/linked/2016/08/31/cook-taxes

Comments

anonymous:
This kind of interference is one of the reasons UK voted to Brexit. Not that I'd expect Gruber to recognize that.

Unelected bureaucrats in Brussels are a bad thing for sovereignty all the time, not just when they want to tax Apple.
1:43 am — Thursday, 1 September 2016
To Be Fair:
I'm sure that if the ruling was that Apple had paid *too much* tax, and was due a refund, then Gruber would be saying how right and just the EU Commission's ruling is.
1:46 am — Thursday, 1 September 2016
weed:
It is telling that he thinks Ireland deals in Pounds and not Euros.
2:21 am — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Dewey:
@To Be Fair: Apple's (and other corporations') taxes are widely believed to be unfairly low, so I think a retroactive lowering of their rate would strike even Gruber as odd.
3:52 am — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Dewey:
@weed: He's not quite sure what that funny little symbol on his previous post means.
3:53 am — Thursday, 1 September 2016
toolshed:
Beggars belief that Gruber would get a detail like the currency wrong. He's even been to Ireland. Way to go on credibility.
5:04 am — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Flying Fuck:
"...13 billion euros isn't all that much to Apple."

WHAT? $14.5 BILLION US DOLLARS is a lot of fucking money even for Apple. I'm quite certain they would like to keep it.

Fat fucking donut eating mouth breather.
11:43 am — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Sebby:
> I’m with Cook on this one.

Colour me surprised, Johnny-boy.

> It’s about what the Commission (and many observers) think the tax law should have been , not what it actually was.

With tax rates that low, it was always a ticking time-bomb before the arrangement was found to be illegal under the EU tax code. It doesn't matter who the blame falls with: Ireland gave __illegal state aid__ to Apple, and Apple paid a rate of tax that was entirely inappropriate. That means that, properly, Apple should have paid its taxes (which, let us not forget, really belong in The Land Of The Free (TM) anyway, where Apple is generating all its profits). That is all that the Commission's finding says. Apple (and its many, many blinkered supporters) might be able to win on a technicality that their illegal behaviour was supported by a member state that had a lot to lose, but that doesn't make it any less illegal (or wrong).

> It’s telling that Ireland is objecting just as strenuously as Apple.

On the contrary, Mr. Gruber, it only tells us that Ireland would prefer not to strangle the golden goose that continues to see the transfer of wealth away from the ordinary and toward the elite, on both sides of the Atlantic.

But I'm sure you're OK with that, because it's Apple, and Apple are all about social responsibility and all that bollocks.

For some actual, marginally more credible reporting on this sorry tale, try [this](http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/09/01/tim_cook_says_european_commission_made_up_tax_claims/) at The Register. And no, they aren't making up what Tim Cook said. :(

@anon: Brexit? Seriously? The EU just fought off the TTIP, or as good as, while Britain's going to get even more stupidly right-wing trade deals, to judge from our current government's past performance. One of the central "Brexiter" arguments were that those "unelected bureaucrats" would take away our sovereignty by allowing the corporate power-grab (the TTIP) to go ahead. Of course, now that the TTIP is as good as dead, the Brexiter narrative (as expressed in much of the British press, which is hopelessly right-wing) is that the death of the TTIP just goes to show how inappropriate it is for an entire European trading bloc. There is, of course, no mention of the trade deals that our government intends to make with other nations, with similar or worse provisions.

And as far as I'm concerned, I hope Ireland gets a spine and starts demanding its taxes. It'll be a brave move, because many companies depend on Ireland for this sort of tax avoidance, but it'll be better for all of us in the long run. So yeah, chalk this up to another win for the EU (and a loss for the idiots who voted for Brexit in the name of "Control").
11:59 am — Thursday, 1 September 2016
anonymous:
gruber's a shareholder, right?
12:13 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Sebby:
@Flying Fuck: my thought exactly.

