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EU Businesses The Almighty Buck Apple

Apple To Start Paying Ireland the Billions It Owes In Back Taxes (engadget.com) 124

Last year, Apple was ordered to pay a record sum of 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) plus interest after the European Commission said Ireland illegally slashed the iPhone maker's tax bill. "But Ireland was rather slow to start collecting that cash, which led the Commission to refer the Irish government to the European Court of Justice in October due to Ireland's non-compliance with the 2016 ruling," reports Engadget. "However, the Wall Street Journal reports today that the country will finally start collecting those billions of dollars owed by Apple and it may start doing so early next year." From the report: Both Apple and Ireland have fought back against the ruling -- Ireland has said that the European Union overstepped its authority and got some of the country's laws wrong while Apple has maintained that the amount it's being told to repay was miscalculated. Both are continuing to appeal the decision and the money will sit in an escrow fund while they do so. Ireland has said that negotiating the terms of that fund is what has held up its collection of the money but the European Commission said that the action it has taken against Ireland for failing to follow the 2016 ruling will proceed until the money is collected in full.

Apple To Start Paying Ireland the Billions It Owes In Back Taxes

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  • Black Taxes, White Taxes ... what's the difference?
  • Apple (and a lot of other corporations, to be honest) pulled a LOT of tricks to keep from paying taxes in the U.S. and elsewhere. I suppose it's nice some country is getting a big corporation to pay up, and if it's Ireland, I'm certain it was a sweet deal to start with (just to get Apple to settle down there in the first place).

    Here's hoping Ireland uses some of the money to finish some lovely road and railway and railway projects - they need 'em.

    • Do you know how many 'drunk and disorderly' fines Ireland owes to the 'World Night Court'? It's a staggering figure.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      what Ireland is terrified of is their reputation of being a great tax haven is being tarnished which will not only stop the flow of big companies to Ireland it may make many think about leaving for greener pastures as why the fuck would you ever move a company to Ireland without that benefit.
      • They're in financial hell from lack of taxes and won't tax because some other country will let Apple skate if they don't. We need international tax laws to stop this.

        • That's what this article is about. The EU is enforcing their international tax laws on Ireland.

          • Nope, the EU is enforcing Irelands tax laws on Ireland. Corporation tax rates in the EU are 9-35%, with around 15-25% in most places where you'd actually want to set up a company. Corporation tax rates in Ireland are 12.5% and 25% for trading and non-trading income. Apple's tax rate in Ireland is 0.005%. The EU is simply saying that Apple has to pay corporation tax at the rate that the Irish tax code defines it, not at a special Apple rate.
    • if it's Ireland, I'm certain it was a sweet deal to start with (just to get Apple to settle down there in the first place).

      That's the point. The EU doesn't allow "sweet deals" to get Apple to settle there in the first place. This payment are all the back taxes now that the deal Ireland gave them has been determined to be illegal and was unwound.

  • Will Ireland exit the EU next?
    • by vadim_t ( 324782 )

      No, why would they? Ireland voted against independence because they wanted to stay in the EU. They like it there.

    • With Britain leaving of course they would want to stay.

    • I don't know. Has Ireland been showing suicidal tendencies? You think Brexit is bad? Imagine what it would be like for a country that has even less manufacturing and GDP and is even more dependent on bloc trade.

    • A huge part of Ireland's economy is a result of being a country that has lower corporation tax rates[1] than most of western Europe, good connections to the rest of the EU, and is part of the common market and so can import / export with the rest of the EU without any tariffs or customs inspections. Remove them from the EU, and expect to see most big businesses leave.

      [1] Not threatened by this ruling. They can keep their 12.5% rate for everyone, just not the special Apple 0.005% rate.

      • Another advantage is that Ireland is English-speaking, which is a plus for US companies. I'm really wondering what my company is going to do after Brexit.

        • I wonder how important that actually is. Google, for example, has English-speaking offices in Germany, France and Switzerland. Having English as the native language makes it easy to recruit locals, but for high-skill jobs you're likely expecting people to relocate anyway, and Paris is a lot easier to persuade people to move to than Cork.
  • I hate it when companies think it is OK to become filthy rich and not have to pay any taxes. Instead they move their money into some off shore account to avoid this. I guess Apple should think about putting them money back into the US and help OUR economy!
  • 1. Offer a sweetheart tax deal to very large company. Collect almost no taxes.
    2. Get caught out by the EU.
    3. Demand payment of back taxes from the large company.

    This 13B euro is more than Ireland would have ever collected through its illegal low tax scheme over the next decades or more, so, even if no large companies chose to route their profits through Ireland, the country is still ahead on the deal and can blame someone else for the deal falling apart.

    It's a brilliant move by Ireland!

    • Seems like that could have been their plan. Did the EU fine them 13 billion to discourage Ireland from doing that?

      • No. The EU just forced Ireland to collect the taxes.

        I think a lot of people on /. had a problem understanding this simple concept: The EU didn't fine Ireland; instead the EU just told Ireland to collect all those lovely back taxes.

        There was a threat of some kind of penalty had Ireland not collected the back taxes, but this has not yet happened.

        • I understand that the EU forced Ireland to collect taxes. I just wasn't sure if they also fined Ireland. Because, otherwise, they're incentivizing exactly your (sarcastically stated?) plan.

          • Because, otherwise, they're incentivizing exactly your (sarcastically stated?) plan.

            Except that if you're big enough to get such a deal then you probably have more lawyers on staff than Ireland and know very what your doing. Apple must have known full well it was a gamble.

            • The fine wouldn't be because I'm worried about Ireland taking advantage of Apple. It's because (using France as an example), suppose Ireland and France are both trying to woo Apple. Ireland offers an illegal tax rebate, France does not. Eventually Ireland's tax rebate is overturned. Apple knew the risks, Ireland wins, but France (and the rest of the EU countries) lose out.

    • Except that now Apple will quit bribing the politicians that let them set up the tax deal in the first place.

      • Except that now Apple will quit bribing the politicians that let them set up the tax deal in the first place.

        And how is that a problem? Seems like a bonus to me.

  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @08:22PM (#55676873)

    The less money they have in their bank account, the more they'll have to actually work on making their Macs better in order to sell more of them.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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