After a tax crackdown, Apple found a new shelter for its profits

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.

40 Comments

  1. CruelAngel 2017-11-07 10:03 am EST
  2. Parry 2017-11-07 10:23 am EST
  3. p13. 2017-11-07 11:04 am EST
    • darknexus 2017-11-07 1:45 pm EST
    • Treza 2017-11-09 12:15 am EST
  4. judgen 2017-11-07 1:37 pm EST
    • BeamishBoy 2017-11-07 2:35 pm EST
    • timl 2017-11-07 3:43 pm EST
      • judgen 2017-11-07 8:13 pm EST
        • zima 2017-11-08 4:23 pm EST
      • jpaine619 2017-11-07 11:55 pm EST
    • phoudoin 2017-11-09 6:09 pm EST
  5. kittynipples 2017-11-07 1:47 pm EST
    • Thom Holwerda 2017-11-07 1:57 pm EST
      • kittynipples 2017-11-07 2:08 pm EST
    • Kochise 2017-11-07 3:54 pm EST
  6. Tony Swash 2017-11-07 3:56 pm EST
    • PhilPotter 2017-11-07 4:04 pm EST
    • Thom Holwerda 2017-11-07 6:34 pm EST
      • Tony Swash 2017-11-07 11:25 pm EST
      • zima 2017-11-08 3:23 pm EST
    • Troels 2017-11-07 8:56 pm EST
      • Tony Swash 2017-11-07 11:44 pm EST
    • cade 2017-11-08 2:11 am EST
    • Luminair 2017-11-08 9:21 pm EST
      • Treza 2017-11-08 11:57 pm EST
  7. jimmystewpot 2017-11-07 9:08 pm EST
    • zima 2017-11-08 3:21 pm EST
      • JLF65 2017-11-08 5:26 pm EST
        • zima 2017-11-08 7:15 pm EST
  8. unclefester 2017-11-08 7:09 am EST
    • jmorgannz 2017-11-08 2:17 pm EST
  9. Kancept 2017-11-08 3:07 pm EST
    • phoudoin 2017-11-09 6:21 pm EST
  10. sukru 2017-11-09 8:39 am EST
  11. InterestingSmallTalk 2017-11-12 4:00 pm EST
    • zima 2017-11-13 11:47 pm EST