Feeds

back to article Irish deputy PM: You want more tax from Apple? Your problem, not ours

Ireland has denied its liberal tax laws helped Apple avoid dropping dollars into the American taxpayers' purse by funnelling billions through subsidiaries based in the country. Eamon Gilmore, Ireland's Tánaiste (deputy prime minister), said that Apple's legal tax-dodging was down to rules in other countries. A US Senate …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

I got an interesting idea

Next time one of these companies start complaining about IP infringement and piracy issues involving other countries, corporations or end users, tell them to take their complaints to the Irish government and have them use their considerable international clout to deal with the issue.

41
7
FAIL

Re: I got an interesting idea

That 'Idea' is about as relevant as the Tax Issue.

6
18
Thumb Up

Re: I got an interesting idea

Always had the same thought whenever Bono starts whinging about aid from Irish/British governments not being enough. Why do they even speak with him? Tell him to Feck off and take it up with the Dutch/Swiss government instead of pontificating about how other peoples tax should be spent.

16
0
Silver badge

Re: I got an interesting idea

That'd be the same Bono who moved U2's business to the Netherlands so he could reduce his tax bill?

14
0
Silver badge

Re: I got an interesting idea

To be fair that wasn't just tax - Bono's ego was getting too large for Ireland, people were being pushed into the sea off Galway.

23
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I got an interesting idea

Russians did it - after a fairly spectacular rescue in the gulf of Aden of a vessel that was russian but sailing under a foreign flag for "tax reasons" they made it extremely clear that this is "first and last time". Any further interventions will be only to protect vessels registered under the correct flag, thus paying the correct taxes and obeying the correct labor rules. Ditto for the chinese which were quite clear that Chinese vessels will get assistance only if they are flying the national flag.

Funny - only they and the Chinese had the political guts to do so.

10
0
Unhappy

Ireland is right - its not their fault!

Everyone else should realise that when someone transfers money abroad it should be assumed to be profit until it can be justifiably demonstrated as an expense.

O hai yeah, that billion was for IT phone support, and that one was to license the logo from our parent.

8
2
Paris Hilton

What precisely was this guy responding to?

I didn't see anyone directly blaming Ireland in any of the quotes.

In spite of what the lead sentence says, the Irish guy quoted doesn't deny that their tax rate helps Apple, et al. He just says it's not his problem (which is quite correct).

7
0
Bronze badge

Exactly, assume money exported is profit unless proven otherwise

You have nailed it.

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Exactly, assume money exported is profit unless proven otherwise

Why not be honest and just admit that you ALL of their money because you're a greedy cunt.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: What precisely was this guy responding to?

Right upto the point where some other European country decides to make it 10% or 5%

It used to be that Ireland did very well with US corporations: between the language, golf courses, whiskey and the "Mr Obama - come and meet your ancestors, the O'bamas" angle.

But with $$$bn at stake I'm sure a few CFOs can face having their euro-headquarters in Luxembourg or Romania.

2
0

Re: What precisely was this guy responding to?

So that would be Montenegro then at 9%, or perhaps you were refering to Albania, Bosnia, Cyprus, Macedonia, or Serbia, each of whom at 10% have a lower corporation tax than Ireland.

Why would they go to Romania or Luxembourg? They have 16% and 28.59% rates respectively.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: What precisely was this guy responding to?

It helps if the other country is in the Eu so there is no import duty.

So Mr Romanian president, lower the rate to 10% and we will pretend to invest billions of $ and create 1000s of jobs in your country. Or at least put up a few brass plaques outside lawyers offices

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: What precisely was this guy responding to?

None of them allows "resident nowhere" entity registration. That's why.

2
0
Silver badge

Except

They don't pay Ireland 12.5% either.

9
0
Bronze badge

Random thought but instead of complaining about capatalistic companies exploiting loop holes the governments have left open for them to get the best deal our governments should either;

A) close those loopholes

Or

B) be more competitive and reduce the rate of tax.

17
4
Anonymous Coward

I'm with option b) The politics of envy and false indignation just ain't working

If national treasuries want to benefit from the fruits of capitalism, some good old-fashioned market economics might help.

Because when your wares become too expensive, people begin to shop elsewhere. Or so says my old friend Adam Smith.

Lowering corporate tax rates is a step in the right direction.

