Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Sep 2016 22:42 UTC

Matt Gardner, the director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, took a look at Tim Cook's terrible letter to EU consumers regarding Apple's tax evasion, and pretty much tears it to shreds.

Apple created a complicated web of subsidiaries to avoid taxes, and the Irish government allowed it. Both the company and the country were complicit in this agreement. The idea that Ireland gave Apple guidance on "how to comply correctly with Irish tax law" makes both parties sound less guilty than they are. A better characterization would be that Apple cooked up a tax-dodging scheme, and Ireland allowed it.

Further along, Gardner actually opens up a major can of worms, arguing that either Apple provided false figures in its annual report, or Tim Cook is lying in his letter to EU consumers:

It doesn't appear to be even remotely truthful based on the numbers they publish in their annual reports. Each year they report that the majority of their profits are earned outside the U.S., with roughly a third (on average, over the past five years) coming from the U.S. When you look at the 10K, the annual report for 2015, you see the company reports earnings of $72 billion worldwide, and just one third of those profits are attributed to the U.S. And yet Cook's statement says that the vast majority of their income is taxed in the U.S.

We think that is a very low estimate. It certainly appears that the company is shifting profits out of the U.S. and into tax havens overseas. So one of these things must not be true: Either the numbers presented to shareholders in their annual report are false, or Tim Cook's new statement that the majority of its profits are taxed in the U.S is false. They both can't be true.

That's a bold claim to make, but it's hard, if not impossible, to argue with Gardner on this one. Since it's incredibly unlikely Apple is falsifying its annual reports, the most logical conclusion is that Tim Cook is lying in the open letter.

Tim - if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

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Member since:

Good thing, then, that the EU isn't trying to do this. I have no idea why you still spread this nonsense, since by now, everybody who can read knows this isn't about applying any new law as Tim Cook tells in his lying letter, but a mere case of enforcing long-standing legislation banning state aid.

the charge that Ireland specifically colluded with Apple is so far unsupported and probably complete fiction.

The Commission is invoking a law that doesn't apply in order to get the effect of a law that doesn't exist.

When the EU says Ireland provided state aid to Apple, they are lying. When Tim Cook says the EU is trying to apply what they wish Irish law had been, he is hitting the nail on the head.

Reply Parent Score: 1

dionicio Member since:

Irish Law and Regulations always public. If conflicting, or loosely aligned, or word misleading to EU's, THEN the Union should had indicted. [As is quite probably going to do].

As far as Cupertino goes, contemporaneous Irish Laws and Regulations, only.

EU failed oversight over members' Law-frames shouldn't be deflected down the fiscal chain.

If wanting to be so, then create an European Fiscal-Framing, supersede and later obsolete the Irish Fiscal Laws.

Reply Parent Score: 2

dionicio Member since:

As I understand, any European working for the EU is an European Citizen, and swear fidelity to the Union, over his own Country.

So, any Irish Fiscal Lawyer Team working for the European Union is obligated to fully advice the EU. Future Wise.

Reply Parent Score: 1

JAlexoid Member since:

Here's the thing - if EC can prove that Apple intended to get around the laws, then Apple is fully accountable for the back-taxes.

EU treaties already supersede Irish Fiscal Laws in many cases. EC is the executive branch that is tasked to make sure that these treaties are followed.

I think that Apple did know and that it was their intent to do what they did. They also can't show social benefits for getting those special conditions, as it is alleged. Apple's Irish staff is a mere smidgen in comparison to Google or Microsoft.

PS: While Apple is a big fish - it's not the first time EC has done this.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Wondercool Member since:

How can you call wilfully not collecting tax by waiving money to the sum of 13 billlliiiooonnnnn not state aid?

Reply Parent Score: 2

dionicio Member since:

"...Angela Merkel has expressed fears the €13bn Apple tax ruling will hurt investment in Europe, putting her on the same side as Ireland in a looming showdown over the limits of national sovereignty and the rights of the federally minded European Commission.

She is understood to be taking particular issue with the retroactive nature of the ruling -"

Reply Parent Score: 2

Carewolf Member since:

Well except it appears she has said no such thing about the current case, and the article has no source or even quote.

Reply Parent Score: 2