Friday, February 10, 2017

Apple defrauding the European people €13 billion in tax

Another day for Apple, another 35 million Euro in tax defrauded from the people of Europe.

If this was a man or woman doing this in the British colony of Australia, their bank account would be raided pretty much straight away by the tax office, and possible a prison sentence imposed.

The same does not apply multinational movers and shakers.

Do you support a company that implements fraud as part of its daily business activity?

Another example of criminals running the show.

Don't forget that Apple took your data from the Stock Market app and used it for financial gain.

We do not recommend the purchase or use of any Apple products.

See article from 10 Feb 2017 by smh.com.au of the headline:

Tax bill? Just ask Donald Trump to fix it


Can Donald Trump's tax plan save Apple from paying a €13 billion ($18.2 billion) tax bill to Ireland?

Probably not, but the US President could still put his hand up for a share of the pie.


Apple appeals EU tax ruling
Apple has launched a legal challenge to a record $US14 billion EU tax demand, arguing that EU regulators ignored tax experts and corporate law, and deliberately picked a method to maximise the penalty.

Recall that in August Apple was ordered by repay €13 billion in taxes and interest after European Commission found the software giant's Irish tax structure was "illegal under EU state aid rules".

This week Margrethe Vestager, a Danish politician, who is currently serving as the European Commissioner for Competition and took on the Apple case last year, said that regardless of what Trump does ("whatever US tax reform they may pass is, of course, for them") the ruling stands.

US President Donald Trump would give multinationals a special tax break if they brought profits to be taxed back to the US. Photo: Bloomberg
"What is important for us is ... if any company or group of companies gets selective advantages by member states and thereby unlevelling (sic) the playing field."
But what if other countries might want a share of the tax owed?

As Vestager noted a her statement after the decision last year: "It may be that not all the unpaid taxes are due in Ireland. Other countries, in the EU or elsewhere, can look at our investigation."

She continues: "If they conclude that Apple should have recorded its sales in those countries instead of Ireland, they could require Apple to pay more tax locally. That would reduce the amount to be paid back to Ireland."



Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, says the ruling against Apple stands. Photo: AP
 
This leads to Trump's tax plan. He wants some of the $2.5 trillion profits that Fortune 500 companies hold offshore to be brought back to the US. To do this, Trump has proposed giving them a special one-off 10 per cent rate on their offshore earnings rather than taxing them at the full 35 per cent US corporate tax rate.

report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), a non-profit, non-partisan think tank that works on state and federal tax policy issues, suggests Apple could gain a $US48.1 billion ($62.9 billion) tax break because of Trump's proposal.



 Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he will repatriate several billion dollars of cash held overseas to the US this year.  Photo: AP



"Under current rules, Apple should pay $67.3 billion in taxes when its $216 billion in earnings being held offshore are repatriated," the report says, noting the calculation is based on the estimated 3.8 per cent tax rate the company has paid to other governments on its offshore earnings.
Trump's proposal would give US companies a tax break of up to $514 billion.
ITEP report
Ordinarily Apple would be subject to a 31.2 per cent tax on these earnings upon repatriation. But under Trump's planned repatriation of 10 per cent, it would allow the company to pay just $19.2 billion, representing a $48.1 billion tax break compared to the $67.3 billion it would otherwise owe.

No wonder Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he will repatriate several billion dollars of cash held overseas to the US this year.

But it is not just Apple that stands to gain from the proposed tax holiday.

The ITEP report examines the benefit to the 10 companies with the most money offshore – Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Citigroup, Amgen, Qualcomm, Gilead Sciences, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs Group, and Bank of America.

The report suggests  that Trump's plan would allow US companies to collectively pay an estimated $206 billion in taxes on their $2.5 trillion in offshore earnings, rather than the roughly $720 billion that they would owe if these earnings were subject to the statutory corporate tax rate.

"In other words, Trump's proposal would give US companies a tax break of up to $514 billion," it says.

Rather than rewarding tax avoidance for a short-term revenue boost, the report calls on lawmakers to pursue legislation that would require companies to pay the full $720 billion they owe on their unrepatriated earnings.

Meanwhile in Australia the Australian Taxation Office, equipped with tougher anti-avoidance laws, has been investigating a number of multinationals over their tax structures.

Apple is among a number of technology companies currently under audit by ATO over its transfer pricing structures.

According to its latest accounts filed with the corporate regulator ASIC, Apple's Australian revenue fell $296 million, or 3 per cent, to hit $7.5 billion in 2016.

Its profit fell $119 million, or 97 per cent, to $3.6 million, which was largely due to an increase in the company's reported tax expense. Apple paid $128 million in income tax ($69.8 million related to FY2016) and there was an adjustment of $58.3 million relating to prior years.

The tech giant's local tax bill has fluctuated over the years, but is up from $85 million in 2015 and $80.3 million in 2014.

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