Logically, it attracts more companies and investment.

Those companies can then hire people.

Those hired people can then get off state assistance (thus reducing government spending).

Those hired people can also spend more money and pay off their debts.

And (gasp!) they can even start paying more taxes.

Why didn't anyone in government think of this before ? Is their some sort of vested interest in keeping cushy government jobs, nice pension plans, murky accounting systems and massive boondoggles in place ?

Say it ain't so Joe.

Increasing the local job centre's budget might keep more people unemployed for longer but won't stimulate the economy very much.

New jobs and investment stimulate economies.

When you chase away (or chastize) the providers of new jobs and investment the economy just stagnates further (business at the job center might pick up, though).

National and corporate tax rates are a simple line item for most multi-national businesses.

Countries that offer lower wages and lower taxes win their business.

And unless you can run your economy like Joseph Stalin, resistance is futile.

The UN can barely call a quorum to agree on a half-assed suggestion, so I can't see them unifying the world's corporate fiscal policy.

Let's face it, without healthy tax competition from countries like Ireland, most of these over-stretched, overspent governments would have bled every last cent from the companies unfortunate enough to be trapped.... er... set up within their jurisdictions.

Tax avoidance is not "unfair" or "immoral".

It is standard practice for any correctly managed corporation.

Like shrinking growth, unemployment or high inflation rates, high rates of tax avoidance are just symptoms of deeper economic problems. Governments whose economic policies indicate that "moral hazard" has now become a quaint old-fashioned notion should not lecture us on fiscal "morality".

The "immoral" part occurs when the common man / small business with no tax accountant needs to be shaken down even harder by the powers that be. How can that possibly be moral? Quid pro bono?

In a normal market economy, companies and individuals that can't make ends meet go bankrupt.

But now, we have governments, banks and currencies that are "too big" to fail.

Solution?

Current wisdom seems to be: apply a little quantitative easing here, a big bail-out there, remove a few million jobs and everything will be sorted for another fiscal quarter.

Use the newly printed virtual money for further wastage, patronage, corruption and bail-outs.

Lather, rinse and repeat.

Any remaining wealth will quickly trickle upwards into fewer and fewer hands.

This is like reverse Reagonomics voodoo and price-indexing on steroids.

I am sorry but giving these elected fools more tax money is like buying a chronic alcoholic more booze. It has to stop.

9
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: The politics of envy

It's not envy when things are blatantly unfair.

1
1
Stop

Re: The politics of envy

"It's not envy when things are blatantly unfair."

The problem with this and the whole morality argument is that "blatantly unfair" and "moral" are both such woolly, subjective words. Unless there are some hard and fast rules to define what is moral and fair, every person will judge differently and have their own line in the sand. Creating some hard and fast rules is effectively legislation that closes loopholes currently deemed unfair or immoral.

If it's legal why wouldn't companies do it? If you personally could legally pay less tax, would you do it? Maybe you could choose to pay more personal tax; would you do that? It's possible, but I bet that is unlikely because my guess is you already feel you pay your fair share of taxes. However, my guess is also that there are other people who pay more taxes who might very well say you don't pay your fair share and are therefore immoral. It's such a relative thing.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: The politics of envy

Saying "the politics of envy" is no more valid than saying "the politics of greed". Neither adds anything to the debate. That's all I was saying.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: The politics of envy

If it was rape or muder and you said it was wrong you wouldnt' get called envious. If it's people getting ridiculous amounts of money through dubious means though it MUST be envy. What other possible motivation could there be? We all spend every waking minute trying to get more cash, yeah?

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

"Speaking to the Guardian"

Yeah, like we're going to get an unbiased view from the Guardian.

That rag is full of labour-voting lefties and aspiring-to-work-at-the-BBC journos.

13
22
Silver badge

Re: "Speaking to the Guardian"

"That rag is full of labour-voting lefties and aspiring-to-work-at-the-BBC journos."

Lefties. Not just lefts but lefties who vote Labour! Lefties writing in a famously left-of-centre newspaper.

Good spot!

Next thing you know, we'll find out that The Mail is full of Tory-voting righties.

Still, for an unbiased view, we can always turn to reliable sources like ...

4
4
ACx

Re: "Speaking to the Guardian"

So, you would there for have to be a right wing swivel eyed nutjob, yes? Which would make you a xenophobic racist. Is that right?

