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Businesses EU The Almighty Buck Apple

Apple Settles a $348M Fine With Italian Authorities For Tax Evasion (reuters.com) 87

jaromil writes: Apple Italy, a subsidiary of Apple Sales International based in Ireland, has for years managed the company's sales on the Italian Peninsula. As Italian tax authorities noticed the company did not file any income tax declarations between 2008 and 2013, they opened a court case for an estimated debt of €880M. Apple Italy has now settled for a fine of €318M ($348M), while three managers involved in the tax fraud still need to face court. "The settlement comes amid a European Commission investigation into the tax arrangements of numerous multinational companies accused of using cross-border structures to reduce their tax bills, sometimes with the help of secret and potentially illegal 'sweetheart' deals."
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Apple Settles a $348M Fine With Italian Authorities For Tax Evasion

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tim Cook said Apple has never cheated on taxes anywhere, ever!!!! How could he say such a thing?

    • In organizations they are usually a few bad apples especially when they get the size of Apple.
      Now for those managers who are to blame. The issue is what pressures caused them to do this. Was it part of Apple culture that made them think that this was the right thing to do... Or was it just something that they did by themselves hoping they wouldn't get caught figuring that they will just happily look good with the profit numbers.

  • Now for the rest of the EU. And for Facebook, Google et al.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Now for the rest of the EU. And for Facebook, Google et al.

      For the rest of the world. They all use these despicable avoidance schemes everywhere they operate. They've had their fun, stolen form the publics' pocket the planet wide. Now is the time to close these loopholes created for oligarchs to protect their wealth while making the the 99.999% of the planet pick up the tab.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The company's chief executive, Tim Cook, has rejected accusations that the firm has been sidestepping US taxes by stashing cash overseas, insisting: "We pay every tax dollar we owe."

    Of course they do.

    They lobby for preferential tax treatment for local and federal taxes. They use the law they and other powerful entities lobbied for to reduce or eliminate their tax bill. Then they can honestly say that they pay what they owe because they rigged the system so that they don't owe.

    The Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules - Robert Kiyosaki

    We peons get holding the bag.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @10:10AM (#51208345)
    in America? Corps benefit handsomely from our infrastructure, school systems and workforce subsidies. I'd like to see them paying for some of those benefits, and so far Federally levied taxes are the only thing that works. The States & Cities just drop their pants and give 'em free money because their fighting amongst themselves (or their bought off, it's dirt cheap to buy off State Legislatures here).
    • I'd like to see them paying for some of those benefits

      No you can't because mega corps aren't evading taxes in America, they are just following laws as written.

      This is a problem you can't blame corporations for and it can only be solved on the level of your own government, who I agree are too busy fellating CEOs in exchange for "jobs" which never materialise.

    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

      Corps benefit handsomely from our infrastructure, school systems and workforce subsidies. I'd like to see them paying for some of those benefits...

      So, more road tolls then? Can you think of a more equitable way to pay for freeways than by usage?

      Even better, express tolls permanently eliminate traffic congestion and with it any need to widen the road to eliminate traffic congestion. That would save taxpayers a lot of money going forward.

    • See, you have a mistaken idea. The idea that, once governments get all this money from somewhere, that things will be fixed and demand will be satisfied. This, in fact, never happens.

      Perversely, the existence of more money simply creates more demand for more money. Feed the beast, and it just grows bigger. Economics, the dismal science.

    • Cook has a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders to maximize profits. If he were to repatriate $200B and pay an outrageous 40% tax on it, he would be sued into the stone age for needlessly squandering $80B. None of this capital will come into America until it gets its corporate taxes under control. Until then, the rest of the world thanks you. Enjoy missing out!
      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Cook has a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders to maximize profits. If he were to repatriate $200B and pay an outrageous 40% tax on it, he would be sued into the stone age for needlessly squandering $80B. None of this capital will come into America until it gets its corporate taxes under control. Until then, the rest of the world thanks you. Enjoy missing out!

