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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
    bizbazboo

    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.

    What is it with Microsoft employees pretending they're autistic out of sheer boredom?

    This isn't a game of chess, it's somebody who posted their opinion on the internet.

    One could make a fortune opening a rave/party bar in Redmond across the street I think.

    Google Street View vehicle gets caught up in downtown London traffic and gets hit by the congestion tax

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/congestioncharging/

    You don't pay a congestion ticket if you get caught up in traffic. You pay it if you enter a zone and didn't pre-pay. I'm not even British and I know that.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , 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."

    Rand Paul and his Paw are batsh1t crazy. They think getting rid of the IRS is the solution for everything. The thing about the tax code is that it wasn't always so complex. It's the nutters that want to do away with the tax code altogether but can't that fostered loophole upon loophole to get their cronies in big business tax breaks for the most ridiculous crap. That's the reason why we have a 70,000+ page tax code today. In 1913, it was 400 pages.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , SteveRichter wrote

    *snip*

    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.

    Because Cook is something of a patriot and says there is no question of relocating Apple to another country.

     

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    Just a quick point of history :  the fall of the Roman Empire came about because the rich stopped paying taxes. I was always taught that we learned history to avoid making the same mistakes over again.  Apparently we don't learn very well.

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    dahat

    , bizbazboo wrote

    What is it with Microsoft employees pretending they're autistic out of sheer boredom?

    I know many that are genuinely giving... and clearly the Giving Campaign which has raised over 1 billion dollars from employees is just a farce.

    Speaking personally... Where have I shown any semblance of altruism here? In fact I'm offended by the implication. Altruism is not a trait I exhibit and that is by design. Where one sees it, it is generally a sign of mutual self-interest.

    This isn't a game of chess, it's somebody who posted their opinion on the internet.

    Actually he stated his opinion as fact... and failed to support it.

    One could make a fortune opening a rave/party bar in Redmond across the street I think.

    Come on out... though the real estate in Redmond near campus I suspect would be rather expensive... hence why I live on the other side of a lake from campus.

    , cbae wrote

    *snip*

    Rand Paul and his Paw are batsh1t crazy. They think getting rid of the IRS is the solution for everything. The thing about the tax code is that it wasn't always so complex. It's the nutters that want to do away with the tax code altogether but can't that fostered loophole upon loophole to get their cronies in big business tax breaks for the most ridiculous crap. That's the reason why we have a 70,000+ page tax code today. In 1913, it was 400 pages.

    *cough* Fair Tax *cough*

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    Just a quick point of history :  the fall of the Roman Empire came about because the rich stopped paying taxes. I was always taught that we learned history to avoid making the same mistakes over again.  Apparently we don't learn very well.

    One reason of many... and a rather simplistic comparison to today.

    Unlike time of old where the area a wealthy person could invest or spend their money was limited... today there is an entire world for investment and spending.

    While Apple and others have billions in cash sitting largely unused overseas and wish to bring it into the US... it surprises me that we have not seen more investments abroad from such companies.

    Why bother bringing the funds into the US and paying high taxes on it... when you can buy or build a factory or three overseas (or other large acquisitions) or even your own country and do so without paying many a tax in your country of origin?

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

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

    *snip*

     

    Also, from the Senate report on Apple Operations International:

    *snip* 

    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.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/technology/apple-has-deep-roots-in-ireland-but-does-not-like-to-talk-about-it-1.1402576

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/technology/apple-to-create-500-jobs-in-cork-1.710622

    http://corkindependent.com/stories/item/11876/2012-40/New-Apple-offices-open-in-Cork-city

    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:

    http://9to5mac.com/2013/05/21/ireland-denies-senate-claim-of-special-2-corporation-tax-deal-for-apple-link-to-live-coverage/

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/technology/gilmore-denies-special-tax-deal-agreed-with-apple-1.1401913

    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.

    http://www.imore.com/apple-already-pays-1-out-every-40-tax-dollars-us-collects-how-much-more-does-senate-want

    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.

     

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    Just a quick point of history :  the fall of the Roman Empire came about because the rich stopped paying taxes. I was always taught that we learned history to avoid making the same mistakes over again.  Apparently we don't learn very well.

    Herbie

    This isn't Rome and no one has stopped paying taxes.

    The senate's beef is that it believes it is entitled to 35% of everything that Apple makes outside of the US. Apple is actually paying corporation tax inside the US to the tune of .... (place curved little finger on bottom lip) ... SIX BILLION DOLLARS. Is that enough? Well, according to the law, yes. If it isn't then change the law and the corporations will have to pay or face the consequences. No one is refusing to pay tax.

