Coffeehouse Thread

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Democrat and Republican lambasted Apple for working the system in a way they said was unfair, if not unpatriotic.

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  • User profile image
    exoteric

    Your outrage is well meant, evildictaitor, but doesn't have legal basis. You are of course right that this is bad for society, just as lack of small companies and monopoly is bad for capitalism. The real problem to fix, however, is political corruption though money-based lobbyism. Fix that and a lot of other issues will start to get resolved. It's a self-sustaining mechanism though.

  • User profile image
    SteveRichter

    , Ray7 wrote

    *snip*

    The tax is applied when the money is repatriated, which Apple would need to do to pay the shareholders. 

    because dividends are something paid by the corporate entity, which is Apple.  AOI can keep its money off shore because it is another corporate entity?  Which raises the question to me of why not move the entire Apple corp off shore? That way the corp could distribute its non US earnings without paying US taxes at all.

    A Samsung has a big advantage over a US based corporation in this regard. It can have research facilities in the US, but its global earnings are likely taxed at a much lower rate than the US company with the same degree of US based research and production.

     

  • User profile image
    ScottWelker

    , wkempf wrote

    - "I would hope this turns out to be a great teaching lesson on how dysfunctional the architecture of our tax system is," he ( Gary Hufbauer) continued. "But it's more likely that we'll learn an easier lesson: That Apple is being a bad boy." (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/05/of-course-apple-avoids-billions-in-taxes-and-it-should/276078/)

    I'm not saying I'm happy about the situation, but I can't really formulate any anger over a company (or an individual) that avoids taxes legally. If the system is broke, fix the system, don't complain that someone has exploited it to their advantage. That's human nature, and not necessarily a bad thing. Now, if they find that Apple has illegally avoided taxes, that will be a different game all together, and I'll join you in you're ire and indignation.

     

    ++ 

    ( You covered it. Nothing more to add. )

     

  • User profile image
    ScottWelker

    I didn't see where anyone else posted this pearl so: Rand Paul unloads on 'bullying, berating and badgering' of Apple: "If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress... for creating a Byzantine and bizarre tax code."

    We American voters need to demand better from our representatives - Vote with your... well... vote!

    ( And I must note I am no fan of Apple. I refuse to purchase their products because of the very business model it seems MS is racing to emulate. Still, I whole heartedly  agree with Rand Paul's statement. ) 

     

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    , ScottWelker wrote

    I didn't see where anyone else posted this pearl so: Rand Paul unloads on 'bullying, berating and badgering' of Apple: "If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress... for creating a Byzantine and bizarre tax code."

    Damnit I agree with Rand Paul on something? That's depressing.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    But the Congress is elected by the people. So any lack in legislation should be easily corrected via a vote, right?

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    Of course.  It's worked every time.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    I am always pleased when someone who supports authoritarianism and using the instrumentalities of government in order to punish those who they disagree with said government outs themselves.

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    If the US government wishes me to stand trial for anything it so chooses me to stand trial for, I will be arrested and compelled to attend court.

    Yes... that's the way being arrested tends to work... but...

    For example: If I choose to pay 0.0005% income tax this year, I expect by the end of the year I will be wearing a particularly fetching orange jumpsuit in one of the US government's many fine custodial establishments.

    So if you chose (or happened) to make so little income (or use other legal loopholes (ie things written into the tax code)) that that 0.0005% was your income tax for the year... you expect to get arrested? Interesting...

    I guess I don't expect to be arrested and charged when I am obeying the law... like when I drive through a green light when there are no pedestrians on the road or emergency vehicles driving by.

    You clearly live in a horrifying world.

    Granted... you come from a country that had the Star Chamber... so it's understandable if you live in that kind of terror of governmental abuses. And here I thought it was long dead.

    Claiming that all of your Starbucks establishments aren't making any profits (and hence don't need to pay any taxes) when what's actually going on is that you're making sh1ttons of profits, opening several stores a week, reporting to your shareholders how well you're doing, but are cleverly selling your UK/US companies coffeebeans from an office in Switzerland at $20 a bean to trick the tax man isn't valid tax accounting.

