 to 26% in global taxes. After Trump’s tax reform, it appears Apple’s tax rate has dropped to around 15%.

          Are you sure you’re subsidizing Apple? Have you factored in all the taxes paid? All of Apple’s staff have to pay taxes on their income. There are also property taxes. Sales/VAT taxes. Public services aren’t primarily dependent upon corporate income, because companies don’t always make money. Say we have a company like Sears that is losing money, but employs 10s of thousands of employees. Since they lose money, they may pay little corporate income tax. By your reasoning, we, the public are subsidizing them. So, all companies losing money are on the dole, and we should be garnishing their wages. Governments know this. My local community relies primarily on property taxes to pay for public services like police, fire, education, because they are far more reliable sources of tax revenue than corporate income tax.

          No doubt there are market inefficiencies. Heck, tax is a market inefficiency. The problem is that the EU never harmonized tax rates amongst its members and recognized tax reciprocity amongst those same members. The EU even recognizes tax havens like Madeira as perfectly legal, and so lots of EU companies are HQ’d there with just a mailbox drop.

          “But my profits are taxed too. In your scenario, the major corporations become entitled overlords where the less fortunate pay all the corporations ‘infrastructure’ taxes who then remove large amounts of money from those economy’s where they operate.”
          And, as I pointed out, Apple’s profits have been taxed, so your company is not at a tax disadvantage. Your argument goes to the notion of companies paying the majority of tax where they are HQ’d. This has been the case for decades and countries have bilateral tax treaties recognizing reciprocity, because an advantage one way, is a disadvantage the opposite way.

          Think of it this way, while Apple pays very little to foreign treasuries, they pay alot to the country where they are HQ’d. Presumably, Samsung, a competitor of Apple’s, pays very little tax to the US Treasury, but pays alot to the Korean Treasury. Is it unfair to Apple that a large competitor, Samsung, pays very little tax in the US? Probably, but presumably a disadvantage somewhere is made up with an advantage somewhere else. Net-net it should balance out. In the UK, Apple pays very little tax, and so you may feel disadvantaged. But, some US pharmaceutical company is looking at a UK pharma, who pays very little tax in the US. It’s just the opposite, and for governments, they recognize reciprocity because they believe it will balance out.

  6. The first predecessor organization for the EU was founded in 1951. From the beginning, it was based on the principle of fostering free commercial competition by reducing interference from national competition, and particularly interference from national policies that restricted the free flow of goods, capital, and labor by subsidizing one business at the expense of a competitor. That is the very principle involved in Apple’s Irish tax case.

    Ireland joined what was by then called the European Community in 1973, and the eurozone in 1999. The treaties it signed embodied the same non-subsidy principle as the original treaty in 1951. To repeat: from 1973 forward, Ireland could not pass or enforce a law that contravened the obligations that it had voluntarily undertaken by joining the EC. The name change to European Union in 1992 (which Ireland voluntarily ratified) changed the governance of the organization, but changed no substantive treaty provisions relevant to Apple’s case.

    Apple Inc. did not even exist in 1973, so it has clearly never cut any deals with Ireland that were not subject to European treaty obligations. Whether the deals it did strike violated those obligations is hotly disputed, but none of the parties has ever argued that the treaties do not apply.

    1. Stop making statements that are factually incorrect and I will take a break from correcting them. You are entitled to your own opinions and I would never waste my time arguing against them. You are not entitled to your own facts and I will keep pointing out factual errors.

      Allowing you to keep repeating things that are provably incorrect (like “Apple’s deal with Ireland was made before the EU was formed”) runs the danger that the untruth, if repeated often enough, will start looking plausible. Worse, it risks reinforcing the increasingly popular untruth that everything is just a matter of opinion, so the very notion of truth is irrelevant.

      I’m sure you think I’m an atheistic socialist, but my inspiration here is the eternal conflict between One who called Himself “the Truth and the Life,” and another that He called, “The father of lies.” The truth matters to me, even if you find that commitment tedious.

      1. A little taken aback you accuse me of the same things you practice yourself. Are you that self-righteous or are you practicing the art of a dishonest politician getting out in front early to accuse an opponent of exactly what they themselves are doing? Whatever.

        You want to talk truth, great. Two examples, your words:

        “Allowing you to keep repeating things that are provably incorrect (like “Apple’s deal with Ireland was made before the EU was formed”) runs the danger that the untruth”

        This is what I posted verbatim:

        “If this deal was cut and laws passed before the EU was formed, well we know what the plaintiffs are after …”

        Read the first word again: “IF”. It is the most important word. So, how the hell do you have a right to accuse me of spreading “untruth?”

        Example two, your words:

        “I’m sure you think I’m an atheistic socialist”

        You’re “sure?” And where is your evidence since we never met? There you go again offering opinion as fact. I’ll help you out — the words you should have used is I suspect, not “I’m sure.” That has a snide ring to it.

        I have great respect for the truth. You at times, do not not because of your idealist politics. I’ve read many of your statements claiming I can guarantee or tell you this or that for certain without offering concrete evidence. At times conflating opinion with fact and offer it as God’s honest truth.

        You’ve done it on this very thread and I pointed it out with your quote and you simply IGNORED me.

        OK, I see how you are. So much for the Almighty Minister of Truth …

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