You know, generalizations and all that.

5
5
Bronze badge

Re: "Speaking to the Guardian"

If you care about your country, if you care about business, you will want these corporate leeches which suck the life blood out of our country dealt with.

1
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: "Speaking to the Guardian"

Err... The major readership of the Graun would be Lib Dem...

Are you and Eadon the same person, even your politics are the same bollocks.

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: "Speaking to the Guardian"

"The major readership of the Graun would be Lib Dem..."

Don't know if you've noticed, but there aren't any major quantities of LibDems post coalition. Mind you there aren't that many paying Guardian readers either, perhaps not surprisingly given the decline of the paper in recent years.

Anyway even in the BC era (before Cleggeron), a good proportion of Guardian readers weren't necessarily of the Cleggeron clan, it's just that the editorial board likes to think that they were (and it has deluded itself and some of their paid contributors that the LibDems might rise again, one day. Hallelujah, I believe in miracles.).

The Guardian may, just about, be marginally left of what used to be called centre, but many of its remaining readers (me included) read it simply because it's the least right wing of the widely available dailies. And because it used to be the least M25-zone-centric too.

The Guardian's management know a bit about using overseas companies to minimise group tax liabilities too (and no I'm not referring just to their coverage of activities at Barclays). They do a bit of DIY too, allegedly.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Since Ireland is waging an economic war against us should we not just go ahead and recolonise? Call me Dave can then install his fucktard public school cronies as lords over there and hopefully they will then be to busy managing their massive potato estates to fuck up the mainland government.

Once we take control say 48 hours after invasion raise the corporate tax to 50% and backdate for a decade.

Next step warn the Dutch to mend there ways otherwise we will do SFA about global warning and watch the clog wearers drown when sea levels do rise.

As for the rest the Channel Islands, Caymans etc surely they are small enough to literally wipe off the map one small Nuke each. Bit hard to claim your headquarters are a radioactive part of the ocean.

7
16
Silver badge
Stop

What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

Problem: we're not raising quite as much tax as we'd like

Solution: Declare war on a neighbouring country?

You'd have to be absolutely barking mad to even contemplate that. Ignoring for a moment the cost in international relations, it would cost us vastly more in military resources, restart a republican terror campaign and the Irish are broke anyway.

3
9

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

@Steve

Based on

Next step warn the Dutch to mend there ways otherwise we will do SFA about global warning and watch the clog wearers drown when sea levels do rise.

I'd assume it was a (rather dry) joke

8
1

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

Maybe if the Irish put up their tax rates (and enforced them) they wouldn't be so broke.

4
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

The Americans didn't like the amount of tax they had to pay to London... and look what that led to. So declaring war because of tax rates isn't exactly a new concept..

5
1
Silver badge
Stop

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

That is rather the way the Irish are likely to feel if you invade them, rather than the Americans (who were British subjects at the time and had no way of controlling tax rates) taxing too little.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

A funny one ...

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

"You'd have to be absolutely barking mad to even contemplate that. Ignoring for a moment the cost in international relations, it would cost us vastly more in military resources, restart a republican terror campaign and the Irish are broke anyway."

Good point, so the real answer is simply to nuke Ireland and then send all the travellers back to re tarmac it.

The savings both to the UK economy and the EU budget as a whole would be massive and it would meet Bonio's requirement to write off debts as well!

Even Gerry "Osama" Adams is going to struggle to be a terrorist after being vaporised in a nuclear explosion.

Plus the overall reduced carbon emissions long term would keep the tree hugging prius driving loons happy as well.

You sir are onto a winner......

2
1

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

good point, I seem to remember them needing "a few shillings from the English" a while back to help them with their cash flow issues

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

> Problem: we're not raising quite as much tax as we'd like

> Solution: Declare war on a neighbouring country?

That's a tried and tested approach, but you'd have to be daft to pick on Ireland. If you won you'd have to pay to rebuild, and if you lost(!) they couldn't afford to take over.

Pick on France or Germany instead, at least you'd stand some chance of a profit.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

Maybe if the Irish scrutinised their banks as hard as they do their independent TDs (members of parliament), they wouldn't be as broke as they are now. [1]

That and blindly following every order that comes in from the ECB in Frankfurt...