     

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    , bizbazboo wrote

    *snip*

    What is it with Microsoft employees pretending they're autistic out of sheer boredom?

    When the argument is weak, the weak get pedantic. 

    He knows damn well that the discussion is about income tax, but he's backed himself into a tea party shaped corner so....

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    , dahat wrote

    *snip*

    I know many that are genuinely giving... and clearly the Giving Campaign which has raised over 1 billion dollars from employees is just a farce.

    Speaking personally... Where have I shown any semblance of altruism here? In fact I'm offended by the implication. Altruism is not a trait I exhibit and that is by design. Where one sees it, it is generally a sign of mutual self-interest.

    Purposeful misunderstanding...charming.  Nobody would every confuse your motives with altruism.  It would require some semblance of a soul.

    Actually he stated his opinion as fact... and failed to support it.

    Actually, he stated his opinion.  You just took it as a challenge to the warped ideologies you internalized after reading vast amounts of randian fiction.

    *cough* Fair Tax *cough*

    You should get that looked at, it sounds malignant.

    One reason of many... and a rather simplistic comparison to today.

    Unlike time of old where the area a wealthy person could invest or spend their money was limited... today there is an entire world for investment and spending.

    And this is why history repeats itself.

    While Apple and others have billions in cash sitting largely unused overseas and wish to bring it into the US... it surprises me that we have not seen more investments abroad from such companies.

    Why bother bringing the funds into the US and paying high taxes on it... when you can buy or build a factory or three overseas (or other large acquisitions) or even your own country and do so without paying many a tax in your country of origin?

    Yes.  Why should the investment in infrastructure and society that fostered the growth of these companies ever benefit from their success.  If they want money, they should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps like Apple did.

     

    Am I sayin' it right? 

  • User profile image
    davewill

    , dahat wrote

    *snip*

    Why bother bringing the funds into the US and paying high taxes on it... when you can buy or build a factory or three overseas (or other large acquisitions) or even your own country and do so without paying many a tax in your country of origin?

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Sealand

    Unfortunately it isn't very defensible.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    , ScanIAm wrote

    *snip*

    When the argument is weak, the weak get pedantic. 

    He knows damn well that the discussion is about income tax, but he's backed himself into a tea party shaped corner so....

    Ahh liberal double-think.

    When a conservative talking head on TV points out that in the US, ~50% of the population doesn't pay any taxes, they are attacked by liberals who point out that while they don't pay any income taxes... they still pay payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes (either directly or indirectly), fuel taxes, cigarette taxes, etc... and yet here when liberals are up in arms about big evil corporations don't pay 'any taxes'... the even meaner conservative is attacked for pointing out the anger is over specifically income taxes... and that still a huge amount of taxes are still being paid in many jurisdictions... just not as much as the liberals would like.

    Which is it? Does the term 'no taxes' only refer to 'income' taxes... or 'all' or 'any' taxes'?

    I'm sorry for liking specificity and taking things seriously... anytime you care to start it would be a welcome change.

    , ScanIAm wrote

    *snip*

    Purposeful misunderstanding...charming.  Nobody would every confuse your motives with altruism.  It would require some semblance of a soul.

    Starting off with personal attacks and ignoring what was said above... thanks for coming out of the box admitting that you are incapable of having this discussion like an adult. I don't know why I ever think you capable of anything else.

    Actually, he stated his opinion.

    Actually, he stated his opinion as fact.. while accusing many of crimes as well. Big difference.

    You just took it as a challenge to the warped ideologies you internalized after reading vast amounts of randian fiction

    So Marx is real... but Hayek, de Tocqueville, Locke, Montesquieu, Friedman and others... all fiction.

    I'm sorry that anything above "Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book!" is beyond your reading or comprehension ability.

    And this is why history repeats itself.

    So people spending their own money... caused the collapse? Amazing how this country never collapsed until the passage of the 16th Amendment.

    Yes.  Why should the investment in infrastructure and society that fostered the growth of these companies ever benefit from their success.  If they want money, they should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps like Apple did.

    Aka "You didn't build that, someone else made that happen"... the pronouncement of a lessor upon their betters... claiming an unbreakable right to keeptheir betters in a state of permanent bondage. No work, no level of taxes paid, no deed can ever repay the debt that is owed... as for every bit it is paid... the claimed need for even more money manifests.

    Am I sayin' it right?