Although if Grubnuts is right that Apple could afford it, then why the fuck aren't they paying it? They pay all the taxes that they owe, apparently ...
12:13 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
ass:
Sebby, right on. There is so much misinformation being spread about this and Grubs is not helping.

"Telling that Ireland is objecting"...uh, no it's not. Are they supposed to say "Yeah you're right, we gave illegal state aid to a massive corporation so they'd funnel all their European profits through us, while ignoring that we are bound to laws the EU has established since we are a fucking member of the EU. Please, do not come to us for a minuscule tax rate date if you are a massive corporation." Ireland has to appeal, they have no choice.
1:05 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
ass:
God this letter is so full of crap that Grubs should be talking about CEO corporate speak.

"It is effectively proposing to replace Irish tax laws with a view of what the Commission thinks the law should have been."

No, it's not. It's saying that Ireland must follow EU law and not give special deals to companies. My understanding is that Ireland can have whatever-the-fuck tax laws they want but they must be applied equally to everyone.

Here's another thought experiment, imagine this was Amazon or Google or Microsoft or McDonald's, whom of course all do this sort of thing. If the EU went after them first, whose side would Grubby be on?
1:35 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Eddie:
>Here's another thought experiment, imagine this was Amazon or Google or Microsoft or McDonald's, whom of course all do this sort of thing. If the EU went after them first, whose side would Grubby be on?

Apple of course!
1:56 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
anonymous:
> It’s telling that Ireland is objecting just as strenuously as Apple.

As others have said, it is absolutely not "telling" of anything.

It would only be surprising if Ireland did *not* object. Which should be obvious to anyone giving this situation more than 5 seconds of thought.
2:13 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Promo Code:
It must be killing Gruber inside, being such a bleeding-heart liberal, supporting a CEO acting like a "capitalist pig". Literally stealing from a country.

To make up for this, I can only imagine how radical he is with his other view points. We probably only get a taste of it on his blog.

At dinner parties, with his two friends...I bet his conversations are borderline treasonous.

It's the only way he can live with himself.
3:14 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
knowitall:
@ass

"No, it's not. It's saying that Ireland must follow EU law and not give special deals to companies. My understanding is that Ireland can have whatever-the-fuck tax laws they want but they must be applied equally to everyone."

The technicality is that Ireland didnt really do that. They have a special "stateless" status for some multi nationals that means that they dont have one place of business so they shouldny be taxed in one place.

So Ireland are saying that they dont deserve Apples taxes for this shell company so they dont collect them.

Therefore, there was no "special" case just for Apple because other companies in Ireland also qualify for "stateless" status.

Ultimately Apple are not ever going to escape tax on this money unless the US govt decides to waver Apple's taxes that havent been taxed overseas. Apple were probably waiting for the US to reduce the corporate tax rate to something smaller and then they'd feel it was worthwhile to shareholders to repatriate the money and pay the tax to the US govt.

Also, Ireland have benefited by some 26% growth or some other figure having Apple there, including some new Data center their building. So Ireland feel that this arrangement is not hurting Ireland as a country or indeed any company in ireland.

So in reality, unless the EU say that Ireland cant have this "stateless" status the EU are kind of wrong technically.

But in the spirit of the law it looks bad, but the EU needs to decide what "soverign" actually means nowadays, and also needs to stop letting countries do what they want only to hit back at them 10yrs later. Which is just silly.
4:08 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
ass:
Well of course it's not hurting Ireland or else they would change their laws to not be a tax haven. Isn't the problem the fact that Apple (and other multinationals) sold a shitload of products all over Europe but none of the other states in the EU were able to collect the taxes because they funneled everything through Ireland? If Ireland gets benefits from being in the EU they shouldn't be fucking over their fellow states for their own benefit.
4:41 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Eddie:
I find it funny that there isn't a single Apple Store in the entire country of Ireland.

Why is that?

There's not enough people in Dublin and its surrounding areas to support an Apple - Dublin location (remember they dropped the 'Store')?

