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

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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RE[2]: tax expert?
by unclefester on Fri 2nd Sep 2016 23:49 UTC in reply to "RE: tax expert?"
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Matt Gardner is policy advisor. I would suggest his expert knowledge of EU and Irish tax law is probably somewhere between minimal and non-existent. To claim he knows more than the world's best tax lawyers and the Irish government is absolutely farcical.

The EU has retrospectively changed the legislation to make a perfectly legal scheme of arrangement illegal. One of the most important principles of Common law is that laws should never be made retrospective

The EU is a place where some insignificant (unelected) shitkicker from a bankrupt third/fourth tier country can get promoted far beyond his/her ability.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: tax expert?
by dpJudas on Sat 3rd Sep 2016 07:00 in reply to "RE[2]: tax expert?"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

Matt Gardner is policy advisor. I would suggest his expert knowledge of EU and Irish tax law is probably somewhere between minimal and non-existent. To claim he knows more than the world's best tax lawyers and the Irish government is absolutely farcical.

Try google ad hominem.

The EU has retrospectively changed the legislation to make a perfectly legal scheme of arrangement illegal. One of the most important principles of Common law is that laws should never be made retrospective

No law has changed.

The EU is a place where some insignificant (unelected) shitkicker from a bankrupt third/fourth tier country can get promoted far beyond his/her ability.

I really hope you're talking about Vestager now. That would be hillarious. Pro tip: she's from one of the lest corrupt countries in the world. Maybe that's why things are changing now?

Edited 2016-09-03 07:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: tax expert?
by weckart on Sat 3rd Sep 2016 21:22 in reply to "RE[2]: tax expert?"
weckart Member since:
2006-01-11

One of the most important principles of Common law is that laws should never be made retrospective.


Great. Good for those legislations founded on English Common Law but the EU is not one of those, so relevance?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: tax expert?
by unclefester on Sat 3rd Sep 2016 23:04 in reply to "RE[3]: tax expert?"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Ireland and the US (the signatories to the deal) both have common law systems. They were overridden by some petty bureaucrat from Brussels.

Reply Parent Score: 2