    Whaaaaaaah! Someone found a bug in the tax code and should be charged with horrible crimes for doing so... lets not patch the bug, we'll just throw before a court anyone who dares to exploit the bugs that we refuse to fix. Whaaaaaaaaaaah!

    You think I could get away with saying to the US government "Oh, I didn't earn any money this year. I was paid in magical rent vouchers which I exchange with my landlord who is paid by my company through some opaque bank account in the Cayman Islands in some clever deal to avoid me having to pay tax on the rent that I would otherwise need to pay" that that would wash with the US government? Of course not. That would be "go to jail" time for me for tax evasion.

    No... if I were to do that I'd have a set of well paid lawyers who understand the tax code better than I tell me that that is the case... convince me of that... and then make sure they are liable along with me if their advice turns out to be wrong.

    Again... you can complain all you want about people not paying the taxes you think they should (ie 'spirit of the law')... but that is quite a different thing than the law (ie 'letter of the law').

    If you want to live in a 'spirit of the law' sort of world... that is ok... but then you risk any prosecutor or jury coming after you for anything someone feels like telling a convincing story about.

    If you're a company, you should pay taxes on your profits - the tax system is actually quite specific on this.

    THEN CHANGE THE LAW

    Pretending that you didn't make profits in this country when you clearly did by doing opaque accounting isn't optimising your taxes, or making use of tax schemes that government put there to encourage other parts of the economy.

    And yet... thus far that does not seem to be what the law says.

    It's deceptive

    Says you.

    it's fraudulent

    Now you are accusing them of committing crimes? Doesn't the UK have strict and harsh liable laws? Again clearly you should be hauled before a court to answer for what rather seem to me to be crimes (notice how I use passive terms like 'seem' and 'appear' rather than explicit and accusatory terms like you... good judgment of action is also how one reduces the changes of to court).

    and it requires straightforwardly misleading the tax authorities about how your business is structured for the sole purpose of avoiding tax.

    So many assumptions... what if your business is actually structured that way? Are you still 'misleading'? What law says it is illegal to attempt to structure your affairs in such a legal way so as to minimize your tax liability?

    Assuming you take a SINGLE tax deduction... you have no foot to stand on in this argument.

    Can a single person who makes a good bit of money marry someone who does not? Yup. Will that decrease their his tax liability? Probably. Is that illegal? Nope... at least not unless (in your mind) he got married with the intent of LEGALLY decreasing his tax liability.

    It's tax evasion, not tax avoidance.

    In your opinion yes... in the eyes of the written law, prosecutors and judges... its not.

    What's it like to be wrong so much?

    Again... if you don't like it... CHANGE THE LAW.

    And it's legal only because it's hard to prosecute, not because it's what the lawmakers think is reasonable. And CFOs that take part in this sorry game should be spending time behind bars.

    Again you advocate for mob rule... why not just bring back the Star Chamber... sure would be an efficient way to deal with these people.

    The reason this pisses me off isn't because I want to punish big companies, or think they're evil. It's that I think it's not fair for small businesses and entrepreneurs to have to pay tax at full rate (or go to jail) whilst working opposite a multinational that can't be bothered to pay tax.

    And there we see another critical mistake from you... the law is not about making things fair... but about making things predictable and mostly regular. Big difference.

    We should be encouraging small businesses. Not giving them a 20% tax penalty compared with their multinational competitors. It's criminal that we allow this to continue.

    I agree with the first part... so why not change the law rather than accusing those you disagree with of criminal actions?

    It's no wonder the US was so keen on codifying the concept of ex-post-facto... as it's importance sure doesn't seem to exist where we rebelled from.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    It's worth pointing out that there is a solution to what many are angry at about Apple (and other companies)... the Fair Tax... something I have a history of advocating for here (just to name a few links):

    http://channel9.msdn.com/Forums/Coffeehouse/250648-Who-Pays-the-Largest-Percentage-of-Federal-Income-Taxes/7088cc0c5a594f5fa6629dec00404f75

    http://channel9.msdn.com/Forums/Coffeehouse/192750-Fair-Tax-Rally

    http://channel9.msdn.com/(A(djgbrEcLzQEkAAAAMWUxODhlOGQtZDFkZC00ZDVhLWJmZjEtNWYzZjQ2YWI4MTY4QPJh7AkHWIrFqlpz_jc4BLNdrFE1))/Forums/Coffeehouse/463446-Tax-Day-Tea-Party-Map/d9eaef591183456d912e9deb00d4a8fa

    Many of us here are into computers, a good chunk probably people who know how to program more than a simple 'hello world' app... we should all know that while we can try to take into account many different incoming variables... short of having significant testing infrastructure that can validate each and every change in a dynamic environment (ie what the CBO is prohibited from doing to most any proposed law put before them)... it's rather hard to account for every variable and expect to have a reliable and stable system.

