In Ireland on Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook backed changes to the global corporate tax system, agreeing with the general consensus that global tax rules need to be overhauled. Currently, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is pursuing global reforms over where multinational firms such as Apple should be taxed.
“I think logically everybody knows it needs to be rehauled, I would certainly be the last person to say that the current system or the past system was the perfect system. I’m hopeful and optimistic that they (the OECD) will find something,” Cook said. “It’s very complex to know how to tax a multinational… We desperately want it to be fair,” the Apple CEO added after receiving an inaugural award from the Irish state agency responsible for attracting foreign companies recognizing the contribution of multinationals in the country.
Apple is one of Ireland’s largest multinational employers with 6,000 workers and both it and the Irish government have gone to court to fight a European Union order that Apple must pay 13 billion euros ($14.41 billion) in back taxes to Dublin. The appeal to the EU’s second-highest court began in September and could run for years. Cook said Apple’s belief that “law should not retrofitted” was at the heart of the case and that the company had great faith in the justice system.
MacDailyNews Take: Certainly, the global corporate tax system needs much work and, hopefully, somehow, the EU mandated tax grab will fail in EU courts. (Fat chance.)
As for Apple’s strong stance on privacy, Cook said this:
I think more regulation is needed in this area, it is probably strange for a business person to be talking about regulation but it has become apparent that companies will not self-police in this area. We were one of the first to endorse GDPR, we think it is overall extremely good, not only for Europe. We think it’s necessary but not sufficient. You have to go further and that further is required to get privacy back to where it should be. — Apple CEO Tim Cook