Apple tax Stories May 5, 2016

[UPDATE: Cupertino mayor Barry Chang is refuting the claims made by The Guardian, saying that he never said the words quoted in the article: “I was shocked and dismayed to see a recent article quoting me with words I never used and describing situations that never happened,” he said in a statement on the Cupertino city website.]

Cupertino mayor Barry Chang has accused Apple of ‘abusing’ its home city by failing to contribute to much-needed public projects, and claims that he was ‘surrounded’ by security and escorted off the premises when he tried to discuss traffic congestion.

Apple is not willing to pay a dime. They’re making profit, and they should share the responsibility for our city, but they won’t. They abuse us.

However, the Guardian notes that Apple paid $9.2M in city taxes in 2012/13 …

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Apple tax Stories April 22, 2016

In an interview with the BBC on national British radio, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said that he believes Apple should pay 50% tax, along with all other companies. He said he doesn’t like the distinction of different rules between corporations and individuals.

Today, although Apple has never been found to evade tax or conduct illegal practices, it does not pay at top-rate tax, using a variety of financial engineering schemes to redirect profits elsewhere, such as Ireland, with significantly lower tax requirements.

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Apple tax Stories March 9, 2016

The European Union warned us this week not to expect a speedy conclusion to the long-running investigation into the legality of Apple’s tax arrangements in Europe. The delay follows a decision back in December to expand the scope of the investigation.

But while the wheels of EU tax investigations may grind exceedingly slowly, I’d be willing to wager quite large sums of money on the final outcome. It looks to me increasingly clear that Apple’s tax arrangements with the Irish government are going to be declared illegal, and that Apple is going to be faced with a significant bill for unpaid tax …

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Apple tax Stories March 7, 2016

EU competition chief warns “don’t hold your breath” on $8B investigation into Apple’s tax affairs

European Union competition chief Margrethe Vestager has warned reporters not to expect a quick decision from the investigation into whether or not Apple’s tax arrangements in Europe are legal, reports Bloomberg.

“Don’t hold your breath,” she told reporters in Brussels on Monday about the timing of decisions targeting Apple and online shopping giant Amazon.com Inc, whose tax affairs in Luxembourg are also under intense scrutiny. “I’m just warning you.”

Apple uses Ireland as its European headquarters, funneling most revenue through the country, where it has a special arrangement with the Irish government to pay corporation tax of just 2.5%. The EU believes this arrangement may be illegal for two reasons …

Apple tax Stories February 9, 2016

Russia wants to force Apple & Google to pay more tax, apply 18% VAT to App Store purchases

In what Bloomberg describes as ‘a 90-minute interview peppered with expletives,’ Russia’s new Internet advisor has said that he wants to force Apple and Google to pay more taxes.

German Klimenko is pushing to raise taxes on U.S. companies to help level the playing field for Russian competitors such as Yandex and Mail.ru […]

Bloomberg says that he has an interesting ally in this aim …

Apple tax Stories January 11, 2016

Belgian ruling increases likelihood that AAPL’s sweetheart tax deal in Ireland will be ruled illegal

The European Commission has ruled that tax breaks offered by Belgium to multinational companies are illegal, and that the companies concerned must pay the full rate of tax due in the country, reports VentureBeat. This follows similar decisions in Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

While none of these rulings directly impact Apple, they do make it look extremely likely that the Commission will reach the same decision in Ireland, where Apple pays just 2.5% corporation tax instead of the normal 12.5%.

The Irish government offered Apple the special deal in order to encourage the company to choose the country as its European headquarters. The European Commission has been running a lengthy investigation into the legality of this arrangement, and has recently extended and expanded its scope.

If Ireland is indeed found to have broken the law, Apple will have to pay the difference in tax for up to ten years. The total amount was estimated last year at $2.5 billion. Apple warned shareholders at the time that it may face ‘material’ back taxes should the decision go against it.

The EC isn’t the only entity unhappy with Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland either. The Italian government accused Apple of failing to declare more than $1.3 billion of corporation tax in the country as a result of funneling profits through to Ireland. Apple, which has 16 retail stores in the country, recently agreed to pay the full €318M ($347M) claimed by the Italian tax office.

Photo: AP Photo/Rick Rycroft

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