    When we encounter a new and previously unknown edge case... we can ignore it (assuming it's a minor issue which doesn't affect the end result significantly) or write some additional code to accommodate it and hopefully eliminate the effects of it... and not expose any additional exploits.

    Of course... every additional line we write adds not only more complexity to the main logic, but the test logic, but also (potentially) the difficulty of those who use the system.

    Why shouldn't this apply to the tax code?

    The more exceptions, deductions, schedules and forms you add to the system... the more ways you give someone dedicated enough to find ways to gum up the system and pay the least (or exploit the most access from the system).

    The Fair Tax... a national sales tax on all new goods and services at the retail level.

    A limited surface and attack area that is revenue neutral.

    No deductions.

    No exemptions.

    Everyone pays something.

     

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , dahat wrote

    So if you chose (or happened) to make so little income (or use other legal loopholes (ie things written into the tax code)) that that 0.0005% was your income tax for the year... you expect to get arrested? Interesting...

    Nope. This isn't because I made so little money. This is because I can't be bothered to fill in my tax return.

    Kinda like how Apple International (registered in Ireland) who made $30 BILLION PROFIT last year didn't file a tax return IN ANY COUNTRY.

    Whaaaaaaah! Someone found a bug in the tax code and should be charged with horrible crimes for doing so... lets not patch the bug, we'll just throw before a court anyone who dares to exploit the bugs that we refuse to fix. Whaaaaaaaaaaah!

    This isn't a "bug" in the tax code. This is companies that are multinational making money in the US, and then directly lying to the tax authorities by saying that the sales weren't made in the country (like Google in the UK), shuffling debts between countries to pretend that the profitable entity is the one selling brands or $20 coffee cups or whatever out of Monaco (like Starbucks), or is so complicated that it doesn't actually need to pay tax anywhere (like Apple).

    Again... you can complain all you want about people not paying the taxes you think they should (ie 'spirit of the law')... but that is quite a different thing than the law (ie 'letter of the law').

    If you want to live in a 'spirit of the law' sort of world... that is ok... but then you risk any prosecutor or jury coming after you for anything someone feels like telling a convincing story about.

    That sounds fantastic. We live in a democracy where the country is run by elected people who are furious that companies like Apple get away with this. The population is livid that companies file tax returns no-where, or pay less than 1% tax. 

    Our population elect lawmakers who write laws. When people break the laws, they go to jail. And when it's not immediately obvious if they've broken the law (i.e. the country says "you broke the law" and the accused says "no I didn't" - i.e. pleads "not guilty", we let a judge and jury decide).

    THEN CHANGE THE LAW

    You can't just "change" international tax laws. This is something that congress couldn't do, even in the impossible case that 100% of the senators backed it and the President wanted to sign it into law.

    Apple International (the entity that made $30bn last year but didn't file a tax return anywhere) isn't a US company. The US can't tax it.

    What they can do is say that the US can't trade with Ireland (not going to happen), or that Irish companies should pay tax in the US (that's a trade barrier not going to happen). Or they could just be much more simple and say "You can't register your company abroad for the purposes of avoiding tax". They've already done that. The only thing missing is anyone actually going to jail from companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon for clearly doing just that.

    Again you advocate for mob rule... why not just bring back the Star Chamber... sure would be an efficient way to deal with these people.

    In so much as trial by jury is mob rule, yes. It's worked pretty well for the entire of our legal system for the entire of the duration of the United States' history, as well as for all advanced democracies in the world

    Why is trial by jury such a bad thing in your books?

