Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Oct 2017 11:06 UTC
Legal

The European Commission has concluded that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon of around €250 million. This is illegal under EU State aid rules because it allowed Amazon to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Luxembourg must now recover the illegal aid.

Remember when Tim Cook lied about the EU only going after Apple because Apple is big? Apple's illegal deal with Ireland is just one on a long, long list of illegal deals the EU is cracking down on.

Anyway, speaking of the 13 billion euro Apple stole from EU citizens:

The European Commission has decided to refer Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover from Apple illegal State aid worth up to €13 billion, as required by a Commission decision.

[...]

Today, more than one year after the Commission's decision, Ireland has still not recovered any of the illegal aid. Furthermore, although Ireland has made progress on the calculation of the exact amount of the illegal aid granted to Apple, it is only planning to conclude this work by March 2018 at the earliest.

The crackdown on these illegal tax deals hopefully only represents the first step in cracking down on the grotesquely questionable conduct of large technology (and other sectors) companies. Backroom deals between governments and powerful corporations so they can effectively avoid paying any taxes while the rest of us do our civic duty by paying our taxes to pay for our schools, roads, hospitals, police, firefighters, and so on are a travesty.

If Apple, Amazon, Google, and others want to make use of the juicy fruits of European welfare states, they better start paying their fair share.

Order by: Score:
Apple is following the law
by jonsmirl on Wed 4th Oct 2017 12:01 UTC
jonsmirl
Member since:
2005-07-06

If you want to crack down on someone, crack down on the countries making these deals.

Given that Ireland is not pursuing Apple with much vigor, it appears that Ireland is not unhappy with its deal.

EU government is giving off the aura of a pack of thieves after that ridiculous $2.7B fine against Google. Forget about the profits from that unit, that fine is much larger than the revenue that unit has generated in the last 10 years. Fines should be proportional to the crime committed.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Apple is following the law
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 4th Oct 2017 12:19 UTC in reply to "Apple is following the law"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If you want to crack down on someone, crack down on the countries making these deals.


That's exactly what they are doing.

Given that Ireland is not pursuing Apple with much vigor, it appears that Ireland is not unhappy with its deal.


Irrelevant. The tax deal is illegal, and Ireland is not a victim - it's a perpetrator. Collecting the stolen money would basically mean Ireland is declaring itself guilty.

Edited 2017-10-04 12:21 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Apple is following the law
by jonsmirl on Wed 4th Oct 2017 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple is following the law"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

This article has a broader view. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/21/european-commission-plan... It addresses how some of the EU member states want to be tax havens and are blocking EU wide tax policy.

Reply Score: 3

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Does it explains how Goldman & Sachs helped Greece to forge its accounts, thus leading to its collapse, while the bank flew away free of charges ? The EU is now itself on the edge of collapse, which proves its weak balance, and most of all its profound unsolidarity, what Germany have showed the World how unfair and imperialistic they can be.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Apple is following the law
by sj87 on Wed 4th Oct 2017 15:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple is following the law"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

The EU has no right of taxation at ALL, it is the member states. the EU is gladly not funded by taxation (yet at least, unless traitor Macron gets his wish through)

Funding of the eu comes from membership dues and grants by the member states.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Wed 4th Oct 2017 12:11 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

Sad thing is that no company will pay this from their own money. It will roll back to the end customer with a higher tax calculation.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

And if Ireland tells me, my plans are ok with them, who am I to doubt the Irish tax-bureau on that matter?


If a local government official tell you it's okay to give him favours, but the national/federal government finds out and prosecutes you for bribery, you're still f--ked.

Apple paid an effective tax rate of 0.005%. It knew damn well what it was doing.

Edited 2017-10-04 13:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

cybergorf Member since:
2008-06-30

Since there is no European Ministery of Finance or something like that, yes, every company has to deal with the local authorities in that matter.

And these are the only ones to blame.
Top 3 of European Tax-Avoiding-Helpers:

Luxembourg
Netherlands
Ireland

Edited 2017-10-04 19:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

As a fellow Dutch citizen.

Be careful what you wish for The Netherlands does a lot of deals themselves and is making good money with it. I think in the case of/for The Netherlands it is financially positive they do this.

It's ethically not a great position to be in. Obviously.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by p13.
by p13. on Wed 4th Oct 2017 13:26 UTC
p13.
Member since:
2005-07-10

I'm looking forward to this money actually benefitting us Europeans ...

Ha
Haha
Aaah

Reply Score: 2

Good
by Poseidon on Wed 4th Oct 2017 14:24 UTC
Poseidon
Member since:
2009-10-31

As it should be. Corporations, if they claim to be great should pay their taxes since their conglomeration destroys small businesses and their tax, imiacting societies terribly.

Reply Score: 7

v Comment by DrJohnnyFever
by DrJohnnyFever on Wed 4th Oct 2017 14:46 UTC
Kancept
Member since:
2006-01-09

So glad this only happens in the EU! This NEVER happens here is the US. Everyone pays all of their taxes across the board.

Reply Score: 4

Anon
Member since:
2006-01-02

... and the UK can give them a 15% tax rate then if they want. Any corporation tax income is better than none!

Reply Score: 1

Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

That would depend on whether those companies will be able to effectively trade with the EU from the UK after Brexit.

Reply Score: 4

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

We'll see if the UK has learned from the past.

As I understood it in the past they were spending more on subsidising these big companies than actually getting money from them.

Reply Score: 3

in Italy we're calling it "web tax"
by arkeo on Thu 5th Oct 2017 00:26 UTC
arkeo
Member since:
2008-04-21

I totally agree, but if I may say so it's the EU that's moving far too slowly.
A couple of weeks ago I read a report on this matter. Piaggio, maker of Vespa and the MP3 three-wheeled hybrid scooter, pays about €11M in revenue taxes. Apple Google Amazon etc COMBINED pay the same amount.
I'm scared. We're not citizens anymore, just customers.

Reply Score: 4

big
by nicubunu on Thu 5th Oct 2017 05:17 UTC
nicubunu
Member since:
2014-01-08

Not that I am siding with Apple here, just nitpicking: Amazon is also big to this doesn't disprove Cook's narative.

Reply Score: 1

RE: big
by Vanders on Thu 5th Oct 2017 10:52 UTC in reply to "big"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Small companies don't generally get to make lucrative under the table deals with sovereign state's tax agencies. Cook's rant is kind of like a billionaire complaining that yacht maintenance is an unfair burden that only affects people who own yachts.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: big
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 5th Oct 2017 10:59 UTC in reply to "RE: big"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

And it's not even right. The list of companies fined for the exact same dodgy tax deals is long, and contains mostly small European companies.

Reply Score: 4