        First, let's split it up into Apple US, and Apple Rest-of-World.

        Apple US pays all the taxes. If you buy an iPhone in the US, it's sold by Apple U

    • in America? Corps benefit handsomely from our infrastructure, school systems and workforce subsidies. I'd like to see them paying for some of those benefits, and so far Federally levied taxes are the only thing that works.

      Isn't it odd that Apple pays billions of dollars in US taxes each year and gets blasted for using too little of American workforce subsidies, wile a company that makes billions in revenue taxing (pun intended) the US infrastructure heavily only pays a few million in taxes (if it doesn't post losses again).

      In case you haven't noticed, I'm talking about Amazon.

  • by sittingnut ( 88521 ) <sittingnut@gmail ... inus threevowels> on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @10:11AM (#51208347) Homepage

    that apple cheats on taxes is not surprising, current apple is built on deception.
    it charges for products well in excess of their costs( all costs, including design and development) and gets away with it due to marketing hype, and idiocy of the consumers, and failure of the media to check and reveal facts

    • by tomxor ( 2379126 )

      I hate to defend Apple, I think your mostly correct - but i find it hard to match some of their MBPs with PCs at the same price at the moment, (you can match it) but then often you have to choose between poorer build quality and a worse display or a much lower spec with better build quality, i don't even care about getting the fastest thing, but if it's the same price and you get the best of both I might as well have an MBP, maybe the pricing is a little different in the UK though. I don't think this was as

      • And how much bonus do you give to the Mac for not having to deal with Windows 10?

        • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
          I use boot camp you insensitive clod.
        • And how much bonus do you give to the Mac for not having to deal with Windows 10?

          On Slashdot? None at all. Haven't you noticed?

        • by tomxor ( 2379126 )
          Doesn't really factor into it, i'd use linux or FreeBSD on either, preferably the later but that depends on the specific hardware... Windows isn't really an option for me if i want to keep my sanity. Although OS X is less bad but still a bit bloaty.
    • that apple cheats on taxes is not surprising, current apple is built on deception. it charges for products well in excess of their costs( all costs, including design and development) and gets away with it due to marketing hype, and idiocy of the consumers, and failure of the media to check and reveal facts

      Interesting, Really?

      More like Offtopic and Troll.

      Get with it, mods. Damn!

    • So charging a price that hundreds of millions of people think is fair (thus, their repeated purchases) is somehow deception now.

      What's your solution to that? Some kind of government mandated gross margin law where someone can only charge x% more than the total cost of good sold? Because I'm sure that wouldn't completely collapse any companies or entire sectors of industry at all.

  • From a strictly bottom line perspective, for profit corporations have an obligation to avoid unnecessary expenses.

    Governments have an insatiable need for tax money, and yet they write the legislation filled with loopholes that the corporations exploit.

    Level playing fields are important, but if you leave a legal way to avoid taxation in the code, most folks are going to take advantage of the exemption.

  • All right, if these low-life motherfucking thugs swindled Italy out of €880M in taxes, why is Italy settling for a payment of only €318M? They obviously owe €880M, plus interest and penalties, plus criminal fines and imprisonment.

    • 318M is 880M.

      After Big Luigi's cut.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is easily answered, Italian government needs money fast, so they could wait for the case to go to it's length (and courts in Italy are SLOOOOW), and perhaps get all the owed money (or nothing, because courts here are so slow that many cases get prescribed before a judgment can be reached), but getting some quick and dirty money is better for them.

  • sometimes with the help of secret and potentially illegal 'sweetheart' deals.

    Like those done by the EU president Jean-Claude Juncker.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    And people still want to stay in the EU who is also currently ignoring 3,000,000+ petition signatures and pushing TTIP, FML.

    • by maligor ( 100107 )

      sometimes with the help of secret and potentially illegal 'sweetheart' deals.