    Laws are not black-and-white. Anyone who thinks they are has clearly never met a lawyer or asked for legal advice. Guilt is not decided based on a formula written by lawmakers. It's decided by a judge and/or jury based on the interpretation of the law.

    And the fact is that judges and juries are instructed by law to consider what the lawmakers intended not what the law says (this is why the second amendment holds, despite a contentious comma that could, if read using modern grammar, reverse the intended meaning).

    What I'm suggesting is quite simple: Let's let the law decide whether these taxes are fair, proportionate and a realistic representation of the taxes that the company is required to pay as decided by the lawmakers elected in our democracy.

    If you fail the test by a jury of your peers, because you are clearly deceiving the taxpayer with fake financial transactions and obfuscated finances, then off to jail you go.

    We routinely send people to jail for failing to file tax returns, or for faking debts in order to avoid paying taxes. The only difference between me failing to file a tax return for my person-sized salary versus a CFO failing to file a tax-return for their multi-billion dollar company is the size of the tax-return that we failed to submit, and the fact that my fraud would see me sent to jail, and the CFO's fraud earns him a massive bonus.

    It's time we stopped letting CFOs fu*k our country over. You want to trade in the US? You better pay taxes in the US. And if you file a US tax-return that said you made no profits in the US, and hence your tax-liability is zero when you're actually making billions upon billions of dollars here and siphoning off profits to some other country to trick the tax man, then you ought to be put in a jumpsuit as a warning to other CFOs that think taxes are optional.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    Nope. This isn't because I made so little money. This is because I can't be bothered to fill in my tax return.

    Kinda like how Apple International (registered in Ireland) who made $30 BILLION PROFIT last year didn't file a tax return IN ANY COUNTRY.

    Citation please.

    This isn't a "bug" in the tax code. This is companies that are multinational making money in the US, and then directly lying to the tax authorities by saying that the sales weren't made in the country (like Google in the UK), shuffling debts between countries to pretend that the profitable entity is the one selling brands or $20 coffee cups or whatever out of Monaco (like Starbucks), or is so complicated that it doesn't actually need to pay tax anywhere (like Apple).

    If you think they should be paying in location X... but the law in X allows what they do... and it happens against the desires of those who implemented or are responsible for the code... then yes... it is a bug.

    If the prosecutor is not compelled to bring charges because of prosecutorial discretion... then I say again... it is a bug (or feature) of the system.

    That sounds fantastic. We live in a democracy where the country is run by elected people

    You might... I live in a federal republic. Big difference.

    ...who are furious that companies like Apple get away with this. The population is livid that companies file tax returns no-where, or pay less than 1% tax.

    More so.. I'm furious that my government took by force of law my health insurance plan... unlike you... I work every day to change that.

    We'll also ignore your statement of 'less than 1% tax'... I assume you mean 'income tax'... because oodles of other taxes still come into play (eww... I feel like a liberal saying that).

    When people break the laws, they go to jail.[quote]

    I'm about to stop responding to you here if you keep making things up...

    Just because someone breaks a law doesn't mean they automatically go to jail... both of our countries have these things called 'trials' and 'due process' to determine not only if the law was violated... but if it applied in the specific case at hand.

    This of course ignores the difference between criminal and civil laws...

    [quote]And when it's not immediately obvious if they've broken the law (i.e. the country says "you broke the law" and the accused says "no I didn't" - i.e. pleads "not guilty", we let a judge and jury decide).

    Semi true... only that assumes someone/something is charged with a crime... I'm still waiting on that here.

    You can't just "change" international tax laws. This is something that congress couldn't do, even in the impossible case that 100% of the senators backed it and the President wanted to sign it into law.[quote]

    Quitter.

    This isn't about changing international tax rates, it's about how a countries tax law applies to those businesses doing business within it.

    [quote]Apple International (the entity that made $30bn last year but didn't file a tax return anywhere) isn't a US company. The US can't tax it.

    Citation please... until you back up some of these rather fantastical claims you are making... I'm going to quit reading or responding to what you are saying... as it is clear you are quite full of hate and jealousy and a refusal to see how things can be changed short of hauling people before your version of the Star Chamber.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , dahat wrote

    Citation please.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/may/21/apple-wants-single-digit-corporate-tax:

    Apple has called for US corporate tax rates to be slashed after it admitted sheltering at least $30bn (£20bn) of international profits in Irish subsidiaries that pay no tax at all.