[1] For those not following Irish political affairs, Ireland as a few very colourful TDs — Mick Wallace and Luke 'Ming' Flanagan being two of them — and they are rarely out of the news.

1
1
Gold badge
Happy

"Next step warn the Dutch to mend there ways otherwise we will do SFA about global warning and watch the clog wearers drown when sea levels do rise.

As for the rest the Channel Islands, Caymans etc surely they are small enough to literally wipe off the map one small Nuke each. Bit hard to claim your headquarters are a radioactive part of the ocean."

You are Dennis Leary and I claim my prize.

"Why? Because we got the bombs. 2 words. Nuclear f**king weapons."

1
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

"A funny one ..."

And made all the more funnier by someone taking his post seriously.

3
0
Stop

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

"So declaring war because of tax rates isn't exactly a new concept"

No, but personally I think it's a rather stupid and destructive one. It also seems pretty arrogant. Do we have the right to tell every country in the world how to run their tax affairs? Effectively that is the precedent this idea establishes. Move to another low rate country, we'll bomb that too. All well and good until the country who offers lower rates is bigger and tougher than the bully country you're advocating.

0
1
Mushroom

should we not just go ahead and recolonise?

Come and have a go. If you think you're hard enough.

3
0
Silver badge
Devil

Channel Islands, Caymans, Bahamas, Isle of Man etc

Curiously a lot of the Offshore locations are British or Dutch offshore locations.

The problem with the Irish Taxation system is that in making Royalties tax free (to encourage artists & writers) and also trying to avoid Double taxation that it opens a massive loop hole for these Corporations to exploit.

The anti-double taxation provisions are obviously flawed as is what constitutes valid royalty payments (e.g. Starbuck's transfer of all profits to IP charges of stuff worthless on open market)

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: What kind of screaming right wing loon are you?

Please don't forget that the taxes they didn't want tp pay were to pay for a war the stupid colonials started - against london's will.

0
0
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Well here in the UK some sectors and the workers in those sectors have to compete internationally - in some cases the workers compete but the company just shifts jobs, investment and production overseas.

So you see the poor working wage slave has to compete internationally for his/her job.

Some sectors seem to be privileged and do not have to compete internationally.

For example finance, accountancy and audit firms. Insurance and investment anyone? Of course some of these have long standing arrangements with offshore tax havens (I wonder who dreamed those up. UK by any chance?)

So why should govmints, bankers, lawyers, judges n barristers avoid international competition?

Why?

7
1

EU minimum tax rates

I understand that there's a minimum rate for VAT across the EU, with exceptions having to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis (eg only 5% VAT on domestic fuel in the UK). Why can't there be a minimum rate for corporate tax rates?

Or will we then see generous tax refunds in the form of "incentives for investment" from governments determined to 'beggar-my-neighbour'?

4
2

Re: EU minimum tax rates - or world-wide?

Apple and the others all tell every government they really live somewhere else and meanwhile construct themselves a network of tax loopholes round the world. The governments (and just maybe that means us) need to get together and agree a collective approach to stop this game and get these guys to pay their fair share..

There is a place called the United Nations invented for this kind of thing Oh, dear! What have I said? Am i turning into a pinko, liberal, socialist, commie dupe?

7
2
Bronze badge

Re: EU minimum tax rates - or world-wide?

Ah but the last Government to join in on bringing the rate up has the advantage. Obviously it can't take all the tax avoiding money but it will certainly retain what it's already got and if the rate was harmonized then it might find other (geographical or social) advantages lie with its neighbours.

If the tax rate was 20% in Republic of Ireland with costs of 5% and 20% in Northern Ireland with costs of 3.5% which side of the border would you plonk your offices?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: EU minimum tax rates - or world-wide?

Fuck this "fair share" bit. You stupid bastards don't understand anything about tax incidence, you're just repeating mindless slogans from the fringe left. Corporates don't "pay" tax, some combination of their customers, employees, owners, and to a lesser extend the broader stakeholders, do.

This is all just naked greed, they have money, we want it, therefore we should take it.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: EU minimum tax rates - or world-wide?

"they have money, we want it, therefore we should take it."

Which is so different from the corporate approach:

"they have time and ideas, we want it, therefore we should take it (and pay them a pittance if they're lucky)"

1
1

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.