The European Commission has concluded that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon of around â‚¬250 million. This is illegal under EU State aid rules because it allowed Amazon to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Luxembourg must now recover the illegal aid.
Remember when Tim Cook lied about the EU only going after Apple because Apple is big? Apple’s illegal deal with Ireland is just one on a long, long list of illegal deals the EU is cracking down on.
Anyway, speaking of the 13 billion euro Apple stole from EU citizens:
The European Commission has decided to refer Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover from Apple illegal State aid worth up to â‚¬13 billion, as required by a Commission decision.
Today, more than one year after the Commission’s decision, Ireland has still not recovered any of the illegal aid. Furthermore, although Ireland has made progress on the calculation of the exact amount of the illegal aid granted to Apple, it is only planning to conclude this work by March 2018 at the earliest.
The crackdown on these illegal tax deals hopefully only represents the first step in cracking down on the grotesquely questionable conduct of large technology (and other sectors) companies. Backroom deals between governments and powerful corporations so they can effectively avoid paying any taxes while the rest of us do our civic duty by paying our taxes to pay for our schools, roads, hospitals, police, firefighters, and so on are a travesty.
If Apple, Amazon, Google, and others want to make use of the juicy fruits of European welfare states, they better start paying their fair share.
If you want to crack down on someone, crack down on the countries making these deals.
Given that Ireland is not pursuing Apple with much vigor, it appears that Ireland is not unhappy with its deal.
EU government is giving off the aura of a pack of thieves after that ridiculous $2.7B fine against Google. Forget about the profits from that unit, that fine is much larger than the revenue that unit has generated in the last 10 years. Fines should be proportional to the crime committed.