     

    Also, from the Senate report on Apple Operations International:

    [AOI is] a 30-year old corporation that has no employees or physical presence, and whose operations are managed and controlled out of the United States. Despite receiving $30 billion in earnings and profits during the period 2009 through 2011 as the key holding company for Apple's extensive offshore corporate structure, Apple Operations International has no declared tax residency anywhere in the world and, as a consequence, has not paid corporate income tax to any national government for the past 5 years."

    1. Almost all of Apple's foreign operations are run through an Irish company with no employees.

    2. Apple pays 2%—or less—in corporate income tax in Ireland.

    3. Apple Operations International, which provided 30% of Apple's worldwide net profits from 2009 to 2011, doesn't pay taxes anywhere.

    4. Apple's US profits keep ending up in Ireland, too. 

    5. Most of the $102 billion Apple is keeping "overseas" is in US banks.

    6. The magic of "check-the-box" allowed Apple to avoid paying taxes on any of its International distribution network (avoiding $12.5bn in taxes)

     

    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.

  • User profile image
    Blue Ink

    @evildictaitor: the difference is that if you decided to move to a place with low or zero income taxes, your current government wouldn't even bother to send you a "we'll miss you" card.

    If a corporation the size of Microsoft, Apple or Google ever decided to jump ship and move the whole campus to - say - Switzerland, they would cause a collapse in the local economies of the area where they currently operate. Try to imagine how much money it would cost to clean up that mess and you'll see why the US government is willing to bark, but not to bite.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , dahat wrote

    If you think they should be paying in location X... but the law in X allows what they do... and it happens against the desires of those who implemented or are responsible for the code... then yes... it is a bug.

    If the prosecutor is not compelled to bring charges because of prosecutorial discretion... then I say again... it is a bug (or feature) of the system.

    Wait ... it's a bug that the US can't tax companies that operate in jurisdictions outside of the US? You might be joking, right? If the US started taxing foreign companies, they would be in violation of literally hundreds of international laws. It would be a complete farce.

    You might... I live in a federal republic. Big difference.

    Oh, so your country doesn't have elected representatives who make the laws you live in? Must suck to live where you do. Or are you being pedantic in order to avoid discussing the main point that I was making which is that the citizens elect lawmakers who make tax laws that Apple are clearly flouting.

    More so.. I'm furious that my government took by force of law my health insurance plan... unlike you... I work every day to change that.

    Whoa there cowboy! We're not talking about healthcare. (Also I pay my government for healthcare out of income tax, so WTF are you talking about?)

    We'll also ignore your statement of 'less than 1% tax'... I assume you mean 'income tax'... because oodles of other taxes still come into play (eww... I feel like a liberal saying that).

    I'm talking about Corporation tax. Companies don't pay income tax. Individuals pay income tax.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , Blue Ink wrote

    If a corporation the size of Microsoft, Apple or Google ever decided to jump ship and move the whole campus to - say - Switzerland, they would cause a collapse in the local economies of the area where they currently operate. Try to imagine how much money it would cost to clean up that mess and you'll see why the US government is willing to bark, but not to bite.

    So? If Google closes their London Headquarters, it'll make literally zero impact to the UK government, because they don't pay any taxes here.

    The argument that "Oh, we'll just leave then" completely doesn't hold water if you're not actually putting anything back into the economy.

    The employees that work at Google aren't going to suddenly find themselves unemployed just because Google close their office there either. We're not talking about employees living on the breadline.

    Similarly if Microsoft said "Come on, boys, we're off to Switzerland", then most of their employees would quit and join Amazon or Google or other companies in Redmond, and Microsoft will be left a withered husk of its previous self.

    The US would lose some of its political clout, perhaps, for being the place where Microsoft is registered, but it'll lose bugger all in terms of taxation (since Microsoft pays so little tax), the employees will by-and-large find other companies to work for, or will start new small companies, and literally none of the developers who currently works at Microsoft will be queuing up outside the homeless shelters asking for soup when there's such a high demand for their skillset in the USA.

