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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by unclefester on Wed 8th Nov 2017 07:09 UTC
Member since:

"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."

The only people who benefit from corporate taxes are lawyers and accountants.

"Corporations do not pay taxes, they collect them, passing the burden to consumers as a cost of production. And corporate taxation is a feast of rent-seeking - a cornucopia of credits, exemptions and other subsidies conferred by the political class on favored, and grateful, corporations."

George Will.

Reply Score: 3

RE: bollocks.
by jmorgannz on Wed 8th Nov 2017 14:17 in reply to "bollocks."
jmorgannz Member since:

If corporations were taxed the appropriate amounts, as you say, they would pass this on as a cost to the consumer.

This would rightly affect their bottom line and viability and market acceptance of their products in general, leading the consumer to make a more realistic choice of how they spend their money - voting with their wallet.

Instead, corporations are 'subsidized' by not being properly taxed, allowing them to build scale that they should not rightly be able to, based on cost of business model that is not real.

This in turn leads to 'too big to fail' situations, and decreased competition; which allows further unchecked sale price inflation.

Corporate sold items costs more, so consumers pay more. Consumers are poorer as a whole, which affects labor rates, as they are now more likely to accept lower pay rates just to cover living costs, which feeds back into the same cycle.

Meanwhile these corporations pocket the gross difference in sales vs COB

Corporations were never meant to be money making machines.
They were constructs designed to allow groups of individuals to work together in a streamlined way towards a common goal.
There is a comment in this thread somewhere about corporations ultimately being accountable to their shareholders: I counter this with the fact that at their inception, corporations had a responsibility to do good for the people of the system that hosts them.

Unfortunately since the 60's and 70's, capitalistic powers have systematically attacked, eroded, and co-opted the corporate machinery that was intended as a TOOL of the people, so much so that we don't even remember that corporations are anything other than private ventures to make people rich.

Edited 2017-11-08 14:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4