Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Nov 2017 09:52 UTC
In the News

Five months after Mr. Cook's testimony, Irish officials began to crack down on the tax structure Apple had exploited. So the iPhone maker went hunting for another place to park its profits, newly leaked records show. With help from law firms that specialize in offshore tax shelters, the company canvassed multiple jurisdictions before settling on the small island of Jersey, which typically does not tax corporate income.

Apple has accumulated more than $128 billion in profits offshore, and probably much more, that is untaxed by the United States and hardly touched by any other country. Nearly all of that was made over the past decade.

Apple is the largest company in the world, so they're the big target - but tons of other companies engage in the same shady activities.

Every euro or dollar Apple, Google, and Facebook dodge in taxes is a euro or dollar regular folk like you and I have to pay instead. These companies make use of all the facilities and infrastructure paid for by our tax euros and dollars, but then turn around and stab society in the back by extracting vast sums of wealth from it without paying their fair share of taxes. It's exactly this reason why the divide between rich and poor is growing exponentially, which in turn is destabilising our communities because it becomes ever clearer that the Tim Cooks and Mark Zuckerbergs of this world get to live under a different set of rules than you and I.

I am lucky to live in an incredibly solid welfare state, where, while exceptions exist, we take care of each other (interestingly enough, The Netherlands is also one of the biggest shady tax havens in the world). A welfare state is built upon the concept of the strongest shoulders carrying the heaviest burdens, and the knowledge that Joe Billionaire is capable of paying more into the system than Jane Minimum Wage. When this system of trust breaks down - as it clearly is at risk of - our society breaks down. The fact that Tim Cook et al. have the gall to claim their 0.0002% tax rate is "fair" just rubs more salt in the wounds of any regular person who dutifully pays her or his 20-40% taxes every year.

Sadly, any meaningful change to the tax codes of the US and the EU will be blocked through the corruption and bribery Apple, Google, Facebook, and so on engage in on a daily basis. Unless we break these giants up into small companies that aren't 'too big to fail', our societies will grow ever more at their mercy.

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Comment by p13.
by p13. on Tue 7th Nov 2017 11:04 UTC
p13.
Member since:
2005-07-10

Complaining about companies trying to maximize their profits is like complaining about water being wet.

Fact is that these companies really didn't do anything illegal, else they would be prosecuted and sentenced.

Instead of fighting the logical conclusion of a corrupt system, we should really rethink how we spend tax money.
It always amuses me to see people complain about individuals and companies not paying enough taxes, yet no one bats an eyelid when the governments spend billions on dead-end projects.

Local example: Do i want to spend 3.275.046,50 euros on a bridge to let frogs cross the highway? (https://img3.vildaphoto.net/asset/l/76063.jpg)
No, no i don't.

I've worked many contracts for our government, including the for the central income and social tax administration. You wouldn't BELIEVE the amount of money that gets burned on dead-end and useless projects. The absurdities encountered there ...
Buy hardware for project, project fails ... can't sell hardware because government agencies are non-profit, store multi-million euro hardware stash in basement. Rince, wash, repeat ... many times per year, over and over and over.

The problem is that whenever a government decides to do something, it is tens of times more expensive than it would be if a private company did it, and it doesn't even matter if they fail, because hey ... tax money ... economic equivalent to renewable energy ...

If we didn't have these problems, we wouldn't need to impose such high taxes, and companies wouldn't do these things.

Now, go ahead, downvote away.

Reply Score: -1

v RE: Comment by p13.
by darknexus on Tue 7th Nov 2017 13:45 in reply to "Comment by p13."
RE: Comment by p13.
by Treza on Thu 9th Nov 2017 00:15 in reply to "Comment by p13."
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11


Local example: Do i want to spend 3.275.046,50 euros on a bridge to let frogs cross the highway? (https://img3.vildaphoto.net/asset/l/76063.jpg)
No, no i don't.


It do not look like a bridge, rather a tunnel : there is water. So there is some place with preserved nature, and the government is spending money to cut through this green area to build an highway above and below ground.
The frogs where there before the highway.
Is it wise to spend so much money to build an highway ?


The problem is that whenever a government decides to do something, it is tens of times more expensive than it would be if a private company did it, and it doesn't even matter if they fail, because hey ... tax money ... economic equivalent to renewable energy ...


I doubt the govermnent built that road. There was certainly a public tender for pouring the bitumen, and the private company that offered the lowest price was selected.
If you are aware of corruption of officials with private companies or illegal agreements to raise prices, it is your duty to denounce it to justice.

I have also worked on projects partially funded by public money, given to a private company that payed my salary. The secret is that it allows a part of the wealth produced in a country to be used to pay locals. It's far from perfect, of course, but all industrialized countries do that.

Reply Parent Score: 3