Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st May 2013 21:45 UTC
Legal "There's a disconnect between how Apple CEO Tim Cook sees his company's tax strategies and how some members of the US Senate view it. That became clearer than ever today after Cook and two other Apple executives testified before Congress, explaining why they're holding most of their international income in Irish subsidiaries like Apple Operations International, which declare no tax residency anywhere in the world. AOI hasn't filed a tax return anywhere in the world for the last five years, yet it earned $30 billion in income from 2009 to 2012, according to a Senate report released yesterday." Just because something is legal, doesn't mean it's just. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and many more - these companies might not be breaking any laws, but it's obvious to anyone that what they are doing is scummy.
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RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Soulbender on Wed 22nd May 2013 08:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Member since:

I don't think it's scummy to read the law and figure out how to optimize your business without breaking the law.

Actually, that's exactly what scummy is: finding loopholes to avoid doing what's required of you.
It's like saying it's not scummy for a restaurant owner to find loopholes in the sanitary regulations so that he could "legally" serve food unfit for human consumption.

That said, I agree with Nelson that the anger would be better focuses on those that fail to create the proper laws and regulations in the first place, especially since they quite often fail due to lobby pressure.,

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 22nd May 2013 08:15 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:

It's not scummy.

Let's say you need a car for the period of one year. Your dad gives you $100000, but if you buy a car you need to pay him $50000 back for which you get nothing.

So you rend a car, which turns out to be a little more expensive than buying one, but you don't need to pay the $50000 back so in the end it's much cheaper and you don't break the rules.

Does that make you a scumbag? I'd say it makes you a smart person.

If people and companies follow the rules you can't blame them if they figure out how to make it work best for them. If we don't like it we should change the rules.

In basketball players started to block the ball on its way down. It wasn't scummy, it was within the rules. But people didn't like it, so they changed the rules and it isn't allowed anymore.

What is happing now is that the US sees Apple's large cash pile and they want Apple to hand it over without them giving anything in return.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Drumhellar on Wed 22nd May 2013 10:05 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Drumhellar Member since:

What is happing now is that the US sees Apple's large cash pile and they want Apple to hand it over without them giving anything in return.

Nothing in return... except powerful IP protection, US pressure for other governments to adopt strong IP protection, apathy within government towards actually doing something to stop China from manipulating their currency against the Dollar in violation of trade treaties, tax policy designed to benefit investors over everybody else, tax policy designed to give advantage to large corporate entities, tax subsidies for being an online store, tax subsidies for being a manufacturer, or even a quality public eduction system all the way up to the college level for training the engineers they eventually hire. Yup. Nothing at all.
(I feel like I should mention the aqueduct.)

Apple lobbied heavily during the Bush administration to get the corporate tax rate lowered, on the promise that they'd spend more within the US. The corporate tax rate was lowered, more exemptions carved out, yet Apple didn't start spending more in the US in any appreciable amount attributable to the reduced rates.
Now, they say if the corporate tax rate is lowered some more, this time they really will spend more money within the US. Really! This time, they mean it!

Apple isn't the only one that does this. GE infamously paid $0 in taxes in 2010(?) off of a couple billion in profits. However, Apple has huge profit margins, and doesn't really do anything anywhere to generate good will. I lived in Silicon Valley when I was in elementary and middle school, and our math and science classes would frequently have volunteers from the major tech companies help teach engineering and math concepts. Intel had the largest presence (Including an annual field trip to one the local fab - child-sized clean-room gear and all.), but we'd get people from HP or Sun, even smaller companies. Never from Apple. They weren't willing to make one of their engineers make the 10 minute drive to our school. They'd sure send sales staff, though.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by bile on Wed 22nd May 2013 11:46 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
bile Member since:

It's like saying it's not scummy for a restaurant owner to find loopholes in the sanitary regulations so that he could "legally" serve food unfit for human consumption.

Providing a shoddy service and the payment of taxes are entirely different things. Taxes are confiscations of wealth. In other circles... it's called theft. Courts in the USA have ruled that taxed entitites have no obligations outside what is in the law. There is no "moral" obligation to pay taxes. There is only a legal statute.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Shane on Wed 22nd May 2013 12:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Shane Member since:

Pretty much. There's nothing ethical about taxes. It's a legal device. An imperfect device with arbitrary rules.

I pay more taxes than the average citizen in my country. Sure, I also earn more than the average citizen. But I work way more too. However, the way in which I'm taxed is thus: the more I earn, the higher the taxed percentage of my income is.

I'm still one person. I use the same amount of healthcare and other facilities as the average citizen. I pay more taxes because the state has decided that I can afford to. Yet I only earn more because I also work more.

Taxation is not about ethics. Don't pretend it is.

Reply Parent Score: 3