3 hours ago, evildictaitor wrote
Also, from the Senate report on Apple Operations International:
This is not in the same league as merging departments, or offsetting your previous year's losses against your taxes. This is not real accounting like keeping money in good investments, or making your company "tax efficient". It's blatantly abusing the tax laws, and it's completely dishonest accounting.
And CFOs should be in jail for this completely outrageous, obviously dishonest, and economically damaging behaviour.
Unfortunately, the senate committee got it wrong, which is why Levin was so keen to prevent Cook and Oppenheimer answering questions on the Irish subsidary.
1. Almost all of Apple's foreign operations are run through an Irish company with no employees.
Uuuuhhh....no. Apple's Ireland operation employs about 4000 people, mostly in the Cork office that the committee claimed didn't exist.
Unfortunately, the committee didn't find out it did exist until the hearing had started.
Apple's distribution and supply chain is handled from Ireland, which is why the can legitimately claim the tax rate because that's where their gear is distributed from.
2. Apple pays 2%—or less—in corporate income tax in Ireland.
That is the policy of the Irish government designed to attract more business and jobs to the area. It seems to have worked because Apple has created 4000 jobs there.
Oh, and on the subject of the 'special' 2% tax rate, apparently that's not true either:
4. Apple's US profits keep ending up in Ireland, too.
If Apple is funnelling US profits to Ireland then they're doing a p***s-poor job of it: The company paid $6billion in US corporation tax last year. That's 2.5% of the treasury's entire haul.
Cook denied that they are funnelling profits out of the US which the senate didn't press them on. I take it you think he's lying. They certainly didn't.
5. Most of the $102 billion Apple is keeping "overseas" is in US banks.
Irrelevant. The point is that the wealth is generated abroad; where it is kept is immaterial as long as a Apple doesn't spend it. One interesting point is that Apple actually submits accounts with the tax bill included to make sure they're covered if the law changes.
I can't really answer to the other points as the Huffington Post is fairly sketchy on where they picked up their information. But since they claimed that the Irish division had no employees, and a basic internet search would have shown that to be untrue, then I'm inclined to look warily at their other points.
But all this doesn't matter, because at the end of the day, Apple has done nothing wrong. If Cook volunteered to pay more tax than he is legally required to do then he would be, quite rightly, fired. You can dress it up in emboldened emotional rhetoric as much as you like, but the company has fulfilled all its tax obligations under international law. If senate doesn't like it then the senate should plug the loopholes.
This senate hearing had no legal basis (they said as much before they started) so it was little more than an weak attempt to rally public opinion and shame Apple into paying more money than they are required to do so. Glad to see that Cook et al stuck to their guns and the public said, 'Meh.'
And when MS and HP faced the same sort of muted outcry last year, one thing crossed my mind: Who is in the best position to use that money to create jobs, wealth and generate more income tax? The government or the corporations. In my experience, the government will take the money and p**s it up the wall.