Dublin city proper is over 500,000. Include the Greater Dublin Area and its over 1.9 million people.

My town has about 200,000 people and we have an Apple Store. There are less than 400,000 people in my entire county. Within an hours drive there are 4 or 5 additional Apple Stores off the top of my head.

Why no retail location in Dublin or anywhere in Ireland?

Couldn't be for tax purposes could it? Serious question.
5:30 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Bruxellois:
It's striking how most of the people saying "Brussels" to talk about EU rulings usually are ignorant douches
5:42 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Fed up ordinary tax payer.:
Be interesting to see Gruber's take on it whne the EU go after Google!
5:54 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Tony Soprano:
Fuck the EU and all the idiots on here defending their stupid "commissions" and moronic "rulings."
6:21 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
ass:
I bet we get an UPDATE from ol' Grubnuts once he finds that just about nobody is siding with Apple on this one.
6:40 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Sebby:
@Ass: well, there's no real problem with tax competition, as such, just as long as everyone in the market benefits. Clearly if Apple were already paying the (already bloody low) 12.5% corporation tax rate of Ireland this would have been a non-issue, because anyone else would have access to the same shores and pay the same rate. But 0.005%? Clear favouritism. Ireland is insisting that Apple (and others) are offshore businesses and simply don't need to pay tax--only they have a workforce, and a "Head Office" that's clearly a figment of somebody's imagination, and that just so happens to slurp up most of the sales profits.
7:16 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Tony Soprano:
>I bet we get an UPDATE from ol' Grubnuts once he finds that just about nobody is siding with Apple on this one.

Europeans are notorious socialists who think government is entitled to gouge businesses. Of course they aren't siding with Apple.
7:27 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
To Be Fair:
>Europeans are notorious socialists who think government is entitled to gouge businesses.

Better than businesses gouging governments, which are representatives of the people, and pay for valuable services.

By siding with Apple, you're agreeing to the people getting screwed.
8:37 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
ass:
Rah Rah Unchecked Capitalism! Money Above All Else!
8:42 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
anonymous:
Should have been titled: In Which Gruber Pretends to Be a Capitalist.
9:02 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016
Patrick Henry, the 2nd:
@ sebby
the transfer of wealth away from the ordinary and toward the elite, on both sides of the Atlantic.

And that's exactly what the EU is asking to do. Transfer money from the ordinary people of Apple to the Elites of government.

@ Promo Code Literally stealing from a country.

NO! Its Apple's money, not the government. The EU wants Ireland to steal the money from Apple.


@ To Be Fair : To Be Fair:
"Better than businesses gouging governments, which are representatives of the people, and pay for valuable services."

HAHAHAHA! You actually believe this? Governments are representative of the people running it, who pay lip service to the people. The only thing getting gouge here is the Apple, and by proxy the people who buy Apple products, since they will have to pay more now.

"By siding with Apple, you're agreeing to the people getting screwed."

No, the people who are getting screwed are the customers of Apple, and the people who are benefiting is the people of the government.
12:27 pm — Friday, 2 September 2016
To Be Fair:
>HAHAHAHA! You actually believe this? Governments are representative of the people running it, who pay lip service to the people.

Hey, just because America has a corrupt government that serves corporations before people, does not make that true of governments in general.

The irony here is that you support government acquiescing to corporations. It's like you don;t even want governments to do what they are supposed to do.

>The only thing getting gouge here is the Apple, and by proxy the people who buy Apple products, since they will have to pay more now.

Oh, really? If you think the price of an Apple product is going to go up because of this, you are completely delusional.

>No, the people who are getting screwed are the customers of Apple, and the people who are benefiting is the people of the government.

How are Apple customers affected by this in any way?

And yes, the "people of the government" would benefit from this money. Which means more money for public services, rather than it going straight into the pockets of billionaires.
9:26 am — Saturday, 3 September 2016
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