    Just go back to singing "The wheels on the bus go round and round" as again, this is an adult conversation and you clearly have no ability to participate.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    , davewill wrote

    *snip*

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Sealand

    Unfortunately it isn't very defensible.

    It's one option, and has long needed a stronger navy for sure. Though there are a number of micronations... and a number of ways to make your own.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , dahat wrote

    *snip*

    Ahh liberal double-think.

    When a conservative talking head on TV points out that in the US, ~50% of the population doesn't pay any taxes, they are attacked by liberals who point out that while they don't pay any income taxes... they still pay payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes (either directly or indirectly), fuel taxes, cigarette taxes, etc... and yet here when liberals are up in arms about big evil corporations don't pay 'any taxes'... the even meaner conservative is attacked for pointing out the anger is over specifically income taxes... and that still a huge amount of taxes are still being paid in many jurisdictions... just not as much as the liberals would like.

    *snip*

    Your complaining about the lower 50% of wage earners not paying any income tax is like a billionaire complaining that dahat doesn't have to pay for a hangar to maintain a fleet of business jets. Paying income taxes is a problem of having earned income, and that should be a problem that corporations have to deal with just like I do, as somebody who doesn't happened to be in the bottom 50%.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    , cbae wrote

    *snip*

    Your complaining about the lower 50% of wage earners not paying any income tax is like a billionaire complaining that dahat doesn't have to pay for a hangar to maintain a fleet of business jets. Paying income taxes is a problem of having earned income, and that should be a problem that corporations have to deal with just like I do, as somebody who doesn't happened to be in the bottom 50%.

    First, re-read what I said... I specifically referred to "a conservative talking head on TV"... if you'd like to have a conversation about the fact that a head of a household of 4 making minimum wage has more disposable income than if they made $60k a year... or the fact that a single mom is better off earning $29k a year than if she were to earn $69k... I'd welcome it... as I do agree with the President and Vice President (in a couple limited ways)... such as the fact that everyone should have skin in the game... though I do not think dependency is skin... in this case though, I was pointing out the duplicity of meanings that people like to hide behind and calling for clarity.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    Just because you're ignoring it doesn't mean I didn't answer your question.

    Direct quote from the Senate report:

    On May 21, 2013, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) of the U.S.Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a hearing that is a continuation of a series of reviews conducted by the Subcommittee on how individual and corporate taxpayers are shifting billions of dollars offshore to avoid U.S. taxes. The hearing will examine how Apple Inc., a U.S. multinational corporation, has used a variety of offshore structures, arrangements, and transactions to shift billions of dollars in profits away from the United States and into Ireland, where Apple has negotiated a special corporate tax rate of less than two percent. One of Apple's more unusual tactics has been to establish and direct substantial funds to offshore entities in Ireland, while claiming they are not tax residents of any jurisdictionFor example, Apple Inc. established an offshore subsidiary, Apple Operations International, which from 2009 to 2012 reported net income of $30 billion, but declined to declare any tax residence, filed no corporate income tax return, and paid no corporate income taxes to any national government for five years. A second Irish affiliate, Apple Sales International, received $74 billion in sales income over four years, but due in part to its alleged status as a non-tax resident, paid taxes on only a tiny fraction of that income

    And directly quoted from later in the document (emphasis mine)

    AOI was incorporated in Ireland in 1980.

    Apple told the Subcommittee that it is unable to locate the historical records regarding the business purpose for AOI's formation, or the purpose for its incorporating in Ireland.
     
    While AOI shares the same mailing address as several other A pple affiliates in Cork, Ireland, AOI has no physical presence at that or any other address.
    Since its inception more than thirty years earlier, AOI has not had any employees.
    Instead, three individuals serve as AOI's directors and sole officer, while working for other Apple companies. Those individuals currently consist of two Apple Inc. employees, Gene Levoff and Gary Wipfler, who reside in California and serve as directors on numerous other boards of Apple offshore affiliates, and one ADI employee, Cathy Kearney, who resides iIreland
    ...
    AOI's board meetings have almost always taken place in the United States where the two California board members reside. According to minutes from those board meetings, from May of 2006 through the end of 2012, AOI held 33 board of directors meetings, 32 of which took  place in Cupertino, California.
    AOI's lone Irish-resident director, Ms. Kearney, participated in just 7 of those meetings, 6 by telephone. For a six-year period lasting from September 2006 toAugust 2012, Ms. Kearney did not participate in any of the 18 AOI board meetings. AOI board meeting notes are taken by Mr. Levoff, who works in California, and sent to the law offices of AOI's outside counsel in Ireland, which prepares the formal minutes
    Apple told the Subcommittee that AOI's assets are managed by employees at an AppleInc. subsidiary, Braeburn Capital, which is located inNevada.
    Apple indicated that the assets themselves are held in bank accounts in New York.
    Apple also indicated that AOI's general ledger – its primary accounting record – is maintained at Apple's U.S. shared service center inAustin, Texas.
    Apple indicated that no AOI bank accounts or management personnel arelocated in Ireland.Because AOI was set up and continues to operate without any employees, the evidenceindicates that its activities are almost entirely controlled by Apple Inc. in the United States. Infact, Apple's tax director, Phillip Bullock, told the Subcommittee that it was his opinion thatAOI's functions were managed and controlled in the United State
    In response to questions, Apple told the Subcommittee that over a four-year period, from2009 to 2012, AOI received $29.9 billion in dividends from lower-tiered offshore Apple
    affiliates.
    According tApple, AOI's net income made up 30% of Apple's total worldwide net profits from 2009-2011,
    yet Apple also disclosed to the Subcommitteethat AOI did not payany corporate income tax to any national government during that period
     