    This is all corporate FUD. Society doesn't need multinationals half as much as they need us. And if you're not going to pay tax or you'll move to Switzerland, then get out and stay out. And we'll tax your products when you try and sell your products to our citizens at the border via customs like we do with other foreign goods.

    You can have your cake, or you can eat it. If you want to be a US company, pay the taxes that the US lawmakers intended you to pay. If you want to pay Swiss taxes, then get on a plane, go to Switzerland, and set up a company there.

    If you're going to operate as a US company and also lie to the IRS (either directly via fraud) or indirectly (via opaque finances and use of tax-havens), then off to jail you go.

  • User profile image
    Blue Ink

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    So? If Google closes their London Headquarters, it'll make literally zero impact to the UK government, because they don't pay any taxes here.

    Agreed, except that I wasn't talking about subsidiaries (if you could move a subsidiary elsewhere, there wouldn't be a reason to have a subsidiary in the first place).

    The argument that "Oh, we'll just leave then" completely doesn't hold water if you're not actually putting anything back into the economy.

    The main contribution of a large corporation to the community is in terms of employment (and employees pay income taxes). It's not just the direct headcount of the corporation itself: there are legions of smaller businesses that work almost exclusively for that corporation and its employees. These can employ at least as many people as the corporation they cater for, and often a lot more.

    The employees that work at Google aren't going to suddenly find themselves unemployed just because Google close their office there either. We're not talking about employees living on the breadline.

    Similarly if Microsoft said "Come on, boys, we're off to Switzerland", then most of their employees would quit and join Amazon or Google or other companies in Redmond, and Microsoft will be left a withered husk of its previous self.

    The US would lose some of its political clout, perhaps, for being the place where Microsoft is registered, but it'll lose bugger all in terms of taxation (since Microsoft pays so little tax), the employees will by-and-large find other companies to work for, or will start new small companies, and literally none of the developers who currently works at Microsoft will be queuing up outside the homeless shelters asking for soup when there's such a high demand for their skillset in the USA.

    I seriously doubt that Amazon and Google combined could absorb more than a small percentage of Microsoft's workforce, let alone "most of it". Just look at what happened with the first few rounds of layoffs.

    There are other things I strongly disagree with in your post, but it would be pointless to discuss them: neither Microsoft nor Google nor Apple are going anywhere, simply because the US government will bend over backwards to make sure they don't.

    This is all corporate FUD. Society doesn't need multinationals half as much as they need us. And if you're not going to pay tax or you'll move to Switzerland, then get out and stay out. And we'll tax your products when you try and sell your products to our citizens at the border via customs like we do with other foreign goods.

    It's not a matter of how valuable individuals are to society, it's a matter of contractual power. Rich as you may be, your income tax is probably little more than a rounding error in the fiscal budget of your country, which means that your government is not particularly interested in cutting you a better deal.

    As for import duties, good luck with that (hint: they don't work).

    To sum it up: I am not happy that large corporations - who benefit from all sorts of services rendered by their respective governments - don't think it's right to contribute back. But that's the way things are and there's very little governments can do. They'll apply some pressure, of course, and be content when they get some results (such as Apple announcing they are bringing back some of their manufacturing, for instance). Rinse and repeat. But don't expect an indictment or a drastic change in legislation.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    Specific claim:

    Kinda like how Apple International (registered in Ireland) who made $30 BILLION PROFIT last year didn't file a tax return IN ANY COUNTRY.

    Specific request:

    Citation please.

    Supporting response:

    Unsupportive.

    Aside from the fact that your sources contradict each other (one saying no taxes paid in Ireland at all, while the other says less than 2% in Ireland), and the fact that that you seemed to claim that Apple International is registered in one country but not registered anywhere else... you made a very specific claim that they "didn't file a tax return IN ANY COUNTRY"... which again... is NOT supported by what you said... unless you are claiming that Apple paid taxes in this or that country... but opted not to file any form of paperwork behind it.

    , evildictait​or wrote

    Wait ... it's a bug that the US can't tax companies that operate in jurisdictions outside of the US? You might be joking, right? If the US started taxing foreign companies, they would be in violation of literally hundreds of international laws. It would be a complete farce.