      Like those done by the EU president Jean-Claude Juncker.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      And people still want to stay in the EU who is also currently ignoring 3,000,000+ petition signatures and pushing TTIP, FML.

      So you actually think we wouldn't have ACTA if the EU didn't exist? Assuming the same treaty got to the same point, but in a world where the EU didn't exist, do you think a few Eastern European countries would've stopped it from coming into force?

      I'd say it's quite the opposite, the Parliament actually seems to respond to public outcry, and it has the power to nullify trade treaties of it's member states. The laws certainly should be explicitly changed to force transparency on any trade agreement negotiatio

      • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

        The EU parliament responds to public outcry because MEPs have to get voted in, but it's not the MEPs strongly pushing TTIP etc, it's the commission, they aren't elected or democratic or accountable.

        I honestly don't see what good the EU is doing these days, but I can certainly seem the massive harm it's about to do.

        The commission want to harmonise standards with TTIP, the problem is they want to degrade the standards that protect our health and the environment, something they've clearly shown they have no co

  • ...they opened a court case for an estimated debt of €880M. Apple Italy has now settled for a fine of €318M ($348M)

    Since when do criminals get to negotiate their own fines? Especially at a rate which is lower than the estimated damages.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It is not a fine. It is a settlement. That is, according to Apple they do not owe any taxes, Italy thinks Apple owes â880M, they agreed on â318.
      It seems they both think this is about the best deal they would get if they let it go to court.

      You don't like this ? Blame the lawmakers. The laws are apparently so complex and convoluted that calculating taxes owed is not straightforward making this kind of abhorrent situations possible.

    • I'm sure Italy's tax bureau works much like the IRS. When the IRS thinks you have cheated on your taxes or you haven't filed returns, what they do is take your income and multiply it by the tax rate. No deductions are included and all penalties and interest are calculated on this amount. But if you begin negotiations to pay the bill with the IRS they will often let you file actual returns that included deductions. These deductions significantly reduce owed taxes. In addition on large negotiated settlements

  • where are the tech stories? And no, I do not own any apple products.
  • Why not do it again?

    This was a sweetheart deal for Apple.

    The managers were probably well compensated for their risk too.

    Italy should have collected the back taxes owned plus penalties.

    • Italy believes Apple was supposed to pay €880m in tax between 2008 and 2013, and Apple only had to pay €318m instead. If this report is accurate, Apple's tax evasion appears to have been handsomely rewarded. Perhaps Italy's estimate of taxes owed turned out to be wrong. Maybe. However, I suspect the tax authorities simply decided it was easier for them personally to just settle. The problem is that this creates a terrible precedent... and also robs their citizens of the services those taxes
      • Corporate profits are imaginary. You can imagine they are located anywhere. It makes sense to imagine they are located in low-tax locations.

        This contrasts to wages and dividend payments, which are directly attributed to where the recipient works and lives, respectively.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tim Cook just did a fluff piece on 60 Minutes where he proclaimed Apple never does tax evasion. OK, so I guess chalk up another lie for another CEO who obviously is only concerned about the bottom line and stock holders. ^0 Minutes did themselves no credit by doing such a worthless infomercial piece as what they did with Apple. Truly a step in the gray area of investigative journalism.

    • It's probably true that Apple doesn't evade taxes. It does avoid them, however, which is not only legal, but he has a legal obligation to shareholders to avoid unnecessary expenses. The summary contains the humourous line "accused of using cross-border structures to reduce their tax bills". Wow, corporations have been accused of *not* breaking the law! I'll bet you're doing something right now that *doesn't* break the law. Report to prison immediately!
  • Once again illustrating the stupidity of corporate income taxes. All taxes should be levied at the level of consumption by the end consumer. Not their income, not their employer's income, etc, etc.

    • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

      When I break your law and buy things for my own consumption using fake reseller papers to avoid paying your tax, does that illustrate the stupidity of your tax plan?

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