    This is a US company making money in the US, running board meetings out of the US, storing it's money in the US, and incorporating a company in Ireland with zero employees and no offices in Ireland and pushing 30 BILLION DOLLARS through it and not paying ANY TAX to ANY GOVERNMENT.
    This is not being tax-efficient. This is utterly bare-faced tax fraud. I don't care how "legal" you or any number of Apple accountants and lawyers might pretend it is.
     
    Any idiot can see that this this operation is huge, clearly signed off by people right at the top of Apple, and is a blatant fraud perpetrated against the American people by Apple's directors who think that paying corporation tax is somehow optional and can be wholeheartedly avoided.
     
    The effective rate of corporation tax in the USA is 12.1%. This means that Apple has deliberately, systematically, and deviously withheld over 3 BILLION dollars from this single scam from the American people. And that tax shortfall is made up by taxing American citizens, entrepreneurs, small businesses more via income tax and other taxes.
     
    Apple's international investors are rinsing the American people because the executives at Apple are defrauding the IRS to the tune of billions of dollars. And it blows my mind that you think that this is acceptable and that their CFO shouldn't serve jail time for it.
  • User profile image
    cbae

    , dahat wrote

    *snip*

    First, re-read what I said... I specifically referred to "a conservative talking head on TV"... if you'd like to have a conversation about the fact that a head of a household of 4 making minimum wage has more disposable income than if they made $60k a year... or the fact that a single mom is better off earning $29k a year than if she were to earn $69k... I'd welcome it... as I do agree with the President and Vice President (in a couple limited ways)... such as the fact that everyone should have skin in the game... though I do not think dependency is skin... in this case though, I was pointing out the duplicity of meanings that people like to hide behind and calling for clarity.

    Please explain how Medicaid benefits turn into disposable income. By that reasoning, I can become a millionaire if I get seriously ill and have my health care insurance pay for all medical costs. This is typical right-wing wankery of numbers to try to make a point.

  • User profile image
    davewill

    @evildictaitor: "AOI was incorporated in Ireland in 1980." This means AOI falls under the jurisdiction of Ireland. Sounds like Ireland's move. I guess the US government can bluster but they can't usurp another country's autonomy. Well they could ... but that usually involves missiles. This leaves the US leverage options to some sort of action upon import of goods I'd imagine.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , davewill wrote

    @evildictaitor: "AOI was incorporated in Ireland in 1980." This means AOI falls under the jurisdiction of Ireland. Sounds like Ireland's move. I guess the US government can bluster but they can't usurp another country's autonomy. Well they could ... but that usually involves missiles. This leaves the US leverage options to some sort of action upon import of goods I'd imagine.

    Except that AOI isn't an irish company. It has zero employees; it has no offices; all of it's money is in US banks; its accountants are in Texas; all of it's decisions are made by US citizens; its only Irish board member hasn't attended a board meeting in 5 years (and before that she only phoned in to the US where the board meeting was held).

    The sole purpose of the AOI company is to funnel and store US profits in such a way as to avoid paying the US corporation taxes on the profits made by Apple, the US company, when selling US-invented products to US citizens out of US stores in the US.

    When Congress invented Corporation Tax, profits like this were clearly intended to be taxed at the standard rate. By lying to the treasury that Apple is somehow not a US company, or that these profits are somehow not US profits, it is perpetrating a massive fraud that puts small businesses and American citizens out of pocket.

    Because when Apple doesn't pay its taxes, the American people are the ones who pick up the shortfall.

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