    Again, not only to I enjoy it when people show themselves to be supportive of the use of authoritarian force against those they disagree with (by the way, there may be a job for you at the IRS)... but they also show their ignorance of the law involved.

    You realize that a US citizen working (fully) abroad is taxed... right? Or that a US national... living in the US but who has foreign investments is required to report (and pay taxes) on those investments?

    While it's a little trickier to explicitly tax foreign holdings of foreign companies... not only is it within the right of the US to tax the activities and assets of companies who do business here... but also to tax the money from said entities when they attempt to return it to the US... which is part of the Apple curfufle we are seeing in Washington this week... only Apple doesn't want to bring the money in because it will be taxed at a rather high rate.

    Many ways this could be resolved... most of the power though rests in Washington as they have the legal authority to use violence to achieve their ends (you know, the thing you keep pleading for).

    Oh, so your country doesn't have elected representatives who make the laws you live in? Must suck to live where you do. Or are you being pedantic in order to avoid discussing the main point that I was making which is that the citizens elect lawmakers who make tax laws that Apple are clearly flouting.

    You again ignore the difference between a democracy and a federal republic... or in the UK, a constitutional monarchy... the latter two having more in common with each other than the prior.

    Words have meanings... if you opt to ignore their meanings that is on you... but don't expect to have much of a conversation with those who understand the differences involved.

    Whoa there cowboy! We're not talking about healthcare. (Also I pay my government for healthcare out of income tax, so WTF are you talking about?)

    Again you attempt to change the meaning of words... I mentioned 'health insurance' not 'health care', the prior is a policy (aka contract), while the latter is a larger system which may involve the prior.

    Again, why do you keep ignoring the meaning of words?

    Why did I mention it? If you would have read what I said? (tricky I know as you've clearly ignored much of what I've said and forced me to repeat myself (and you)). You said

    That sounds fantastic. We live in a democracy where the country is run by elected people who are furious that companies like Apple get away with this. The population is livid that companies file tax returns no-where, or pay less than 1% tax.

    To which I said:

    More so.. I'm furious that my government took by force of law my health insurance plan... unlike you... I work every day to change that.

    You know... pointing out the fact that some times people, organizations or governments do things we don't like... and one can either sit around griping about it until they are blue in the face (ie you)... or attempt to do something about it (ie me).

    I'm talking about Corporation tax. Companies don't pay income tax. Individuals pay income tax.

    Just a 'corporation tax'? Must be good to be an LLP then! Here in the states corporations (like many other types of organizations pay income tax... in addition to individuals... though what few (like you) understand is that despite filing tax paperwork with this or that government for income taxes at the state or federal level... or business & occupancy taxes in other jurisdictions... companies do not pay these taxes... despite ultimately cutting a check to the government agency. The end customers do... they are just charged higher prices in order to pay the company 'share' to the government.

    If you were to get over the hate stick you are obviously sitting wrong on... you might understand these things.

    You could claim "Nyeh, them not paying 'their fair share' means the rest of us have to pay more"... which might be true... if there was any connection between government spending and government income.

    Unlike most EU countries... the UK and the US have something going for them... they have the ability to print currency and monetize their debts... and given the rate at which both are doing it... it's a pretty tall tail to claim that if only Apple and this or that other international company were to pay their bills (as you define them)... that such printing and deficit spending wouldn't be necessary.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    So? If Google closes their London Headquarters, it'll make literally zero impact to the UK government, because they don't pay any taxes here.

    I see that quote and have to pause and shake my head... because the inanity of that statement really makes my head hurt.

    Let me get this straight... Google in London... pays no taxes... none what so ever...

    Not a pence of sales tax, payroll taxes, 'corporation taxes', sewer taxes, VAT taxes, fuel taxes, insurance taxes, property taxes.

    No taxes whatsoever you say... not even the possibility that a London based Google Street View vehicle gets caught up in downtown London traffic and gets hit by the congestion tax... nope... no chance at all for ANY taxes you say.

    I'd do a Bing search to try to prove you wrong... but your statement is so laughable that it's not even worth attempting to disprove as it's rather hard for ANY entity in a developed country to avoid paying ALL taxes... be they direct or indirect.

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