You all have heard by now — a $14.5 billion tax bill saga is being played in Europe.
Here is a “refresher” course:
Apple, Ireland and EU are the three main players in this story.
Years ago Apple set up a factory in Ireland. The country offered attractive tax incentives.
For the last ten years, Apple was taxed at 1%. At the high end.
Later, that was lowered to 0.005%.
In exchange for this almost tax-free environment, Apple employs almost 6,000 people across Ireland.
Everyone should be happy with this arrangement, right?!
$14.5 billion vs 6,000 jobs
Not the European Union. The EU said this tax arrangement is similar to a tax subsidy.
So the European Commission ruled that Apple owes $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes to Ireland.
Ireland is appealing; they don’t want the money. $14.5 billion vs 6,000 jobs — the choice would seem obvious.
But it’s not so simple — especially when you want to keep a business friendly environment.
To attract the big players of the corporate world.
Apple’s money belong to U.S. Treasury
This international saga continues to attract players.
The most recent: U.S. Treasury.
The U.S. Treasury Secretary has said that EU needs to back off: Apple’s money belong to U.S. coffers.
(Some say, over the years, Apple didn’t put much money in our treasury coffers.)
Yet it went unnoticed.
Tax avoidance vs paying a fair tax
As for Apple’s behavior: some say this is tax avoidance at its best.
Others say the tech company is well within its legal rights in everything that it does.
The saga will continue.
Thanks for visiting.